Bill S7593-2013

Relates to liability of vehicle owners for toll collection violations

Relates to liability of vehicle owners for toll collection violations.

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  • May 15, 2014: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

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BILL NUMBER:S7593

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, the vehicle and traffic law and chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to agreeing with the state of New Jersey with respect to rules and regulations governing traffic on vehicular crossings operated by the port of New York authority, in relation to liability of vehicle owners for toll collection violations

PURPOSE: To increase the fines associated with violations of toll collection regulations.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Designates section 2985 of title 11 of article 9 of the public authorities law as title 11-A with the heading "TOLL COLLECTIONS".

Section 2 Amends subdivision 1 of section 2985 of the public authorities law to provide that monetary liability for failure to comply with toll collection regulations shall be imposed on the owner of a vehicle only.

Section 3. Amends subdivision 5 of section 2985 of the public authorities law to provide that a vehicle owner shall be liable for the full amount of the assessed tolls and other charges and fees, in addition to monetary penalties. This section also increases the monetary penalties as follows: from $50 to $100 for a first violation; from $100 to $200 for a second violation within an 18 month period; and from $150 to $300 for a third and subsequent violation within an 18 month period.

Section 4. Amends paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 7 of section 2985 of the public authorities law to provide that a notice of liability shall be sent to the owner of a vehicle alleged to have violated toll collection regulations no later than sixty days after the alleged violation. This section also requires such notice to additionally include the state of the vehicle's registration, the locations, dates and times of the alleged violation, and the amount of the assessed toll and other charges and fees.

Section 5. Amends subdivision 8 of section 2985 of the public authorities law to require that one half the amount of the assessed tolls, the full amount of other charges and fees and one-half of the monetary penalty be paid to the public authority whose toll collection regulations were violated, with the remaining half amount of the assessed tolls deposited into the highway and bridge capital account of the dedicated highway and bridge trust fund.

Section 6. Makes a technical amendment to subdivision 10 of section 2985 of the public authorities law.

Section 7 Adds two new subdivisions 15 and 16 to section 2985 of the public authorities law to authorize and empower a public authority that operates a toll highway, bridge or tunnel facility to impose an administrative fee or fees on an owner, an operator or an account holder that has violated toll collection regulation, and to allow for

any required notices to be sent, with consent, by electronic means of communication, respectively.

Section 8 Amends paragraph b of subdivision 2 of section 240 of the vehicle and traffic law to impose a preponderance of evidence standard upon proceedings relating to violations of toll collection regulations.

Section 9. Adds a new subdivision 11 to section 1209-a of the public authorities law to allow any for required notice to be sent, with consent, by electronic means of communication

Section 10. Amends section 2 of chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to provide that the obligation to pay tolls and other charges is incurred at the time of entry into or use of the particular vehicular crossing.

Section 11. Makes technical amendments to section 16-a of chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Section 12. Amends subdivision d of section 16-b of chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to provide that: a notice of liability for a violation of toll collection regulations shall be sent no later than sixty after the alleged violation; such notices may be sent, with consent, by electronic means of communication; and that such notice shall additionally include the state of the vehicle's registration, the locations, dates and times of the alleged violation, and the amount of the assessed toll and other charges and fees

Section 13. Amends section 16-c of chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, to provide that a vehicle owner shall be liable for the full amount of the assessed tolls and other charges and fees, in addition to monetary penalties. This section also increases the monetary penalties as follows: from $50 to $100 for a first violation; from $100 to $200 for a second violation within an 18 month period; and from $150 to $300 for a third and subsequent violation within an 18 month period.

Section 14. Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill would strengthen the ability of New York's four authorities that operate toll facilities-the Thruway Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Bridge Authority, and the Port Authority-to effectively manage and enforce the collection of tolls throughout the State. Toll violators cost the tolling authorities tens of millions of dollars each year, and the current law is outdated and ineffective in enforcing against persistent violators. Some persistent violators owe in excess of $100,000 in tolls and fees.

