ICBC blocking record 25,000 drivers for unpaid Port Mann bridge tolls

Total owing in unpaid tolls on Port Mann Bridge reaches $3 million as ICBC puts "refuse-to-issue" hold on record number of drivers.

Drivers currently owe about $3 million in unpaid tolls for new bridge

The high number of unpaid fines comes after a year when tolls doubled on the Port Mann bridge and crossings declined each month, when compared with the previous year, except December.

A record 25,000 drivers have unpaid tolls on the Port Mann bridge, and will be blocked by ICBC from renewing their license or vehicle insurance until they pay up.

Drivers who owe more than $25 that is more than 90 days overdue get a "refuse-to-issue" hold put on their file by the insurance corporation.

The high number of unpaid fines comes after a year when tolls doubled on the Port Mann bridge and crossings declined each month, when compared with the previous year, except December.

Most drivers do pay their balance when they try to renew and learn about the hold, said Greg Johnson of the Transportation Investment Corporation, the crown corporation that manages tolls on the new bridge.

But between 15 and 20 per cent do not pay at that time, he told CBC News in an email.

In total, drivers currently owe about $3 million in unpaid fines on the Port Mann bridge, said Johnson.

The number of refuse-to-issue notices has varied between 10,000 and 25,000 since the bridge opened in 2012, he said.

ICBC also puts refuse-to-issue holds on drivers' accounts for other reasons, including the following, with the number of drivers currently affected:

  • 17,000 for unpaid Golden Ears bridge tolls

  • 9,300 for unpaid spouse or child support ("family maintenance") payments

  • 4,100 for unpaid debts to TransLink

With files from Farrah Merali

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