TAMPA, Fla., March 29 (UPI) -- Florida transportation officials violated federal law by gathering personal information about drivers who paid tolls with large bills, a lawsuit charges.
The suit, filed in federal court in Tampa last month by Joel Chandler, 47, of Lakeland seeks class-action status, the St. Petersburg Times reported Tuesday.
Chandler said whenever he tried to pay a $1 toll with a $20 bill in Polk County, he wasn't allowed to proceed unless he gave the toll collector his name, phone number, address and date of birth.
Chandler said the policy amounted to toll workers "illegally detaining" drivers until they cooperated, which is a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unwarranted searches and seizures.
A representative for Florida's Turnpike Enterprise confirmed the policy, designed to deter counterfeiting, has been suspended but declined further comment.
Records show toll workers were instructed to allow motorists to proceed if they refused to cooperate.
The suit names as defendants DOT Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos and leaders of the turnpike enterprise, the Times said.