Handling a SunPass Violation on Toll Roads
The SunPass toll payment system has been shown to be inaccurate at times in reporting toll violations. If you are issued a SunPass violation, you may be able to fight the charges.
The SunPass system is an electronic toll payment system used for the state toll roads in central and south Florida, much of the west coast and parts of the panhandle. The system uses either a plastic portable transponder or a coded sticker, both of which must be windshield-mounted. The toll booth receives the radio signal from the transponder or sticker and deducts the toll amount from a linked account.
While this process seems simple and convenient, it is not flawless. Many drivers have used the SunPass system correctly and still received an unfair SunPass violation because of electronic errors. If you have been charged with a Florida toll violation, you should speak with a Florida traffic offense attorney to fight your case.
Reasons for a SunPass Violation
When you receive a SunPass violation in the mail, it can be the result of something else aside from a basic unpaid Florida toll violation. Aside from non-payment of the toll, a SunPass violation could be the result of an inaccurate license plate recorded on your SunPass account.
In most cases, a SunPass violation is issued because of a standard Florida toll violation. This may be because of inadequate funds in your account, improper mounting of the transponder or the need for replacement transponder batteries.
You may also receive a violation warning letter. This letter indicates you are at risk for a SunPass violation because of an invalid transponder. It also may apply to those drivers who have a toll-by-plate account for the elevated Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway, which can only be used on that road and not for SunPass lanes.
Penalties for a Florida Toll Violation
Florida toll and SunPass violation carry the same penalties and are considered traffic infractions. You will be mailed a citation with return receipt requested to the address at which your vehicle was registered. This citation must be mailed within 14 days of the reported Florida toll violation.
The penalty for failure to pay a toll may be $100 or more in fees, 3 points assessed to your license, assessment of court costs and suspension of your license and/or vehicle registration. The severity of the penalties is determined by the number of violations you have received in the past.
Fighting a SunPass Violation
The best way to avoid any Florida toll violation is to make sure your vehicle and account records are always up to date. You should review your SunPass account any time you make changes to your payment method, obtain a new vehicle or change addresses. You also need to make sure the vehicle records are up to date for the address at which your vehicle is registered.
If you receive a SunPass violation, you should review the reasons for which you have been accused. There have been cases where equipment malfunction results in a wrongful Florida toll violation. Other reports have shown that citations and warning letters were sent to the wrong address even after a driver had filed the appropriate changes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Falk and Ross, P.A.
Eric Falk is a trial lawyer dedicated to fighting for the rights of his clients. Eric was born and raised in Miami, Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, he went on to attend law school at St. Thomas University in Miami.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.