Location:
TRANSPORTATION;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


TRANSPORTATION

2011-R-0311

By Paul Frisman, Principal Analyst

August 23, 2011

NOTICE TO READERS

This report summarizes Public Acts that affect transportation passed in the 2011 session. We do not summarize all provisions of each act. Consequently, we encourage readers to obtain full texts of the acts that interest them online at www.cga.ct.gov, or from the State Library or the House Clerk's Office. Complete analyses are on our webpage (www.cga.ct.gov/olr).

Table of Contents

Airports and Ferries 6

Connecticut Airport Authority 6

Promoting Economic Development in the Area Surrounding Oxford Airport (VETOED) 6

Special Taxing Districts for Ferry Service 6

Alternative Fuel Vehicles 6

Alternative Fuel Vehicles 6

Motor Vehicle Fleet Conversion Study 7

Boating 7

Boating Under the Influence 7

Boat Speed Limits 7

Reducing the Waiting Period under the Vessel Lien Process 8

Bonding for Transportation Projects 8

Bonding for Transportation Projects 8

Stamford Transportation Center 9

COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES 9

Texting While Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle 9

Weigh Station Coverage and Responsibilities 9

Commercial Vehicle Inspections 10

Employees Driving in Violation of License Classification 10

Late Fees for Apportioned Registrations 10

Commercial Motor Vehicle Registration Fees 10

Truck Property Tax Exemptions and Payment In Lieu of Taxes 11

Evading Safety Inspections 11

Forged Oversize and Overweight Permits 11

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES (DMV) 11

Independent Contractors and Privatization 11

DISTRACTED DRIVING 12

Increased Fines for Cell Phone Law Violations 12

DRIVing Schools and Instructors 12

Driving School Operators and Driving Instructors 12

DRIVER'S LICENSES 12

Language Requirements 12

Marijuana Decriminalization 12

State Residents on Active Military Duty 13

Photos Required of Drivers Age 65 and older 13

Special Operator's Permit 13

Vision Screening Program Eliminated 13

Second Knowledge Test for 16 and 17-Year-Old License Applicants Made Optional 14

Fees for Duplicate Licenses and ID Cards 14

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE 14

Ignition Interlocks 14

HANDICAPPED PLACARDS 15

Eliminating New License Plates for People with Disabilities 15

Motorcycles 15

Motorcycles Allowed on the Wilbur Cross Parkway 15

Written Motorcycle Test 15

MOTOR VEHICLE EMISSIONS 16

Extending Emissions System Restoration Period 16

Emissions Re-Inspection Late Fee 16

Dealers Barred From Selling Vehicles that Do Not Meet Emissions Standards 16

MOTOR VEHICLE FEES 16

Motor Vehicle Registration 18

Penalty for Failing to Register a Motor Vehicle 18

Rail and Bus Lines 18

New Haven Line Fare Increases 18

Department of Transportation Fare Changes 18

Niantic Rail Station Study 19

Railroad Crossings 19

SCHOOL BUSES 19

Video Camera Monitoring Systems for School Buses 19

Moving More Quickly to Remove School Bus Drivers with Suspended Licenses 20

Barring School Buses from Driving in Extreme Left Lane 20

Exempting Certain New School Buses from the First Annual Inspection Following Their Registration 20

State Traffic Commission (STC) 20

STC Certificate Exemptions 20

Installing Stop Signs 21

Taxes 21

Luxury Goods Tax 21

Rental Car Tax 22

Sales & Use Tax Extensions 22

Diesel Fuel Tax 22

Sale of Used Motor Vehicles Containing Tax-Exempt Special Equipment 22

Traffic Safety 23

Driver Retraining Program and Multiple Moving Violations 23

Following Ambulance Too Closely 23

Municipal Construction Zones 23

Snow and Ice Removal 23

Highway Safety Programs 24

Miscellaneous 24

Transportation Strategy Board Eliminated 24

Motor Vehicle Violator Payments to Towns 24

Highway Names and Sign Installation 24

Demolition Waiting Period 24

Connecticut Brewery Trail 25

Utility Repairs to Highways 25

Municipal Liability for Recreational Use of Land 25

Job Creation and Habitat Restoration 25

Illegal Use of Dyed Diesel Fuel 26

AIRPORTS AND FERRIES

Connecticut Airport Authority

PA 11-84 establishes the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) to develop, improve, and operate Bradley International Airport, the state's five other general aviation airports (Danielson, Groton/New London, Hartford Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford, and Windham), and any other airports it subsequently owns, operates, and manages.

