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Eastside Driver Racks Up More than $3,000 in 520 Toll Fines

Some motorists are fighting the fines in a new toll court – but don’t expect much leniency.

Complaints over the re-introduction of tolling on the 520 bridge continue to mount as motorists around Lake Washington — with some worried that I-90 could be next — are still having a hard time getting used to it, with some racking up huge fines.

The latest unfortunate is a Kirkland driver who is trying to fight a $3,000 fine in court this month, according the Seattle Times. She said confusion between her and her son over who was paying the electronic toll bills on the state Route 520 bridge led to fines of more than $3,000 for 65 crossings.

According to a report in The Seattle Times, the 64-year-old went to a new state toll court to fight the bill, but ended up paying the fines anyway.

She admitted to making mistakes, but told the Times: "It's a new system, and I think we [institutions] sometimes get simple-minded when we design systems in the beginning. … I don't think it's people-friendly."

The new toll courts allow drivers to challenge their bills. But, the Times reports:

By law, toll-court judges cannot reduce or dismiss a motorist's penalty, unless they rule that a toll or a fine was charged incorrectly. This makes toll court less flexible than municipal courts, where folks with a compelling story might sway a magistrate.

"We want to collect the tolls," says Craig Stone, toll director for the state Department of Transportation. "We have enforcement, to be fair to the people who pay the tolls."

What do you think of the payment system for electronic tolling on 520? Does it work for you? Have you dealt with fines or been to toll court? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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