VDOT, DMV workers won’t pay tolls, while first responders, school buses will

Posted at 6:55 PM, Jan 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-06 18:55:51-05

$1,000 will be the average yearly cost for a commuter traveling through the Downtown and Midtown tunnels come February 1st.

While you are shoveling out your hard-earned money, though, VDOT and DMV workers will be getting a free pass.

They are just a few of the agencies exempted from paying the new tunnel tolls.

“So you give certain categories of people a pass, and don’t even consider first responders?” said State Senator Kenny Alexander.

Alexander says as the law stands, State police and Sheriff’s deputies are exempt from the tolls, because they are state-wide offices while local police and fire trucks, even those responding to accidents in the tunnels, will have to pay the toll.

And that's not all...

“Ambulances, school buses, HRT buses, they all have to pay the full toll,” said Alexander, who also said because of the size of those vehicles, it will cost $7.34 each trip.

The City of Norfolk tells NewsChannel 3 if the law stays as is, they will be planning for a $3,500 toll bill each month.

That's why Alexander introduced Senate Bill 24 right before the 2014 General Assembly session starts this week.

It would exempt local police, fire trucks, ambulances, school buses, HRT buses, and even military vehicles from paying any tolls.

Right now, those are the rules for every other toll road outside Hampton Roads and he wants it to be the same in our area.

“If this bill doesn’t become law, cities will have to raise real estate taxes and other taxes to pay for these fees,” said Alexander.