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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- We all know traffic is awful, especially on the Beltway. In Virginia, the 495 Express Lanes were built to lower the stress level of commuters. That stress can increase when the required EZ Pass isn't used correctly.

One of our viewers Kevin Jackson received a summons from Fairfax County Court to pay $7.70 unpaid tolls -- and then some.

"$3,667.70. I was taken aback and I was floored. I was like 'how can I be liable for $3600 worth of tolls for $7 worth of tolls?" said Jackson.

We asked Mike McGurk of 495 Express Lanes how this could happen. His answer: the EZ Pass has to be mounted correctly.

"The reason you have to have it mounted properly is cause you're driving 65 miles per hour through the Express Lanes, you're going fast, you're going highway speeds. Through other tolls it may be read sitting on the dash, but if you don't have it mounted properly, you risk the chance of it not being read," said McGurk.

Here's the best way to avoid paying fines and toll violations:

  • Have an EZ Pass or EZ Pass FLEX if you're an HOV'er.
  • Make sure it's mounted correctly on the windshield.
  • Or pay the toll within 5 days if you don't have your EZ Pass.
  • Make sure the account is funded.

The new 95 Express Lanes are opening in early 2015.

A new Make A Plan educational campaign kicked-off this week to get you ready for the changes coming on I-95. Get more information at 95ExpressLanes.com/makeaplan

In case you're wondering, Kevin Jackson did go to court last week. He ended up settling his fines for $656.55.

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