Virginia Beach residents make up the largest percentage of motorists who are at risk of having their past-due tolls from the Downtown and Midtown tunnels sent to collections.
Elizabeth River Crossings, the company that operates the tunnels between Norfolk and Portsmouth, mailed about 100,000 postcards on Thursday alerting people of overdue tolls. The largest percentage of those notices — 15 percent — went to Virginia Beach addresses, according to Leila Rice, an ERC spokeswoman.
Overall, about three out of four notices went to addresses in Virginia.
The notices marked the latest stage that ERC’s attempts to recover payment for its electronic tolls have reached since the fees began in February 2014. The postcards show the progression of the company’s efforts in a diagram that goes from “Unpaid invoice” to “Violation notice” to “Final notice” to “Collections (next step)” to “Court.” Each box carries an additional dollar sign, and the one for “collections” shows a document labeled “CREDIT REPORT” with a downward pointing arrow on it.
“Failure to pay your tolls could also lead to a hold on your vehicle’s registration and possibly court procedures, with additional fines and fees,” it warned.
Rice said by email that ERC is giving people 10 calendar days to contact its customer service center to make payment arrangements. The company is offering to reduce processing and administrative fees to those who pay their pay-by-plate accounts and get an E-ZPass, which triggers the lowest tolls, she said.
ERC is using the firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson to help with the collections process.