CAA is governed by an 11-member board consisting of gubernatorial and legislative appointees and state officials. The board replaces the Bradley International Airport Board of Directors. The CAA board has many of the Bradley board's powers plus the power to hire staff, retain consultants, procure goods and services, apply for federal and state funds, enter into contracts, borrow money, and issue CAA's bonds.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Promoting Economic Development in the Area Surrounding Oxford Airport (VETOED)

PA 11-142 creates a second airport development zone in specified census tracts as assigned on October 1, 2011 in the towns of Middlebury, Oxford, and Southbury. It extends to this Oxford Airport Development Zone the same tax exemptions and corporation business tax credits that apply to the previously authorized Bradley Airport Development Zone.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2012

Special Taxing Districts for Ferry Service

PA 11-61 expands the list of purposes for which residents may vote to establish special taxing districts to include providing ferry service.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES

Alternative Fuel Vehicles

By law, the Clean Energy Fund can support a wide range of renewable energy projects. PA 11-80 additionally allows it to support projects that seek to deploy electric, electric hybrid, natural gas, or alternative fuel vehicles and associated infrastructure and any related storage, transmission, distribution, manufacturing technologies or facilities.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Motor Vehicle Fleet Conversion Study

PA 11-140 requires the commissioners of the departments of Transportation and Administrative Services (DAS) to jointly study the costs of converting up to 25% of the state's motor vehicle fleet to alternative energy sources. They must do this within available appropriations. The study must include DOT's vehicles; identify the costs and environmental benefits of converting the fleet to electric power, alternative fuels, or natural gas; and establish deadlines for completing the conversion.

The law already sets goals for converting the state fleet to alternative energy sources. It requires all cars and light duty trucks purchased or leased on or after January 1, 2012 to be alternative fuel, hybrid electric, or plug-in vehicles. As of January 1, 2008, all alternative-fueled vehicles and all gas-powered light duty and hybrid vehicles had to be certified to the California Air Resources Board's Low Emission Vehicle II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Standard.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

BOATING

Boating Under the Influence

PA 11-74 makes numerous changes to the boating under the influence statutes, including (1) specifying that a conviction for reckless boating results in the suspension of a person's boating rights; (2) reducing the minimum time between chemical tests from 30 to 10 minutes; (3) adding to the blood and urine samples that are permissible evidence; and (4) requiring prosecutors to specify reasons for a reduced, nolled, or dismissed boating under the influence charge.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011.

Boat Speed Limits

PA 11-90 repeals the law regarding the speed of vessels on specified rivers, including related penalties, thereby allowing vessel speed limits to be regulated under boating safety regulations.

The act establishes a “slow-no-wake zone” on two portions of the Mystic River. It makes a violation of the zone an infraction and requires the energy and environmental protection commissioner to administer the provision. It authorizes various people to enforce the slow-no-wake zone, including harbor masters, deputy harbor masters, conservation officers, police officers, town marine officers certified for marine police duty, and lake patrolmen.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Reducing the Waiting Period under the Vessel Lien Process

PA 11-118 reduces, from 60 to 30 days, the minimum time that someone holding a lien on a vessel must wait to sell it at a public auction after he or she notifies the secretary of the state of the lien.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

BONDING FOR TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS

Bonding for Transportation Projects

PA 11-57 authorizes special tax obligation (STO) bonds for FY 12 and FY 13 for transportation-related projects, including “Fix-It-First” state road and bridge repair programs; DOT capital improvements and highway maintenance projects; and capital projects for ports and aviation and public transportation. The bonds are payable from the Special Transportation Fund and are subject to the regular procedures for issuing such bonds.

The table below lists the amounts and purposes of the act's STO bond authorizations.

Table 1: STO Bond Authorizations for DOT Projects

AUTHORIZED PROGRAM AREAS

FY 12

FY 13

Bureau of Engineering and Highway Operations

Interstate highway program

$13,000,000

$14,950,000

Urban systems projects

8,500,000

8,500,000

Intrastate highway program

44,000,000

44,000,000

Environmental compliance, soil and groundwater remediation, hazardous materials abatement, demolition, salt shed construction and renovation, storage tank replacement, and environmental and emergency response at or near state-owned property or related to DOT operations

13,000,000

11,205,000

State bridge improvement, rehabilitation, and replacement

33,000,000

33,000,000

Capital resurfacing and related construction

137,800,000

68,900,000

Fix-It-First road repair program

39,146,000

57,600,000

Fix-It-First bridge repair program

66,150,000

64,129,000

Improvement and repair of a rail freight bridge between Hartford and East Hartford

3,000,200

0

Bureau of Aviation and Ports

Reconstruction and improvements to the warehouse and State Pier in New London, including site and ferry slip improvements

$780,000

$6,100,000

Developing and improving general aviation airports, including grants to municipal airports excluding Bradley International Airport

2,000,000

2,000,000

Bureau of Public Transportation

Bus and rail facilities and equipment, including rights-of-way, other property acquisition, and related projects

156,722,000

167,000,000

Demolition of 175,000 square feet of obsolete mill structures related to the Barnum train station project in Bridgeport

2,500,000

0

Construction of a catwalk over the railroad tracks separating the Columbus Circle area from McAuliffe Park in East Hartford

230,000

0

Bureau of Administration

DOT facilities

$37,520,993

$16,555,168

STO bonds, cost of issuance and debt service reserve

21,300,000

21,300,000

EFFECTIVE DATE: FY 12 authorizations are effective July 1, 2011 and FY 13 authorizations are effective July 1, 2012.

PA 11-57 also authorizes General Obligation bonds for grants to DOT to improve ports and marinas, and to study the economic development of the New Haven, Bridgeport, and New London ports.

Stamford Transportation Center

PA 11-256 requires DOT to use the proceeds of a 2007 DOT bond authorization for general and related projects for the Stamford Transportation Center rather than for repairing, reconstructing, or expanding the parking garage at the center, including alternative temporary parking needed during the repair, reconstruction, or expansion of the garage and related projects.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES

Texting While Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle

PA 11-213 specifies that texting while driving a commercial motor vehicle is a violation and adds it to those offenses whose violation can lead to disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle. But it allows texting from these vehicles in an emergency. Commercial motor vehicles include large trucks, buses, and certain vehicles transporting hazardous waste.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Weigh Station Coverage and Responsibilities

By law, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) share responsibility for staffing the state's six weigh stations. PA 11-51 gives the DMV commissioner primary responsibility for staffing and coordinating coverage and hours of operation at these facilities. It authorizes the DMV commissioner alone, rather than with the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) commissioner, to adjust work shifts at the weigh stations daily to create an unpredictable schedule. (DESPP is the successor agency to DPS.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Commercial Vehicle Inspections

PA 11-213 bars any person or motor carrier from operating a commercial motor vehicle or combination of such vehicles in Connecticut unless the vehicle has had a federally required periodic inspection in the previous 12 months. It prohibits any person, motor carrier dealer, or repairer from conducting such an inspection in any manner other than that prescribed in federal regulations. A violator is guilty of an infraction for a first offense, and may face a civil penalty for subsequent offenses of between $1,000 and $10,000.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Employees Driving in Violation of License Classification

PA 11-213 prohibits employers from knowingly requiring or permitting an employee acting in the scope of his or her employment from driving a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the employee's license classification.

It also bars (1) anyone with certain public passenger motor vehicle endorsements from operating any other vehicle for which such an endorsement is required if his or her endorsement has been suspended, revoked, or withdrawn, or if DMV has refused to issue or renew it, and (2) the commissioner from issuing certain public passenger motor vehicle endorsements to such an individual.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Late Fees for Apportioned Registrations

Certain interstate commercial vehicles must pay apportioned registration fees that include this state's registration fee and registration fees for other jurisdictions based on the distance they travel there. PA 11-6 requires the commissioner to charge a $150 late fee to people who fail to renew these registrations within five days after they expire.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Commercial Motor Vehicle Registration Fees

Prior law charged registration fees for commercial motor vehicles based on each 100 pounds the vehicle weighed. PA 11-6 instead bases these fees on each 1,000 pounds the vehicle weighs and increases the fees accordingly.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Truck Property Tax Exemptions and Payment In Lieu of Taxes

Prior law exempted from property taxes certain commercial trucks and other vehicles used to transport freight for hire, and required the state to reimburse municipalities for the revenue loss (i.e., payments in lieu of taxes or PILOTs). PA 11-61 eliminates the PILOTs for commercial trucks for assessment years that begin on or after October 1, 2011.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The repeal of the commercial truck PILOT is applicable to assessment years starting on or after October 1, 2011.

Evading Safety Inspections

PA 11-256 subjects drivers who park on a limited access highway to circumvent or avoid a scale or safety inspection site on the highway to a fine of $250 to $500 for a first offense and $500 to $1,000 for each subsequent offense.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Forged Oversize and Overweight Permits

By law, a DOT permit is required for a vehicle to operate on highways and bridges if it exceeds statutory size or weight limits. PA 11-256 subjects a person driving a vehicle under a forged oversize or overweight permit to a minimum fine of $10,000, in addition to any other penalties that may be assessed. In addition, the vehicle must be impounded until the penalty is paid or the Superior Court orders its release. A permit is considered forged if has been falsely made, completed, or altered, as these terms are used in the penal code.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

Independent Contractors and Privatization

PA 11 -213 authorizes the DMV commissioner to contract with independent contractors to provide programs and services on DMV's behalf. The contracts must specify that the contractors may charge DMV customers a reasonable service fee. The commissioner must set the fee.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

PA 11-213 also requires the commissioner to study alternatives for the performance of certain DMV functions, such as privatization, on-line services, and off-site locations for renewal of non-commercial driver's licenses and registrations. She must report her findings and recommendations to the Transportation Committee by January 11, 2012.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

DISTRACTED DRIVING

Increased Fines for Cell Phone Law Violations

PA 11-213 increases fines for using a cell phone or texting while driving and applies them to other distracted driving violations. The fine for a first violation increases from $100 to $125. The fines for second and subsequent violations jump from $150 to $250 and from $200 to $400, respectively.

