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One car owner was accused of failing to pay for more than 500 trips for which he got over 1,800 letters 
Thirteen motorists accused of dodging M50 tolls were hit with fines totalling €165,000 on Monday. 
The penalties ranging from €5,000 to €15,000 were imposed by Judge Anthony Halpin during a single sitting of Dublin District Court. 
In all the prosecutions which resulted in fines, none of the motorists, who had been summonsed, came to court. One was accused of not paying tolls for more than 500 trips and was allegedly sent over 1,800 letters demanding payment. 
Cases against them went ahead in their absence. Eleven other people had their cases adjourned and two had their cases struck out after motorists engaged with the lawyers for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) which runs the barrier-free motorway. 
Judge Halpin said the court needed to send out the right message about M50 toll evasion cases. 
Every case dealt with on Monday featured five sample counts and photo evidence of how many times the defendants’ vehicles had been detected using the motorway without paying the charge. 
Judge Halpin imposed smaller fines on some motorists who made efforts to pay their tolls. 
The court heard the prosecution’s evidence showed the passage of the vehicles, mostly private cars, on the barrier-free motorway on dates in September, November and December 2018, as well as proof of vehicle ownership at the time. One unpaid trip on Christmas Day ended up costing a motorist €3,000 alone. 
Vehicle owners were given six months to pay the fines as well up to €350 in prosecution costs. 
To access this article in full please click link: - The Irish Times 
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