Good To Go goof-up: 'It's just irritating'

Good To Go goof-up: 'It's just irritating' »Play Video

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- A red chevy from Port Orchard apparently has the same plate number as a car from another state and that's posing problems for owner Tracey Vargas.

"It seems like once a month somebody's going over 520 with the same license plate that I have, only their car's from Colorado," Vargas said.

Every time that other car crosses, Vargas gets dinged on her Good To Go account. It's happened a number of times since December, and Vargas is exasperated.

"Most of the people tell me there's nothing they can do about it because it's an automated system," she said.

Vargas doesn't commute over 520. She got her pass for the Narrows Bridge toll. She says she's not even exactly sure where the 520 bridge is located, other than it's in Seattle.

"I have never been over 520 in my car or any other car," she said.

Keith Sorensen had a similar problem with a Subaru he sold 20 years ago. He kept getting 520 toll bills for a license plate that had the same configuration as his old plate, except it was a Minnesota plate.

"It's just irritating," Sorenson said two years ago.

The State Department of Transportation dropped all Sorensen's fines and Good To Go made good on Vargas's charges, too.

"They've never made me pay it," said Vargas. "They've always made a credit, but I'm the one that has to bring it to their attention."

The KOMO 4 Problem Solvers took the complaint straight to WSDOT, which said the automated system can't necessarily distinguish Colorado's Rockies from Washington's Mt. Rainier.

"If there's dust or dirt on that Colorado plate, it looks like Rainier," said DOT's toll operations manager Lucinda Broussard.
Vargas was also told her account would be flagged and reviewed before any erroneous billings. Broussard admits that hasn't been happening, but says DOT will resolve this by monitoring the account and making sure it's not charged for tolls tallied up on a car from Colorado.

The bottom line for Vargas is simple.

"I want them to stop billing my account for somebody else going over the bridge," she said.