Prior law imposed a maximum $100 fine, regardless of the number of offenses, for driving while using a hand-held or hands-free cell phone or mobile electronic device when (1) the vehicle being operated was a school bus carrying passengers or (2) the vehicle operator was under age 18. The act subjects these violators to the above fines. It also applies these fines to drivers who text while driving a commercial motor vehicle or engage in distracted driving.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

DRIVING SCHOOLS AND INSTRUCTORS

Driving School Operators and Driving Instructors

PA 11-213 makes it a class B misdemeanor to operate a driving school or teach people to drive, for pay, without the appropriate licenses. A violation is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in prison, or both.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

DRIVER'S LICENSES

Language Requirements

PA 11-213 allows the commissioner to give the knowledge portion of the driver's test for a noncommercial license in any form she deems appropriate, including in written, electronic, or audio form. She must give the test in English, Spanish, and in any language spoken at home by at least 1% of the state's population, based on the most recent U. S. census.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Marijuana Decriminalization 

PA 11-71 requires a 60-day suspension of the driver's license of anyone under age 21 who is convicted of a (1) violation for possessing less than one-half ounce of marijuana or (2) infraction for specified actions involving drug paraphernalia when they relate to less than one-half ounce of marijuana.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

State Residents on Active Military Duty

PA 11-213 allows a state resident in the U. S. Armed Forces stationed outside the U.S. on active military duty to get a driver's license or non-driver's ID

card if he or she (1) does not have, or surrenders, a license or ID card from another state, U.S. territory, or possession; (2) has a current Army Post Office or Fleet Post Office mailing address; (3) designates DMV's central office as his or her home address; and (4) meets all other requirements for getting a license or ID card.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Photos Required of Drivers Age 65 and older

PA 11-213 eliminates the DMV commissioner's ability to waive the requirement that a driver's license for people age 65 or older include a photograph. Federal law requires state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards to include the license or card holder's photograph to be

accepted for official purposes by a federal agency.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Special Operator's Permit

A special operator's permit allows a person whose license has been suspended to drive only for the limited purposes of going to and from work or an accredited higher education institution. Prior law allowed the commissioner to condition issuance of a special permit to drive to work on the driver operating only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. PA 11-213 also allows her to impose this condition when she issues a special permit for educational purposes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Vision Screening Program Eliminated

PA 11-48 eliminates a vision screening program for driver's license renewal applicants. Under prior law, the vision screening program was scheduled to begin July 1, 2011, and apply to every other renewal following an initial screening.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Second Knowledge Test for 16 and 17-Year-Old License Applicants Made Optional

PA 11-213 allows, rather than requires, DMV to administer a second written knowledge test to 16- and 17-year-old driver's license applicants. By law, these applicants must have already taken and passed a test on motor vehicles laws and the rules of the road to get a learner's permit, which they need to get a license.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Fees for Duplicate Licenses and ID Cards

Under prior law, the commissioner charged $30 for each duplicate of a driver's license. PA 11-6 also requires her to charge $30 for each duplicate of a non-driver ID card. But it requires her to charge only $5 for one duplicate license or ID card issued to a license or card holder when he or she turns 21 years old.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

Ignition Interlocks

PA 11-48 and PA 11-51 reduce the period of license suspension for motorists convicted for a first or second time of driving under the influence (DUI) to 45 days, but require as a condition of restoring a license that offenders install a functioning, approved ignition interlock device on each vehicle they own or operate and drive only vehicles with such a device for specified periods of time. Prior law required use of an ignition interlock following a license suspension for a second offense, but not for a first offense.

The acts specify that certain cost, supervision, installation, use, and other ignition interlock provisions apply only to motorists convicted of DUI whose licenses are suspended on or after January 1, 2012. But it allows the DMV commissioner, at the request of anyone convicted of DUI whose license is under suspension on that date, to reduce the suspension, and instead require him or her to drive only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device for the remainder of the suspension period.

Prior law required anyone whose license has been suspended for DUI or for two or more administrative per se suspensions to take a DMV-approved substance abuse treatment program in order to have his or her license reinstated. The act eliminates this program.

By law, motorists convicted of DUI are subject to imprisonment, a fine, and suspension of their

Driver's licenses. The table below shows the DUI suspension period penalties under prior law and the act. (By law, a person's license is permanently revoked for a third DUI violation.)

Table 2: DUI Suspension Periods

DUI Violation

Suspension under Prior Law

Suspension under the Act

First

One year

45 days, followed by one year driving only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device

Second (under age 21)

Three years or until driver turns 21, whichever is longer, followed by two years of driving only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device

45 days or until driver turns 21, whichever is longer, followed by three years of driving only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device

Second (age 21 or older)

One year, followed by two years of driving only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device

45 days, followed by three years of driving only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2012

HANDICAPPED PLACARDS

Eliminating New License Plates for People with Disabilities

Starting October 1, 2011, PA 11-213 eliminates the DMV commissioner's authority to issue new special license plates for those people eligible for handicapped placards, except for these individuals with motorcycles. But it allows the commissioner to accept renewal applications for plates issued before that date. The commissioner must still issue removable windshield placards for these individuals. An eligible individual with a motorcycle registration may also obtain a removable windshield placard.

