As Fort Myers, Florida car accident injury lawyers and long-time residents of the Sunshine State, we know too well the hazards of driving on Florida’s streets, highways, and toll roads. Now a class action lawsuit filed in Tampa, Fla., claims that some motorists are being unlawfully detained as they attempt to pay their tolls.

Courthouse News Service and other media report that a federal class action lawsuit has been filed in Florida claiming that a private contractor that collects tolls for the Florida Turnpike detains and interrogates certain drivers who attempt to pay with large bills.

The lawsuit reportedly claims that some Florida drivers who try to pay their turnpike tolls with a $50 or $100 bill — or even with a $5 bill — may be detained, interrogated, and asked for personal information before they are released. The lawsuit cites contractor Faneuil, which was hired by the Florida Turnpike to collect the tolls. The complaint reportedly states that the Florida Turnpike authorized the contractor to detain and interrogate certain motorists while in some cases, “Bill Detection Reports” were prepared.

This Florida lawsuit reportedly states that such detention and seizure of motorists is unconstitutional and seeks damages for civil rights violations and false imprisonment. This problem that some consumers are apparently encountering at some Florida’s Turnpike toll plazas gives new meaning to that old Monopoly chance card — “Do Not Pass Go.”

The Florida Turnpike is a north-south toll road running parallel to I-95, which extends through several counties in Southwest Florida, providing access to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. (Note: Florida Highway Patrol tracks Florida Turnpike accidents and other highway motor vehicle accidents by county and region; see link below to clickable map.)

Unconstitutional Stops on Florida Highways
Courthouse News Service Feb. 11, 2011
Florida Toll Road Sued for Holding Motorists Hostage Feb. 22, 2011
Report: Motorists file class action suit against Florida toll road for…taking hostages? Feb. 23, 2011
Related Web Resources

Florida’s Turnpike (official website)

Florida’s Turnpike (Wikipedia)

Florida Highway Patrol: Traffic Incidents by Region