Motorists receive citations in error
A trip to the mailbox after the first of May left some local residents confused.
They received notices they had outstanding fines for the Illinois Tollway.
One of these notices found its way to the Putnam County Sheriff's Department. The notice came with a digital image of the violator's license plate number as well as vehicle color and type.
On the notice sent to the Sheriff's Department the picture shows a light-colored minivan. The last four digits of the license plate are all that were run through the reviewing process, leading Illinois Tollway personnel to send these violations to the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.
The license plate in question at the Sheriff's Department was on a car that has been out of commission for two years.
Illinois Tollway Media Relations representative Joelle McGinnis said a meeting was recently held about the issue, and the tollway is working with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to correct the problem.
"Between 2006-07 we weren't issuing notices at all because we were transferring to a new system," McGinnis said. "We are going back over the old notices not issued and issuing them now. The problem is, during that time Indiana changed their license plates."
The Illinois Tollway sent approximately 18,000 notices to Indiana. McGinnis said about half of those are for the new plates. To correct the problem, the Illinois Tollway and BMV to decide how to enter in the alpha characters on the new plates into the system.
McGinnis said those receiving notices in error need to contact the Illinois Tollway at the toll-free number listed on the notice. They will then resubmit the correct plate with the stacked alpha character to the Indiana BMV to send the notices to the proper people.
The Sheriff's Department noted that failure to pay these fines could result in the suspension of one's driver's license.
If that person is then pulled over, they can be arrested.
Thus, it is important to contact the Illinois Tollway to have this issue taken care of quickly.
The other half of notices sent out are for the old style of plates.
"Most of the older plates that had notices sent out are I-Pass members who either didn't have the funds in their account or had outdated credit card information," McGinnis said.
The Illinois Tollway consists of a 286-mile system which includes the Tri-State (I-94, I-294, I-80/I-294), Jane Addams Memorial (I-90), Reagan Memorial (I-88), and Veterans Memorial (I-355) Tollways.
All of these extend from the Chicago metro area either north or west.
Questions or disputes can be directed to (800) 824-7277.