Current law provides for a progressive series of fines for those accumulating toll collection offenses. However, none of the fine money, not even the amount of the toll evaded, goes back to the affected public authority. Providing one half of the monetary penalties to the affected public authority will help to make the public authority whole and offset the costs incurred in addressing

these types of violations. By increasing the existing fines, there will be no impact on the entities that currently receive the fine money. In addition, there is currently no mechanism in law for a public authority to recover the actual toil lost due to toll evasion. This bill would allow public authorities to recover these funds by making restitution in these cases mandatory.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7593 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, the vehicle and traffic law and chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to agreeing with the state of New Jersey with respect to rules and regulations governing traffic on vehicular crossings operated by the port of New York authority, in relation to liability of vehicle owners for toll collection violations THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 2985 of the public authorities law is designated title 11-A and a new title heading is added to read as follows: TOLL COLLECTIONS S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 2985 of the public authorities law, as added by chapter 379 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, every public authority which operates a toll highway bridge and/or tunnel facility is hereby authorized and empowered to impose monetary liability on the owner of a vehicle for failure [of an operator thereof] to comply with the toll collection regulations of such public authority in accordance with the provisions of this section. S 3. Subdivision 5 of section 2985 of the public authorities law, as added by chapter 379 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: 5. An owner found liable for a violation of toll collection regu- lations pursuant to this section shall for a first violation thereof be liable for THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS AND OTHER CHARGES AND FEES IN ADDITION TO a monetary penalty not to exceed [fifty] ONE HUNDRED dollars or two times the toll evaded whichever is greater; for a second violation thereof both within eighteen months be liable for THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS AND OTHER CHARGES AND FEES IN ADDITION TO a monetary penalty not to exceed [one] TWO hundred dollars or five times the toll evaded whichever is greater; for a third or subsequent violation thereof all within eighteen months be liable for THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS AND OTHER CHARGES AND FEES IN ADDITION TO a
monetary penalty not to exceed [one] THREE hundred [fifty] dollars or ten times the toll evaded whichever is greater. S 4. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 7 of section 2985 of the public authorities law, as added by chapter 379 of the laws of 1992, are amended to read as follows: (a) A notice of liability shall be sent by first class mail to each person alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation of toll collection regulations. Such notice shall be mailed no later than [thir- ty] SIXTY days after the alleged violation. Personal delivery on the owner shall not be required. A manual or automatic record of mailing prepared in the ordinary course of business shall be prima facie evidence of the mailing of the notice. (b) A notice of liability shall contain the name and address of the person alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation of toll collection regulations pursuant to this section, the registration number AND STATE OF REGISTRATION of the vehicle involved in such violation, the [location where such violation took place, the date and time] LOCATIONS, DATES AND TIMES of such violation, THE AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS AND OTHER CHARGES AND FEES, and the identification number of the photo-moni- toring system which recorded the violation or other document locator number. S 5. Subdivision 8 of section 2985 of the public authorities law, as added by chapter 379 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: 8. Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners by this section shall be by the entity having jurisdiction over violations of the rules and regulations of the public authority serving the notice of liability or where authorized by an administrative tribunal and all violations shall be heard and determined in the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred, or in New York city and upon the consent of both parties, in any county within New York city in which the public authority operates or maintains a facility, and in the same manner as charges of other regulatory violations of such public authority or pursuant to the rules and regulations of such administrative tribunal as the case may be. THE ENTITY OR ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL THAT ADJUDICATES LIABILITY FOR A VIOLATION SHALL COLLECT THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS AND OTHER CHARGES AND FEES IN ADDITION TO THE MONETARY PENALTY OWED, AND SHALL PAY TO THE PUBLIC AUTHORITY WHOSE TOLL COLLECTION REGU- LATIONS WERE VIOLATED THE HALF AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS, FULL AMOUNT OF OTHER CHARGES AND FEES AND ONE-HALF OF THE MONETARY PENALTY, AND DEPOSIT REMAINING HALF AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS INTO THE HIGHWAY AND BRIDGE CAPITAL ACCOUNT OF THE DEDICATED HIGHWAY AND BRIDGE TRUST FUND ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION EIGHTY-NINE-B OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW. S 6. Subdivision 10 of section 2985 of the public authorities law, as amended by chapter 666 of the laws of 1993, is amended to read as follows: 10. An owner who is a lessor of a vehicle to which a notice of liabil- ity was issued pursuant to subdivision seven of this section shall not be liable for the violation of the toll collection regulation provided that he or she sends to the public authority serving the notice of liability and to the court or other entity having jurisdiction a copy of the rental, lease or other such contract document covering such vehicle on the date of the violation, with the name and address of the lessee clearly legible, within thirty days after receiving [the original] notice of liability. Failure to send such information within such thirty day time period shall render the lessor liable for the penalty prescribed by this section. Where the lessor complies with the
provisions of this subdivision, the lessee of such vehicle on the date of such violation shall be deemed to be the owner of such vehicle for purposes of this section and shall be subject to liability for the violation of toll collection regulations, provided that the public authority mails a notice of liability to the lessee within ten days after the court, or other entity having jurisdiction, deems the lessee to be the owner. For purposes of this subdivision the term "lessor" shall mean any person, corporation, firm, partnership, agency, associ- ation or organization engaged in the business of renting or leasing vehicles to any lessee under a rental agreement, lease or otherwise wherein the said lessee has the exclusive use of said vehicle for any period of time. For purposes of this subdivision, the term "lessee" shall mean any person, corporation, firm, partnership, agency, associ- ation or organization that rents, leases or contracts for the use of one or more vehicles and has exclusive use thereof for any period of time. S 7. Section 2985 of the public authorities law is amended by adding two new subdivisions 15 and 16 to read as follows: 15. IN ADDITION TO ANY MONETARY LIABILITY THAT MAY BE IMPOSED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, A PUBLIC AUTHORITY THAT OPERATES A TOLL HIGHWAY, BRIDGE OR TUNNEL FACILITY IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED AND EMPOWERED TO IMPOSE AN ADMINISTRATIVE FEE OR FEES ON AN OWNER, AN OPERATOR OR AN ACCOUNT HOLDER THAT HAS VIOLATED TOLL COLLECTION REGULATIONS. 16. ANY NOTICE REQUIRED TO BE SENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION BY FIRST CLASS MAIL MAY INSTEAD BE SENT, WITH CONSENT, BY ELECTRONIC MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. A MANUAL OR AUTOMATIC RECORD OF ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PREPARED IN THE ORDINARY COURSE OF BUSINESS SHALL BE ADEQUATE EVIDENCE OF ELECTRONIC NOTICE. S 8. Paragraph b of subdivision 2 of section 240 of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 715 of the laws of 1972, is amended to read as follows: b. No charge may be established except upon proof by substantial evidence; EXCEPT THAT FOR AN ALLEGATION OF LIABILITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION TWO THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW OR SECTIONS SIXTEEN-A, SIXTEEN-B AND SIXTEEN-C OF CHAPTER SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-FOUR OF THE LAWS OF NINETEEN HUNDRED FIFTY, NO CHARGE MAY BE ESTABLISHED EXCEPT UPON PROOF BY PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE AS SUBMITTED. S 9. Section 1209-a of the public authorities law is amended by adding a new subdivision 11 to read as follows: 11. NOTICE. ANY NOTICE OR COMMUNICATION REQUIRED TO BE SENT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION BY REGISTERED MAIL OR CERTIFIED MAIL MAY INSTEAD BE SENT BY FIRST CLASS MAIL OR, WITH CONSENT, BY ELECTRONIC MEANS OF COMMUNI- CATION. S 10. Section 2 of chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to agree- ing with the state of New Jersey with respect to rules and regulations governing traffic on vehicular crossings operated by the port of New York authority, is amended to read as follows: S 2. No traffic shall be permitted in or upon vehicular crossings except upon the payment of such tolls and other charges as may from time to time be prescribed by the port authority. It is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person to refuse to pay, or to evade or to attempt to evade the payment of such tolls or other charges. THE OBLIGATION TO PAY SUCH TOLLS AND OTHER CHARGES IS INCURRED AT THE TIME OF ENTRY INTO OR USE OF THE PARTICULAR VEHICULAR CROSSING. S 11. Section 16-a of chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to agreeing with the state of New Jersey with respect to rules and regu-
