Motorist owes €155k for unpaid M50 tolls
A brazen driver owes the State more than €155,000 for refusing to the pay the M50 toll fee, despite travelling on the busy road 1,018 times last year.
This motorist was just one of the hundreds who didn't pay the toll fee after travelling through the barrier-free collection point on the M50 in 2014, costing the State a potential €5m in revenue.
Almost €100m was collected from the 43 million journeys which were made through the toll point on the M50 in Dublin in 2014, according to the National Roads Authority (NRA).
And the 4pc of drivers who refused to pay their toll represented a 25pc increase on the year before, when there was almost €4m in unpaid toll fees in 2013.
An NRA spokesperson said that €1.7m - 34pc - of the unpaid tolls consisted of fees which had been applied to cars with international registration plates, and 95pc of these cars were from the UK.
As many as 110,000 vehicles use the toll bridge every day, which became barrier-free when the 'eFlow' system was introduced in 2008. There are 11 toll roads in Ireland, but just the M50 and the Dublin Port Tunnel are operated by the NRA.
The maximum amount a driver's bill can rise to for a single unpaid journey is €152.60. The toll fee starts at €3.10 for users who aren't registered. "However, there is no cap on what a driver can owe if he makes multiple passages without paying," Sean O'Neill from the NRA said.
The NRA has said that legal proceedings can be issued, and in some cases personal property may be repossessed to cover the costs. They have also employed help from a London-based collection agency, Euro Park Collections (EPC), to help them recoup some of their debts.