A brazen motorist has used Ireland’s busiest toll road 750 times this year — without paying.
However, he is now facing a massive fine and penalties.
The National Roads Authority said the offender, who failed to pay after using the barrier-free toll just north of the Westlink bridge on the M50, could be hit with an overall bill of about €10,000.
The NRA disclosed that 4% of all motorists fail to pay the toll on time.
However, an NRA spokesperson noted that the 96% compliance rate was one of the highest for any drive-through toll road in Europe.
The NRA confirmed yesterday the serial toll-dodger had a civil summons served on him several months ago. The roads body is now in the process of obtaining a judgment, which will be followed by the sheriff seizing goods to secure payment for the outstanding tolls and penalties owed.
Nearly half of all cars in the Republic have a registered account with the toll operators, with 24,000 accounts being opened each month on average.
Non-registered users must pay the toll by 8pm the following day.
The NRA said that it expected to collect about €110m from motorists using the M50 toll this year. It raises another €7m from penalties, although it costs €3m per annum to carry out enforcement actions.
The NRA said it had issued 2,500 civil summonses so far this year for the non-payment of tolls.
All NRA cases which came before the courts in 2012 were successful.
One vehicle was seized by the sheriff this year for non-payment of the toll, although the vast majority of cases are settled through payment plans.
The NRA said the problem of motorists tailgating other vehicles to avoid the toll had been eroded following the installation of cameras to capture the rear registration plate of cars.
Unregistered users are charged €3 per toll, with the charge reduced to €2 for registered tag users. Tolls on the M50 are set to rise by 10c from Jan 1.
The NRA will pay about €50m per annum until 2020 to the former owners of the Westlink, National Toll Roads, following the controversial State buyout of the toll in 2008.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved