Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 6058

January Session, 2017

 

LCO No. 5433

 

*05433HB06058TRA*

Referred to Committee on TRANSPORTATION

 

Introduced by:

 

(TRA)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRONIC TOLLS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (Effective from passage) As used in this section and sections 2 to 8, inclusive, of this act:

(1) "Electronic tolling system" means an electronic system for recording, monitoring, collecting and paying for tolls on the highways of this state, including, but not limited to, transponders or other electronic transaction or payment technology devices or video toll transaction systems;

(2) "Department" means the Department of Transportation; and

(3) "Toll operator" means a private entity that operates an electronic tolling system whose duties may include, but need not be limited to, collecting tolls, administrative charges and penalties.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The department may construct, maintain and operate electronic tolling systems. The department may operate such electronic tolling systems or contract with a toll operator to operate such systems.

(b) To carry out its duties and responsibilities under this section and sections 3 to 8, inclusive, of this act, and any regulations adopted under section 7 of this act, the department may enter into coordination agreements, intergovernmental agreements or other implementation agreements with the United States or any of its agencies and any other state or municipal entity or agency.

(c) The department may retain and expend funds for technical, traffic, revenue, financial, legal and other consultants and experts to assist in the development and implementation of electronic tolling systems.

(d) The department may procure, retain and expend funds for toll operators, vendors, suppliers, designers, engineers, software designers, installers, contractors, maintenance personnel, back-office and customer service personnel, collections, enforcement and for other equipment, materials, personnel and services in order to assist in the development and implementation of electronic tolling systems.

(e) (1) The department and the Department of Motor Vehicles may enter into reciprocal agreements with other states, jurisdictions and operators of toll facilities in other states that will enable said departments to obtain and share with said departments and any toll operator information regarding an out-of-state registered owner of a vehicle that has used a tolled highway, including the make of the vehicle, the vehicle's license plate and the name and address of the registered owner of the vehicle.

(2) The department and the Department of Motor Vehicles may enter into, or to cause the toll operator on behalf of such departments to enter into, reciprocal agreements with other states, jurisdictions and operators of toll facilities in other states allowing for additional enforcement mechanisms for the efficient collection of tolls incurred by residents of states other than this state.

(3) The department and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection may enter into an agreement with each other for the provision of law enforcement assistance by the state police on tolled highways that are not otherwise provided by the state police on state roads and highways. All law enforcement officers of the state and any political subdivision of the state shall have the same powers and jurisdiction within the limits of a tolled highway as they have in their respective areas of jurisdiction, including the roads and highways of this state.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The department may charge, collect, retain and fix the amount of all tolls for transit over or use of such highways, or portions thereof, as may be determined by the department. The department may retain and employ such assistance as may be necessary for the collection thereof.

(b) Toll amounts shall be fixed and changed by the department, so as to provide, at a minimum, funding that is sufficient to pay (1) costs related to certain highways in this state, including, but not limited to, the cost of owning, maintaining, repairing, reconstructing, improving, rehabilitating, using, administering, controlling and operating such highways; and (2) the principal of, redemption premium, if any, and interest on notes or bonds relating to certain highways, as such principal, premium or interest become due and payable, and to create and maintain reserves established for any of the department's highway and bridge responsibilities under titles 13a and 13b of the general statutes. Such sufficiency of funding may take into account the availability of funds from other sources.

(c) The department shall provide advance notice of the tolls that will be charged and the option for payment to motor vehicle operators before such operators enter a tolled highway, or portion thereof.

(d) Tolls established by the department under this section shall not be subject to supervision or regulation by any other commission, board, bureau, authority or agency of this state, or by any political subdivision of the state.

(e) All revenues received by the department from tolls shall be deposited into the Special Transportation Fund and shall not be commingled with other funds and revenues.

(f) Tolls shall not be subject to and shall be exempt from any sales, use, excise, gross receipts or any similar taxes.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) If an electronic tolling system uses a transponder or other electronic transaction or payment technology device, the device shall be located in or on the motor vehicle entering the tolling system in a manner prescribed by the department or toll operator and consistent with applicable law.

(b) All electronic tolling systems operated by the department or a toll operator shall be interoperable with all other electronic tolling systems in this state and shall otherwise comply with all state and federal interoperability requirements and standards. Such tolling system interoperability shall extend to system technology and the transfer of funds. The provisions of chapters 61 and 61b of the general statutes shall not apply to this subsection. The Commissioners of Transportation and Motor Vehicles shall consult with the Commissioner of Administrative Services to ensure coordination and compatibility of information system technology and data of any electronic tolling system.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective from passage) Prior to commencing construction of an electronic tolling system on any highway, or portion thereof, of this state, the department shall hold at least one public informational meeting in the general vicinity of the proposed toll location to receive comments on the proposed toll, methodology for setting and changing the tolls and user classifications.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The department shall develop and implement a privacy policy relating to any toll customer information and other data collected, received, maintained, archived, accessed and disclosed by the department to a toll operator.

