Emergency Vehicles Charged on Toll Road
January 11, 2007
By Emily Lopez, FOX 4 News
The new Highway 121 toll road is a major artery
through the Metroplex, long-awaited and welcomed by many.
"I'm on it every day," said Lewisville resident
Ramone Rivera. "Sometimes more than once."
Ordinary citizens are already being charged for
using the road. Highway 121 has no toll booths; instead,
scanners automatically charge a vehicle's toll tag, or scan the
license plate so a bill can be sent to the owners.
But law enforcement agencies, firefighters and
even ambulances are getting scanned, and the cities they work
for are getting the bill. Several first responder agencies are
so upset by the charges, they've gone to the Texas
Transportation Commission with their concerns.
The commission plans to vote on a resolution at
the end of the month exempting emergency vehicles, but only in
"We know there are some law enforcement officers
and some emergency vehicle operators that are unhappy with
that," said TxDOT's Mark Ball. "But if they are on an emergency
call, they will get to ride for free. Those who are just passing
from one side to the other will have to pay –- as do TxDOT
TxDOT says it has to generate revenue to maintain
the roads. Others believe first responder vehicles should be
exempt at all times.