EFFECTIVE Date: October 1, 2011

MOTORCYCLES

Motorcycles Allowed on the Wilbur Cross Parkway

PA 11-256 allows motorcycles and other non-commercial vehicles other than automobiles to use the Wilbur Cross Parkway.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Written Motorcycle Test

PA 11-213 requires an applicant who has successfully completed the motorcycle training course, but has not obtained a motorcycle training permit, to pass a test (other than the driving skills test) demonstrating to DMV's satisfaction that he or she is a proper person to operate a motorcycle, knows enough about it to operate it safely, and has satisfactory knowledge of the law concerning motorcycles, other motor vehicles, and the rules of the road. PA 10-53 had eliminated this requirement.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

MOTOR VEHICLE EMISSIONS

Extending Emissions System Restoration Period

The law requires car owners to maintain their vehicle's emissions control system in good working order and prohibits them from rendering the system inoperable. Prior law allowed the commissioner to revoke the registration of anyone who did not restore the system to operating condition within 30 days after the commissioner notified him or her of a violation. PA 11-213 doubles, to 60 days, the time the car owner has to restore the system to working order.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Emissions Re-Inspection Late Fee

By law, the commissioner may impose a $20 late fee on anyone who does not have his or her vehicle inspected within 30 days after the end of its assigned inspection or re-inspection period. But the law also allows anyone whose vehicle fails its initial emissions test to return within 60 days for a free re-inspection.

The act conforms the grace period for a re-inspection to the 60-day period for a free re-inspection by extending to 60 days the length of time someone may have a vehicle re-inspected following a test failure. It imposes the $20 late fee after this 60-day period expires.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Dealers Barred From Selling Vehicles that Do Not Meet Emissions Standards

PA 11-213 prohibits licensed new and used motor vehicle dealers and licensed repairers and limited repairers from selling a motor vehicle that does not meet state emissions standards and has not passed an emissions inspection. A violation is an infraction, with a $50 fine for a first offense.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

MOTOR VEHICLE FEES

PA 11-6 imposes a $25 late fee for drivers who fail to renew a driver's license or commercial driver's license (CDL) on time and increases a number of DMV fees, including those for driver's licenses, CDLs, and motor vehicle registrations, as shown in the table below.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Table 3: Motor Vehicle Fees

Fee

Statutory Citation

Prior Law

The Act

Driver's License

14-41 (b)

$44 (4-year license)

$66 (6-year license)

$11 (per year, or part of a year)

$48 (4-year license)

$72 (6-year license)

$12 (per year, or part of a year)

Driver's License (Late Fee)

14-41 (c)

None

$25

CDL

14-44h (b)

$15/year or part of a year

$17. 50/year or part of a year

CDL Late Fee

14-44h (b)

None

$25

Registration-Passenger Vehicle

14-49 (a)

$75 (biennial)

$80 (biennial)

Registration- Passenger Vehicle, age 65 and over

14-49 (a)

$38/one year

$75/biennial

$40/one year

$80/biennial

Registration – special number plates

14-49 (a)

$75/biennial

$80/biennial

Registration-Motorcycle

14-49 (b)

$40/biennial

$56/with attached sidecar or box used for commercial purposes

$42/biennial

$60/with attached sidecar or box used for commercial purposes

Registration-Taxi, Livery

14-49 (c)

$250/biennial

$266/biennial

Registration-Motor Bus

14-49 (d)

$53

$56

Registration – Multi-state motor buses

14-49 (d)

$39, in addition to $1. 25/hundredweight

$42, in addition to $1. 25/hundred- weight

Registration – Combination Passenger

14-49 (e)

$83/biennial

$88/biennial

Registration – Type I School Bus

14-49 (e)

$100

$107

Registration – Type II School Bus

14-49 (e)

$60

$64

Registration – Passenger, combination plate, more than 10 passengers, or pick-up under 12,500 lbs not used for commercial purposes

14-49 (e)

$13/biennial in addition to fee charged for commercial registration under 14-47

$14/biennial in addition to fee charged for commercial registration under 14-47

Registration – Electric motor vehicle

14-49 (f)

$18

$19

Registration – Motorcycles owned by dealer

14-49 (g)

$35

$37

Registration – minimum fee for commercial vehicle w/o pneumatic tires

14-49 (h)

$56

$60

Transfer of registration

14-49 (i)

$20

$21

Registration - Hearse

14-49 (k)

$35

$37

Registration – Truck used within Industrial Plant

14-49 (l)

$28

$30

Registration – Camping Trailer

14-49 (m) (1)

$18

$19

Registration – Heavy Duty Trailer, Crane etc.

