At its meeting today, the board of the North Texas Tollway Authority approved a plan to publish the names of every person who has 100 or more unpaid tolls. It will be an updated list of more than 25,000 drivers who owe something like $12.5 million.
I can get behind that. I'm too cheap to pay tolls, and I want my fellow cheapskates to suffer with me on Central, not get a free ride on the tollway. Public shaming is always a great motivator. Come to think of it, why even stop at a list? How about putting them in stocks in Dealey Plaza?
NTTA spokesman Michael Rey stopped me right there. This has nothing to do with publicly shaming violators, he said. "We figured we'd get that. This is to let them be aware that they future toll enforcement." Per a board vote today, that could now include lawsuits.
I looked again at the press release and sure enough, it says it right in the subhead. It's an "outreach effort."
Okay, fine. Having your name buried among 25,000 others on an obscure government website hardly constitutes a public shaming. What will constitute a public shaming is when people like myself start typing in famous people's names. I'm starting my list of names right now.