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Jesse Asks: Is WSDOT’s Civil Penalty Reduction Program working?


Nearing its one year anniversary, WSDOT calls its Civil Penalty Reduction Program a rousing success.

“The program has been great for our reps, it’s been great for our customers, it’s been a win-win situation”, says Patty Michaud, from Good to Go.

Michaud adds that the program has helped more than 75 thousand people avoid paying more than 25 million in fees and penalties for unpaid tolls.

“It gives customers a second opportunity to come clean get their tolls paid and move on with their lives”, Michaud said.

Prior to the program I spent months documenting and investigating problems with Good to Go tolling. Including cases like Seattle’s Amanda Brown’s-she got hit with a four thousand dollar toll bill because of a mix-up between agencies that caused her bill to be sent to the wrong address.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, I proactively did everything right. I provided my address multiple times to make sure everything was correct,”

Amanda said.

She wasn’t alone. We helped people all over the region who had to pay 40 dollars a trip in penalties because the state’s billing errors.

WSDOT’s Michaud says the old way of doing things wasn’t particularly good for anyone, “It was hard on our customers and it was hard on our customer care reps.”

We also focused the issue of customers having to wait months for an administrative hearing to deal with tolling their disputes. Now court hearings have dropped by 80 percent.

And now Michaud says the Civil Penalty Reduction Program is permanent.

“This program is in place. It’s for customers when they need it.”



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