Chapter 383

2011 -- H 6285 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/13/11

 

A N A C T

RELATING TO HIGHWAYS - RHODE ISLAND TURNPIKE AND BRIDGE AUTHORITY - NEWPORT BRIDGE TOLLS

 

     Introduced By: Representatives Martin, Ruggiero, Reilly, and Jackson

     Date Introduced: June 22, 2011

 

It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

     SECTION 1. Section 24-12-37 of the General Laws in Chapter 24-12 entitled "Rhode

Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority" is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

     24-12-37. Penalty for nonpayment of toll.Penalty for nonpayment of toll Toll

Violators. (a) For the first (1st) violation within a calendar year, any Any person who uses any

project and fails or refuses to pay or prepay the required toll shall be required to pay the toll

amount and an administrative fee of six dollars ($6.00) within thirty (30) days of receiving

issuance of the notice of violation.

     (b) Any person who fails to pay the due toll amount and the administrative fee within

thirty (30) days of the issuance of the notice of the violation after receiving notice shall be

punished by a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) eighty-five dollars ($85.00) and may have his or her driver's

license suspended pursuant to section 31-41.1-6 for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days for the

violation. and shall pay the toll amount due. Toll evaders shall receive notice of the violation

from the Rhode Island turnpike and bridge authority by first class mail or by certified mail, return

receipt requested. Toll violators, who fail to pay the due toll amount and the administrative fee

within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the notice of the violation, shall receive a traffic

violation summons which shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Traffic Tribunal. The fine and

toll amount, and administrative fee due under this subsection shall be remitted to the Rhode

Island turnpike Turnpike and bridge Bridge authority Authority.

     (c) "Toll Violator" means, for the purposes of this section, any person who uses any

project and fails to pay the required toll and accepts an Unpaid Toll Invoice from the Authority.

      (2) For the second (2nd) violation within a calendar year, any person who uses any

project and fails or refuses to pay or prepay the required toll shall be punished by a fine of one

hundred dollars ($100) and shall pay the toll amount due. Toll evasion violators under this

subsection shall receive a traffic violation summons which shall be subject to the jurisdiction of

the traffic tribunal. Any violation issued under this subsection shall be paid within thirty (30) days

of receiving the notice of the violation. The traffic tribunal shall remit the toll amount due to the

Rhode Island turnpike and bridge authority.

      (3) For the third (3rd) and subsequent violations within a calendar year, any person who

uses any project and fails or refuses to pay or prepay the required toll or fails to pay in a timely

manner a fine issued pursuant to subdivision 24-12-37(a)(1) or (a)(2) after having received notice

thereof, the person shall be subject to a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and shall pay the

toll amount due within thirty (30) days of receiving the notice of violation. Toll evasion violators

under this subsection shall receive a traffic violation summons which shall be subject to the

jurisdiction of the traffic tribunal. The traffic tribunal shall remit the toll amount due to the Rhode

Island turnpike and bridge authority.

      The Rhode Island turnpike and bridge authority shall notify the administrator of the

division of motor vehicles, who shall place the matter on the record and shall not renew a license

to operate a motor vehicle or the registration of any vehicle owned by the person, or both, until

the matter has been disposed of in accordance with applicable law or regulation. If the person is

found to be a resident of another state or jurisdiction, the administrator of motor vehicles shall

revoke the violator's right to operate a vehicle in Rhode Island until the matter has been disposed

of in accordance with applicable law or regulations.

      (4)(2) The authority shall promulgate appropriate rules and regulations to ensure the

proper administration of the provisions of this section.

      (5)(3) For the purposes of this section only, "person" means the registered owner, driver,

rentee or lessee of a motor vehicle.

      (b)(4) It is unlawful for any person or business, other than an authorized representative

of the authority: (i) to sell, offer for sale or attempt to sell tokens, tickets, passes or other

evidences of payment issued for passage on any project of the authority, including but not limited

to, the Claiborne Pell Bridge, if originally issued by the authority pursuant to any program of the

authority providing for a reduced rate of toll based upon frequency of use of the project, volume

of tokens, passes or other evidences of payment purchased, or method of payment for the toll; or

(ii) to sell, offer for sale, or attempt to sell tokens, passes or other evidences of payment issued for

passage on any project of the authority, including but not limited to, the Claiborne Pell Bridge for

a profit. Any person or business who is found in violation of this subsection shall be punished, for

each offense, by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500).

 

     SECTION 2. Chapter 24-12 of the General Laws entitled "Rhode Island Turnpike and

Bridge Authority" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following sections:

 

     24-12-37.1. Additional penalties Toll evaders. -- (a) Any toll evader who fails or

refuses to pay or prepay the required toll, and such violation may be evidenced by video or

photograph, shall be required to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) and shall

pay the toll amount due and an administrative fee of six dollars ($6.00) or may have his or her

driver's license suspended for up to six (6) months for the violation, or both. A toll evader under

this subsection shall receive a traffic violation summons which shall be subject to the jurisdiction

of the Traffic Tribunal. The administrative fee and toll amount due under this subsection shall be

remitted to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.

     (b) "Toll Evader" means, for the purposes of this section, any person who: (1) Uses any

project and fails or refuses to pay the required toll; (2) Does not accept an unpaid toll invoice

from the authority upon entering the toll plaza area or uses the project without obtaining an

unpaid toll invoice prior to using the project; and (3) Whose actions can be reasonably construed

as a deliberate attempt to avoid paying the toll.

 

     24-12-37.2. Driver/registered owner liability. -- (a) The registered owner of the motor

vehicle shall be primarily responsible in all prosecutions brought pursuant to the provisions of

sections 24-12-37 and 24-12-37.1.

     (b) In all prosecutions of nonpayment of toll violations, there is a rebuttable presumption

that the registered owner of the vehicle was the operator of the vehicle and may be liable for the

violation. The registered owner of the vehicle may assume liability for the violation by paying the

fine; or by defending the violation.

 

     SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC02920/SUB A/2

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