lations governing traffic on vehicular crossings operated by the port of New York authority, as added by chapter 379 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: S 16-a. Owner liability for failure of operator to comply with toll collection regulations of the port authority. Notwithstanding any other provision of law and in accordance with the provisions of [section] SECTIONS 16-b AND 16-C of this act, an owner of a vehicle may be held liable for failure of an operator thereof to comply with the toll collection regulations of the port authority of New York and New Jersey (hereinafter called port authority). The owner of a vehicle shall be liable pursuant to this section if such vehicle was used or operated with the permission of the owner, express or implied, in violation of the toll collection regulations of the port authority, and such violation is evidenced by information obtained from a photo-monitoring system, provided, however, that no owner of a vehicle shall be liable where the operator of such vehicle has been convicted of a violation of those toll collection regulations for the same incident. S 12. Subdivision d of section 16-b of chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to agreeing with the state of New Jersey with respect to rules and regulations governing traffic on vehicular crossings operated by the port of New York authority, as added by chapter 379 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: d. (i) A notice of liability shall be sent by first class mail OR, WITH CONSENT, BY ELECTRONIC MEANS OF COMMUNICATION to each person alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation pursuant to this section of the toll collection regulations of the port authority. Such notice shall be [mailed] SENT no later than [thirty] SIXTY days after the alleged violation. Personal delivery on the owner shall not be required. A manual or automatic record of [mailing] SENDING THE NOTICE prepared in the ordinary course of business shall be prima facie evidence of the [mailing] SENDING of the notice. (ii) A notice of liability shall contain the name and address of the person alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation of the toll collection regulations of the port authority pursuant to this section, the registration number AND STATE OF REGISTRATION of the vehicle involved in such violation, the [location where such violation took place, the date and time] LOCATIONS, DATES AND TIMES THAT FORM THE BASIS of such violation, THE AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS AND OTHER CHARGES and the identification number of the photo-monitoring system which recorded the violation or other document locator number. (iii) The notice of liability shall contain information advising the person charged of the manner and the time in which he may contest the liability alleged in the notice. Such notice of liability shall also contain a warning to advise the persons charged that failure to contest in the manner and time provided shall be deemed an admission of liabil- ity and that a default judgment may be entered thereon. (iv) The notice of liability shall be prepared and [mailed] SENT by the port authority or its duly authorized agent. S 13. Section 16-c of chapter 774 of the laws of 1950, relating to agreeing with the state of New Jersey with respect to rules and regu- lations governing traffic on vehicular crossings operated by the port of New York authority, as added by chapter 379 of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows: S 16-c. Adjudication of liability. Adjudication of the liability imposed upon an owner by section 16-a of this act for a violation of the toll collection regulations of the port authority occurring within the
territorial limits of the state of New York shall be in accordance with the vehicle and traffic law of New York as set forth in sections 235, 236, 237, 239, 240, 241, 401, 510 and 1809 of such law, or by such enti- ty having jurisdiction over violations of the toll collection regu- lations of the port authority occurring within the territorial limits of the state of New York, provided that all violations shall be heard and determined in the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred, or by consent of both parties, OR in any county in the state of New York in which the port authority operates or maintains a facili- ty. An owner found liable for a violation of toll collection regu- lations pursuant to this section shall for a first violation thereof be liable for THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLL AND OTHER CHARGES AND FEES IN ADDITION TO a monetary penalty not to exceed [fifty] ONE HUNDRED dollars or two times the toll evaded whichever is greater; for a second violation thereof both within eighteen months be liable for THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLL AND OTHER CHARGES AND FEES IN ADDITION TO a monetary penalty not to exceed [one] TWO hundred dollars or five times the toll evaded whichever is greater; for a third or subsequent violation thereof all within eighteen months be liable for THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLL AND OTHER CHARGES AND FEES IN ADDITION TO a monetary penalty not to exceed [one] THREE hundred [fifty] dollars or ten times the toll evaded whichever is greater. THE HALF AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS, AND THE FULL AMOUNT OF OTHER CHARGES AND FEES AND ONE-HALF OF SUCH MONETARY PENALTIES COLLECTED SHALL BE PAID TO THE PORT AUTHORITY; THE REMAINING HALF OF SUCH MONETARY PENALTIES COLLECTED SHALL BE RETAINED OR DISTRIBUTED BY THE TRIBUNAL OR ENTITY ADJUDICATING THE VIOLATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH EXISTING LAW; AND THE REMAINING HALF AMOUNT OF THE ASSESSED TOLLS SHALL BE DEPOSITED INTO THE HIGHWAY AND BRIDGE CAPITAL ACCOUNT OF THE DEDICATED HIGHWAY AND BRIDGE TRUST FUND ESTAB- LISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION EIGHTY-NINE-B OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW. S 14. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.

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