Driver Dodged Paying Nearly $5,500 in Tolls With ‘License Plate Flipper,’ Say Police

April 16, 2019 Updated: April 16, 2019

A driver in Texas reportedly dodged $5,500 in tolls by using an illegal “license plate flipper.”

Preston Talbot was stopped last week for not paying a toll on the Sam Houston Expressway in Houston, Fox4 reported. He was charged with a misdemeanor.

Harris County Constable Mark Herman described how he evaded paying tolls.

The 27-year-old driver avoided paying nearly $5,500 in tolls on Houston roads with an illegal “license plate flipper.”

Posted by FOX 4 News on Monday, April 15, 2019

“He would activate this device, putting a flipper down in front of his license plate, so the cameras at toll plazas couldn’t read his plate,” he told KHOU on April 12.

Talbot, 27, is accused of installing the device in his car. He would activate it with a button, KHOU reported.

It’s not clear how long he used the device, but Herman said Talbot owes about $5,473 in unpaid tolls.

“Obviously, this was a stupid mistake,” Talbot’s mother Becki Morgan told the news outlet.

“I have a Texas tag on my car and do everything legally,” Morgan said. “I’m not interested in shorting the system and wasn’t aware that my son was.”

According to KHOU, the license plate flippers are on sale for $200 to $300, but they’re not legal in Texas.


Posted by Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4 on Friday, April 12, 2019

“This is a very unique case,” the station quoted Herman as saying. “You don’t see cases like this every day.”

Talbot may face other charges related to the unpaid toll fees. reported that his bond for the misdemeanor was set for $100.

Other details about his case are not clear.

$448 Ticket?

Drivers who don’t wash their vehicles properly could be hit with a fine to the tune of hundreds of dollars in Australia.

Police in New South Wales warned motorists in March that they could face a nearly $450 charge and three penalty points if their license plates aren’t displayed in a clean and clear manner.

Not washing your car properly- $448 and 3 points. Don't wash your car and neglect your number plate. Remover the cover.

Posted by Traffic and Highway Patrol Command – NSW Police Force on Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The police force stated on Facebook: “Not washing your car properly- $448 and 3 points. Don’t wash your car and neglect your number plate. Remover (sic) the cover.”

The department’s post was met with mixed reactions.

“I get the whole number plate thing but really? A dirty car? This has got to be a joke right?” asked one person. “Ridiculous,” exclaimed another.

Added another, “People wonder why no one has any respect for the highway patrol.”

Another Facebook user said it was a “joke,” adding that “they’ll do anything for a buck.”

One woman said that the police department’s Facebook post wasn’t clearly written. “The accompanying photo states its due to an obscured number plate which was always against the law,” she wrote.

“I understand if the plates are covered but if they are giving tickets out for dirty cars with the number plate clearly visible that’s wrong,” said another person.