If you don't pay the tolls you owe in Texas, you could be in big trouble.  But there's one state that's tougher on those who don't pay up, and in that state you can be convicted of a felony for having outstanding tolls.  Toll roads have had it!  And here's what you need to know.

Most tollways in Texas are cashless, including all of those managed by the North Texas Tollway Authority around Dallas-Fort Worth.  It's an effort to keep traffic moving, and there are no toll booths to make us slow down and pay.  We just keep driving, and the bill comes in the mail later on.  And for those with toll tags, the charges are automatically charged on a linked credit card when we pass through the booth.

The toll tag owners have no choice but to pay up since the credit card info is linked, but some people who get the paper bills in the mail let them sit without paying, and that ends up leaving millions of dollars on the table for Tollway authorities.  It's a big problem for toll managers across the country.

MSN.com points out that the North Texas Tollway Authority fully rolled out an effort in 2016 that was aimed at motorists with at least 100 unpaid tolls in 12 months. They will work with violators to develop a payment plan if that makes things easier.  And in the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority says customers are given 30 days to pay tolls, and could end up with criminal misdemeanor charges and a fine of up to $250 per unpaid toll in addition to court fees.

In Florida, they've got a system that prevents drivers from renewing plate registration if there are unpaid tolls. New York suspends registrations too.  And in Pennsylvania, drivers can be charged with a felony for unpaid tolls.  A felony!  That's a big fine and jail time, and really not a good return on what could have been an investment of a few bucks in tolls.

If you're headed out on a spring or summer road trip across Texas, you're bound to run into some toll systems.  Don't ignore the bill!  They're cracking down on non-payers across the country, and Texas is no exception.  It can be frustrating to have to pay to drive, but the price of not paying can be a lot higher.  So heads up.  Crank up the radio, and have a great, stress-free road trip.