Who enforces Grand Parkway Toll Road?
By Elsa Maxey
Reports indicate that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will patrol anywhere at any time where there is a serious threat to public safety and will respond to incidents as needed, also on toll roads. That includes the Grand Parkway’s new tollway, the non-stop, nine overpasses and bridges recently completed with the seven EZ tag tolling locations connecting Sugar Land and Katy.
Where does that leave local law enforcement on the matter? With last week’s action by the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court, the Precinct 4 Constable’s office has been authorized to patrol the tollway as part of an agreement between the county and the Fort Bend Grand Parkway Toll Road Authority. More specifically, the agreement is for toll enforcement, incident management, and law enforcement services by the constable’s office on the tollway authorized though September 30, 2015.
Some may wonder whether DPS will no longer have a presence on the toll road. It’s not likely. Commissioner Andy Meyers said this is a road that DPS has also been covering and he has witnessed “a significant increase in their coverage of this area.” Suspecting that because of the high speed lanes, DPS may be seeing it as a source of state revenue, said Judge Bob Hebert, noting that there is a need to coordinate the activity with the toll road authority. “I see DPS periodically, not with any regularity, but periodically,” he said. DPS coverage at the present time is both on the toll road and the frontage road between FM 1093 and U.S. 59, said Commissioner Meyers, where he has seen cars pulled over.
Under the county’s newly authorized agreement, the constable’s office will be providing 80 hours of scheduled service per week at a cost of $13,780 per month.
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