14-49 (m) (2)

$306

$326

Temporary Registration, non-commercial

14-49 (n)

$20/10-day period

$21/10-day period

Temporary Registration – Commercial Vehicle, less than 6,000 lbs.

14-49 (n)

$25/10-day period

$27/10-day period

Temporary Registration – Commercial Vehicle, more than 6,000 lbs.

14-49 (n)

$46/10-day period

$49/10-day period

Registration – Service Bus, transporting for free

14-49 (p)

$200/biennial (16 or fewer passengers)

$700/biennial (more than 16 passengers)

$213/biennial (16 or fewer passengers

$747/biennial (more than 16 passengers)

Registration – Service Buses, owned by nonprofit charitable org. used exclusively for org. purposes

14-49 (p)

$150/biennial (16 or fewer passengers)

$500/biennial (more than 16 passengers

$160/biennial (16 or fewer passengers)

$533/biennial (more than 16 passengers)

Registration – Farm vehicles

14-49 (q)

$28 /biennial

$30/biennial

Special Number Plate Fee

14-49 (s)

$65

$69

Registration - Camper

14-49 (t)

$70/biennial

$75/biennial

Learner's Permit Renewal

14- 49 (v)

$18

$19

Motorcycle Training Permit Renewal

14- 49 (v)

$15

$16

Registration – High Mileage Vehicle

14-49 (x)

$44

$47

Special Use Registration, less than 30 days

14-49 (y)

$20

$21

Commercial registration, tractor w/pneumatic tires

14-47 (b)

$44 minimum

$47 minimum

Registration – artesian well drilling equipment

14-47 (c)

$46

$49

Registration – vehicle w/wood saw or spraying rigs

14-47 (d)

$25

$27

Registration – misc. commercial vehicles

14-47(e)

$56 minimum

$60 minimum

MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION

Penalty for Failing to Register a Motor Vehicle

By law, someone has 60 days from the time he or she takes up residence in the state to change his or her out-of-state registration to a Connecticut registration. PA 11-6 increases, from between $150 and $300 to $1,000, the fine for a Connecticut resident who operates his or her motor vehicle in violation of this requirement. The act requires the fine to be remitted to the municipality in which the violation occurred, rather than the Special Transportation Fund, and makes related changes.

The act exempts everyone from the fine before January 1, 2012. It also exempts from any fine, interest, or penalties any Connecticut resident who registers a motor vehicle with out-of-state plates before January 1, 2012. Any taxes owed on the vehicle are due upon registration.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

RAIL AND BUS LINES

New Haven Line Fare Increases

PA 11-61 postpones, for two years, scheduled fare increases on the New Haven line. Under prior law, fares for trips starting or ending in the state were to increase by 1.25% in calendar year 2010 and by 1% in each subsequent year, through 2016. (The 2010 and 2011 increases did not take effect.) The act instead increases, from 1% to 1.25%, the fare increase scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2012 and extends the subsequent 1% increases through 2018.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

DOT Fare Changes

PA 11-61 allows DOT to change the fares it charges for mass transportation without going through the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act's regulatory process. Instead, DOT must follow a specific procedure before changing a fare. By law, mass transportation includes rail and bus services. In practice, fares are currently set in statute or through the budget process.

Under the act, DOT must provide notice of a proposed fare change, the amount of the change, and the date it is proposed to take effect, by advertising in at least one newspaper that circulates in the area of the state that may be affected by the change. This notice, which must run at least once, must provide the time and place a public hearing will be held on the proposed change; the hearing must be held at a time and place convenient to the public. The notice must appear at least 15 days before the hearing.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Niantic Rail Station Study

PA 11-256 requires DOT to immediately begin studying the feasibility of establishing a passenger train station in Niantic. The study must examine all steps needed to establish the station. It must include an estimate of the time and funding required for the completion of each step and a projected date to complete the station. DOT must use existing budgetary resources for the study and submit a progress report to the Transportation Committee by February 15, 2012.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Railroad Crossings

PA 11-256 requires the DOT commissioner or his designee to attend a public hearing concerning the safety and condition of an at-grade railroad crossing on receiving a petition requesting his attendance signed by 25 or more voters in the municipality where the crossing is located.

EFFECTIVE DATE: upon passage

SCHOOL BUSES

Video Camera Monitoring Systems for School Buses

By law, drivers must stop at least 10 feet from a school bus displaying flashing red signal lights. Police must issue a warning or summons on receiving a bus driver's written report of a violation. PA 11-255 allows towns and school boards to install cameras on school buses to record motor vehicles that violate this law, requires police to issue a summons based on the recorded images, and allows the images to be used as evidence against vehicle owners.

