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Toll Be or Not Toll Be

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On: Sat, Nov 30, 2013 at 11:29AM | By: Karen Cook

Toll Be or Not Toll Be

I’m not good with directions. I will be the first to admit it. Google maps has made my life easier although sometimes that doesn’t get me where I want to go either. I make a lot of u-turns. I ended up on a toll road a while back which is not where I wanted to be. I had no cash and I also didn’t have one of those boxes on my car to get through a toll booth. I did have a very sympathetic toll booth operator though and she let me go on through and turn around.

I don’t think this was the problem for Mr. Jason Bourcier of Virginia. He wasn’t lost. He wasn’t somewhere he didn’t intend to be. He is an intelligent man. He is a financial advisor and knows how to deal with money. He just didn’t want to part with it for tolls. Since 2009 he made a decision not to pay them when he used the Dulles toll road, which, according to all available information, he did rather frequently.

Doesn’t it irk you when someone does something wrong and nothing seems to happen to them? I mean if one person can get away with something why don’t we all do it? And it’s just change on a toll road, right? Can’t be much money, even if you finally get caught. Not so in Virginia.

The laws in this state allow for the fines for this offence to pile up pretty quickly, topping out at $500 per infraction plus extra fines and court costs. When the law finally caught up with Mr. Bourcier after 355 violations since 2009, he owed $202,000! His lawyers got his penalty reduced by about half, so now he owes $96,498 which he will repay in monthly installments of $150 over the next 54 years. I’ll do the math for you. He will be 87 when he makes his last payment.

USA Today covered this story, but there was nothing on why this gentleman refused to pay the tolls. Maybe he didn’t have the change one day and just went on through. When nothing happened it may have given him the idea that nothing ever would. This is a feel good story for those of us who believe that what goes around comes around. The universe feels just a little more balanced today.


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