The San Juan Daily Star
Senator demands a halt to toll collections, amnesty on expired tags
By The Star Staff
Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Fiona, many people have had to use tolls they did not have to use before because of landslides or destruction.
They have also had to deal with emergencies using vehicles with expired tags.
Given those circumstances, independent Sen. José Vargas Vidot asked Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia on Sunday not to charge tolls or fines for expired tags until the emergency in Puerto Rico is over.
“I spoke with the governor to stop charging tolls to all Puerto Ricans in light of the disastrous passage of Hurricane Fiona. Likewise, it is
inconceivable that fines be imposed for expired license plates at the current time, with citizens enduring the absence of electricity and water service, and even the shortage of diesel fuel,” Vargas Vidot said. “In an emergency like the one we are going through, this would be the fairest thing to do.”
During a tour of the municipality of Salinas, citizens told the senator that due to the collapse of a road they now have to pay a toll of $1.83, which they did not have to pay before.
“We are facing an emergency where lives and property have been lost,” Vargas Vidot said. “This is not the time for the government to benefit and profit from citizens’ situations by charging tolls in an emergency, and that is what you are doing. It is the same logic as the IVU [sales and use tax]. It is not being charged because the government determined it should not profit from necessity. The same happens with expired tags, many because they cannot be renewed due to many fines. Suppose that out of necessity you have to move in that vehicle, in a country where there is no collective transportation. In that case, it should not be penalized, period.”
As of press time, the governor had not confirmed to Vargas Vidot what action would be taken to solve the problem.