It fixes the fine for first-time violators at $450 and requires that municipalities receive 80% of the fine revenue.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Moving More Quickly to Remove School Bus Drivers with Suspended Licenses

PA 11-213 requires school bus operators to remove a driver from a school bus within 48 hours, rather than 10 days, after learning that the DMV has suspended or revoked his or her license or school bus endorsement. By law, school districts or school bus operators who fail to do so are subject to a civil penalty of $2,500 for the first violation and $5,000 for each subsequent violation.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Barring School Buses from Driving in Extreme Left Lane

PA 11-213 bars school buses, except in limited circumstances, from driving in the far left lane of designated sections of certain limited access highways. A violation is an infraction, punishable by an $88 fine.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Exempting Certain New School Buses from the First Annual Inspection Following Their Registration

By law and regulation DMV must inspect each new school bus before it is registered and at least once in each school year. PA 11-130 exempts any new school bus (1) registered between August 1 and the start of the school year immediately following and (2) that has already been inspected, from further inspection until September of the next year. For example, a school bus registered August 15, 2011 and inspected before that date is exempt from regular annual inspections until September 2012.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

STATE TRAFFIC COMMISSION (STC)

STC Certificate Exemptions

PA 11-256 exempts certain developments from the requirement to obtain an STC certificate for large traffic generators that affect state highways. Under prior law, a certificate was needed when a development (1) had an entrance or exit on or near a state highway or (2) substantially affected traffic on a state highway. The act eliminates the requirement for a certificate if a development has an entrance or exit on or near a state highway but does not substantially affect traffic on the highway. It also specifies that it is STC that determines whether a development substantially affects traffic on a state highway.

The exemption includes a development to be built in phases, without regard to when such phases are approved by the municipal planning and zoning agency or other responsible municipal agency. The act exempts any development that contains a total of 100 or fewer residential units if it is a residential-only development and is not part of a mixed-use development that contains office, retail, or other such nonresidential uses. If any future development increases the total number of residential units to more than 100 and such total substantially affects state highway traffic within the state as determined by the STC, a certificate is required.

The act also eliminates a provision that allows the STC to postpone, until a municipal planning and zoning or other municipal agency approves an application, action on a certificate to create additional parking spaces or to build a large traffic generating development by combining individual parcels of land. Thus the STC must issue the certificate within 120 days

after the request is filed unless the decision is tolled because the STC needs additional information before making a decision.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Installing Stop Signs

PA 11-256 allows various state agencies and institutions to install stop signs with STC approval.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

TAXES

Luxury Goods Tax

PA 11-6 imposes a 7% sales and use tax on the full sales price of motor vehicles costing more than $50,000, with certain exceptions, and boats costing more than $100,000. It excludes from the luxury tax any motor vehicle costing more than $50,000 that (1) is purchased by an active duty U. S. military member stationed in Connecticut, (2) weighs over 12,500 pounds, or (3) weighs 12,500 pounds or less and is designed or used for commercial purposes and for which the DMV issued a commercial or more specific type of registration.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Rental Car Tax

PA 11-6 increases the sales and use tax on short-term car rentals (30 days or less) from 6% to 9.35%.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Sales & Use Tax Extensions

PA 11-6 subjects to the sales tax airport valet parking and motor vehicle storage, including storage for motor homes, campers, and camp trailers, but excluding self-storage units, which are already taxable; motor vehicle towing and road services, other than repairs; and intrastate transportation by limousine, community car, or van with a driver, excluding taxis, buses, ambulances, scheduled public transportation, and funerals (PA 11-61 excludes additional types of transportation services.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011, and applicable to sales on or after that date.

Diesel Fuel Tax

PA 11-6 increases the base tax on diesel fuel from 26 cents to 29 cents per gallon. It imposes a three-cent inventory tax on each gallon of diesel that licensed sellers have in inventory as of either the close of business or 11: 59 p. m. on June 30, 2011, whichever is earlier. It requires dealers, by August 1, 2011, to (1) report to the DRS commissioner the number of gallons of fuel they had in inventory at that time and (2) pay the inventory tax.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The tax increase is effective July 1, 2011. The inventory tax is effective upon passage.

Sale of Used Motor Vehicles Containing Tax-Exempt Special Equipment

PA 11-61 exempts from the sales and use tax any part of the sale price of a vehicle that has special equipment for the exclusive use of a person with physical disabilities already installed, if the vehicle is sold to such a person.

By law, the sale of special equipment to be installed in a motor vehicle for the exclusive use of a person with physical disabilities is exempt from the sales and use tax. This act also exempts the part of the sale price attributable to such special equipment when a vehicle with the equipment already installed is sold, either privately or by a dealer, for exclusive use by a person with physical disabilities. It requires the dealer to collect the sales tax, or the private buyer to pay the use tax, on the price of the vehicle alone.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage and applicable to all open tax periods.

TRAFFIC SAFETY

Driver Retraining Program and Multiple Moving Violations

By law, DMV can require a driver who commits a certain number of specific moving or suspension violations to attend a four-hour driver retraining program. PA 11-213 adds to these moving violations, among others, obstructing emergency vehicles, violations of the cell phone law, and violations of laws that require, among other things, drivers to give right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks and to obey school crossing guards.

