LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – RiverLink says some drivers will never be billed for crossing the tolled bridges, because the license plates will not be recognized.

Megan McLain, with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, explained the tolling system relies on the transponders first. But if a vehicle crosses without a transponder, then those license plates need to be reviewed. McLain said about half of all bridge crossings are being sent for image review.

“There are people who look at the images and type in the license plate that they see,” McLain said. “And there’s more than one person that looks at it to make sure it’s correct.”

Of that half that go for review, less than 10 percent of the license plates are expected not to be recognized or the drivers billed. McLain said common reasons the plate might not be recognized include it not being centered in the picture, or mud being on the plate, or a state not being identified.

“In those instances, we err on the side of the customer and don’t send a bill," McLain said. "So there are a percentage that get coded off, because we can’t read them.”

The number of transactions that cannot be recognized or billed have not been calculated yet, because some of the transactions are still being reviewed for January, according to Mindy Peterson, a spokesperson with RiverLink.

In an email, Peterson wrote that the percentage of less than 10 percent and erring on the side of the customer is “typical for all-electronic tolling systems”.

RiverLink leaders also expect that the percentage of unreadable plates will improve in time.

"The people who are doing it get better at what they do,” McLain said. “And also as we train the secondary optical character recognition software -- we're able to rely on both that and the human review. So you have additional checks. So you see a trend of it getting better over time.”

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