(b) The department shall implement a privacy protocol to protect and appropriately limit access to toll customer information and other data collected, received, maintained and archived.

(c) Neither the department nor any toll operator shall sell or use any toll customer information or other data for commercial purposes unrelated to the charging, collection and enforcement of tolls, administrative fees and penalties.

(d) (1) Except as required by applicable law or in connection with an administrative or court proceeding, all information that specifically identifies a toll customer and relates to a specific tolling transaction shall be destroyed not later than one year after the later of the tolling transaction or collection of the toll, whether through normal processes or enforcement.

(2) Except as required by applicable law or in connection with an administrative or court proceeding, all information relating to a toll customer account that specifically identifies a toll customer shall be destroyed not later than one year after the collection of all tolls and fees incurred by such toll customer, whether through normal processes, enforcement or closing of such account.

(e) Toll customer data and information shall not be considered a public record under chapter 14 of the general statutes.

(f) Toll operators shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 62a of the general statutes.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The Commissioner of Transportation shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to carry out the provisions of sections 2 to 6, inclusive, of this act.

(b) Such regulations shall include, but need not be limited to: (1) Establishment of variable or dynamic toll rates that take into consideration the day of the week, level of congestion or anticipated congestions; (2) establishment of different fees based on the type of vehicle classification, size, weight, number of axles or vehicle occupancy; (3) establishment of reduced or discounted tolls for toll road users or classes of users registered in the state that are equipped with transponders or similar technology and have valid toll customer accounts with the department or the toll operator, as the case may be; (4) exemptions for police, emergency personnel responding to emergencies, state agency personnel using the tolled highways in the course of their employment, public transit vehicles and high- occupancy vehicles; (5) the imposition of surcharges, premiums or additional fees for designated users or classes of users of a tolled highway who travel on such highway without a valid transponder or similar technology; and (6) the imposition of administrative charges and penalties for late payment and toll evasion.

(c) Such regulations shall include: (1) Due process procedures that include notice, the right to challenge a toll and associated charges, the opportunity for a hearing, and a right to appeal; (2) procedures for enforcement of any administrative decision, which may include enforcement in the same manner as a judgment of the Superior Court, including execution, liens on assets and properties, wage garnishment or the right to seek, through the Department of Motor Vehicles or otherwise, the withholding of registration of motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers, the suspension of a driver's license and the immobilization, towing or impoundment of a vehicle and the manner and process by which such actions shall be resolved.

(d) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, consistent with its duties and responsibilities under sections 2 to 6, inclusive, of this act and shall coordinate and consult with the Commissioner of Transportation in the development of such regulations.

Sec. 8. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The department, after notice and hearing, may impose a civil penalty of not more than one hundred dollars for each violation of a provision of the regulations adopted pursuant to section 7 of this act on any of the following persons with respect to toll nonpayment, toll evasion and related fees imposed pursuant to sections 2 to 7, inclusive, of this act: (1) The operator of a motor vehicle on a tolled highway; (2) the registered owner of a motor vehicle operated on a tolled highway, if other than the operator, if such vehicle was used or operated with the express or implied permission of the registered owner at the time of the tolling transaction; (3) the lessee of a motor vehicle operated on a tolled highway, if other than the operator, if such vehicle was used or operated with the express or implied permission of the lessee at the time of the tolling transaction; and (4) the lessor of a motor vehicle operated on a tolled highway.

(b) A copy of the motor vehicle rental agreement, lease, other contract document or affidavit identifying the lessee of the motor vehicle at the time of the tolling transaction shall be prima facie evidence that the person named in the rental agreement, lease, other contract document or affidavit was operating the motor vehicle at all relevant times relating to the tolling transaction. A lessor shall cooperate with the department or the toll operator, as the case may be, in providing the department or toll operator any requested information concerning the lessee contained in the lessor's record.

(c) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall provide the department and any toll operator with the information necessary to collect tolls and enforce penalties for toll nonpayment, toll evasion or other toll-related violations, including, but not limited to, information regarding the registered owner of a motor vehicle that was operated on a tolled highway and the make of the motor vehicle, the motor vehicle's license plate and the address of the registered owner of the motor vehicle.

Sec. 9. (NEW) (Effective from passage) After the first year of toll operation on the highways of this state, the fuel tax, imposed under section 12-458 of the general statutes, shall be decreased by one cent each year for five years.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Sec. 2

from passage

New section

Sec. 3

from passage

New section

Sec. 4

from passage

New section

Sec. 5

from passage

New section

Sec. 6

from passage

New section

Sec. 7

from passage

New section

Sec. 8

from passage

New section

Sec. 9

from passage

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To allow the Department of Transportation to construct, maintain and operate electronic tolling systems on highways in this state.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

Co-Sponsors:

REP. GUERRERA, 29th Dist.

H.B. 6058