Under the act, anyone required to attend the retraining program must have the requirement and completion date posted on his or her driving record. The date of course completion must remain on the record until the driver has completed 36 consecutive months without any subsequent moving or suspension violations. If the driver commits such a violation before the 36 months expire, the commissioner must suspend his or her license for 30 days. If he or she commits a second violation within the 36-month period, the commissioner must suspend the license for 60 days. The commissioner must suspend the license for 90 days for each subsequent conviction within the 36-month period.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Following An Ambulance Too Closely

PA 11-256 prohibits anyone operating a motor vehicle other than an emergency vehicle from following less than 100 feet behind an ambulance that is using flashing lights or a siren. Violators are subject to a $50 fine.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Municipal Construction Zones

PA 11-256 extends the law that doubles the fine for speeding or committing other moving offenses in a state highway construction zone to construction zones on municipal roads. It imposes the same signage requirements and liability protections for the municipal work zones as apply to state highway work zones.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Snow and Ice Removal

Under prior law, starting December 31, 2013, the driver of any vehicle would have been required to remove any accumulated ice or snow from the vehicle, so that the accumulation did not pose a threat to persons or property while it was being driven on a street or highway. PA 11-256 advances the effective date of these provisions to October 1, 2011 for noncommercial vehicles. It retains the December 31, 2013, date for commercial vehicles.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Highway Safety Programs

PA 11-256 requires the governor to:

1. do all things necessary or convenient on the state's behalf to secure all benefits available under the federal Highway Safety Act,

2. designate DOT to administer the highway safety program and coordinate highway safety activities in the state, and

3. communicate with the federal government regarding the state highway safety program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

MISCELLANEOUS

Transportation Strategy Board Eliminated

PA 11-61 eliminates the Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) and makes conforming changes but retains the board's projects account, which funds TSB projects, within the Special Transportation Fund. It also retains the TSB projects enumerated by law (e.g., building or expanding certain rail stations) and the five Transportation Investment Areas.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Motor Vehicle Violator Payments to Towns

PA 11-6 increases, from $10 to $15, the fee paid in addition to a fine by people who violate certain motor vehicle laws and regulations, including speeding, traveling unreasonably fast, reckless driving, and DUI. By law, the state must remit this money to the municipalities in which the violations occur.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Highway Names and Sign Installation

PA 11-256 names various roads and highways and requires signs to be installed in various locations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Demolition Waiting Period

Under prior law, any town, city, or borough could adopt an ordinance imposing a waiting period of up to 180 days before granting a demolition permit. PA 11-256 eliminates this authority in cases where DOT needs the

permit to remove a structure it has acquired for a transportation project.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Connecticut Brewery Trail

PA 11-227 allows the DOT to permit directional and other official signs or notices about facilities where Connecticut beer is made or sold, including signs or notices containing the words “Connecticut Brewery Trail.” It allows private persons or entities affiliated with Connecticut-made beer manufacturers or sellers to pay for the design and production of these signs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Utility Repairs to Highways

PA 11-80 requires utilities that cut and permanently patch a public highway in the course of repairs or installations to, one year after the permanent patch is made (1) inspect the patch, (2) make any additional repairs as may be necessary, and (3) certify to the municipality where it is located that it meets generally accepted standards of repair. A municipality may, by vote of its legislative body, elect not to enforce these requirements.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

Municipal Liability for Recreational Use of Land

PA 11-211 limits the liability of municipalities, other political subdivisions of the state, municipal corporations, special districts, and water or sewer districts that make certain types of land available to the public without charge for recreational purposes. Under the act, these entities, unlike other landowners, remain liable regarding certain structures, fields, or roads on such entities' land. Specifically, the act's liability limitation does not apply to paved, public, through roads that are open to the public for the operation of four-wheeled private passenger cars.

For all landowners (not just municipalities and the other entities listed above), the act adds bicycling to the non-exclusive list of recreational purposes for which the landowner may make the land available to the public and enjoy limited liability.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011

Job Creation and Habitat Restoration

By law, DMV issues special Long Island Sound commemorative number plates to enhance public awareness of efforts to restore and protect the Sound. PA 11-246 authorizes the commissioner to request an additional $15 voluntary donation when a motorist renews one of these number plates. Ten dollars of every $15 donation must be placed in a habitat restoration matching subaccount, which the act creates. The subaccount is to be administered by the environmental protection commissioner. DMV may use the remaining $5 for its administrative costs.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

Illegal Use of Dyed Diesel Fuel

Federal law exempts diesel fuel used for certain non-highway purposes from federal fuel taxes and requires exempt diesel fuel to be dyed red so it can be identified.

PA 11-61 imposes a fine of up to $1,000 on anyone who uses dyed diesel fuel in a motor vehicle, other than a passenger or combined passenger-commercial vehicle, on a public highway. The penalty does not apply to those who use dyed diesel fuel under federal law or regulation. It imposes the same penalty on anyone who refuses to allow an authorized state official to inspect such a vehicle's fuel tank upon request.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

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