DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – For years the State of Texas has allowed tolls to be waived for disabled veterans.
But Paul Nelson spent a majority of 2021 fighting his tolls with the North Texas Tollway Authority.
Nelson’s family has a history of military service that is as old as our republic, he said.
“My mom is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution,” he said. “We had a family represented in every military every conflict.”
Nelson broke both of his legs and broke his ankle while parachuting.
“When you jump out of planes to live, the chances aren’t favorable to you,” he said.
He received his license plate for Disabled Veterans in February 2021.
He said he was under the impression tolls were waived for toll roads and toll roads.
“If you had the impression that as a disabled veteran that you can drive the NTTA payments and waive your dues, you are sadly mistaken,” he said.
He is fighting the NTTA over a $ 349 cost that he says he should not pay because of a state law that allows owners of disabled veteran license plates to travel for free.
State law allows, but does not require, agencies to let veterans travel for free on its toll roads.
The NTTA says it does not waive charges for veterans with disabilities dishes because it does not receive funding for those programs.
In a statement to CBS 11 News, the NTTA said, “NTTA respects and honors all U.S. veterans and thanks them for their service to our country. Unlike other paying units around the state, the North Texas Tollway Authority does not receive tax appropriations from the state. of Texas to fund the payment program for a disabled veteran.We build roads with proceeds from bond sales.Agreements with bondholders force us to collect tolls to repay the debt.To ensure funds are sufficient to do so, we are prevented from allowing free passage to those, who choose to use our roads. With funding from a local sponsor, we are extending free tolls to Legion of Valor members who use our roads. “
Adding to the confusion, TxDOT officials said its waiver applies to toll roads on I-30, I-35E and SH-114.
But certain pieces of LBJ Freeway, North Tarrant Expressway and even some parts of SH 183 are cramped.
Some of these stretches are operated by private entities and were funded by private money.
This confusion, Nelson says, confuses most veterans he knows.
CBS 11 asked both TxDOT and TEXpress about a scenario where a veteran traveling on I-635 for example, may qualify for an exemption on one part of the highway and not the other.
Both officials say it is important for everyone to know which strains honor the resignation and which strains do not.
Nelson says that policy is confusing at best, and unfair to those who have served his country.
“I feel marginalized. Or I don’t care now. ” he said.
CLICK HERE for NTTA’s policy on veteran license plates.
CLICK HERE for more on the Veterans Discount Program.
Eligible veterans in vehicles with qualified license plates can travel the following TxDOT toll roads for free:
TEXpress Lanes – Dallas / Fort Worth Area
In the Dallas / Fort Worth area, only TEXpress Lanes managed by TxDOT offer the discount.
SH 183 TEXpress Lanes – Euless in Dallas
Loop 12 TEXpress Lanes – Dallas
SH 114 TEXpress Lanes – Vito at Dallas
I-635E TEXpress Lanes – US 75 to I-30
I-30 TEXpress Lanes – Dallas to Arlington
I-35E TEXpress Lanes – Denton County to Dallas County