Riverside man racks up $27,000 toll road bill

A Menifee resident is on the hook for more than $27,000 in fees and fines accrued during his trip along a Highway 91 toll road.

Cameron Aanestad built up the bill on his daily trip from Riverside County to Anaheim using the Highway 91 toll road.

The 31-year-old husband and father calls the amount due a “billing mishap.” County officials aren’t so sure.

In an interview with the Orange County Register, Aanestad said he owes $687.10 in actual tolls from 141 trips dating from Nov. 2013 to July 2014. The rest of the charges, he said, are fines.

“The 91 freeway toll lanes cover a 10-mile stretch from the Riverside County Line to Anaheim. Account holders use a dash-mounted transponder that records each trip, deducting the tolls from a prepaid FasTrak account. Tolls vary by direction and time of day, ranging from $1.45 to $9.85, Orange County Transportation Authority officials said. Once a customer’s balance drops below a certain level, a set amount is charged to the account automatically,” the paper reports.

“If there is a problem with the credit card on file, a notice is sent by mail to the account holder, said Joel Zlotnik, an OCTA spokesman.

“Fines start at $25 and escalate as time goes on, with notices at every stage, he said. The maximum violation penalty is $190."

“Aanestad asked for a hearing to contest the bill but was eventually denied, he said. When a consultation with a lawyer offered little hope of a reprieve, he took to Facebook to air his grievances.”