Revision: June 4, 2019, 8:34 a.m.
SB 240-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
SENATE BILL 240-FN
SPONSORS: Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Rep. B. Griffin, Hills. 6; Rep. Major, Rock. 14; Rep. Southworth, Straf. 20
This bill clarifies certain language in the law concerning the collection of electronic tolls on highways. The bill also provides the enforcement procedures for reciprocal collection agreements with other states.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
8May2019... 1705h 19-1000
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
(c) "Electronic toll collection" means the collection of tolls or charges by electronically transmitting information from a device [on a motor vehicle] to receiving equipment located in a toll [collection facility] lane, in order to charge [a valid electronic toll account holder] the appropriate toll or charge for use of the highway or bridge.
(d) "Toll collection monitoring system" means a system that produces at least one photograph, microphotograph, videotape, recorded image, or written record of a portion of the vehicle when the vehicle is used or operated contrary to the toll collection system rules or when there is no cash option[ in the toll lanes].
(i) "Toll collection system" means a system for collecting tolls or charges, including but not limited to cash [and] or electronic or image-based tolls or charges in a toll lane, for the use of the highway or bridge.
(j) "Toll lane" means an electronic and/or cash lane, or an electronic lane with no cash option.
236:31-a Failure to Pay a Highway Toll. Any person [passing through a toll facility or] using any toll lane [of a toll facility] that is not equipped with a toll collection monitoring system who fails, neglects, or refuses to pay the toll or charge for the use of any bridge, highway, or part thereof shall have an image taken of the vehicle registration plate and be subject to the provisions of RSA 236:31.
236:31-b Failure to Pay a Highway Toll. Any person who fails, neglects, or refuses to pay the toll or charge for the use of any bridge, highway, or part thereof, or utilizes a toll [facility] lane that is equipped with a toll collection monitoring system without having an E-Z Pass transponder mounted on the vehicle, shall have an image taken of the vehicle registration plate and be subject to the provisions of RSA 236:31. When a full cash payment is made at the tollbooth, and the vehicle exits the toll booth, the image (i) shall not be retained for more than 3 seconds, after which it shall be irretrievably destroyed, and no record of the image or its destruction shall be kept; (ii) shall not be made available or disclosed to any individual, person, entity, or government or any component thereof; and (iii) shall not be subject to a subpoena or any administrative or court order.
237:16-a Definitions. In this subdivision:
I. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the department of transportation.
II. "Department" means the department of transportation.
III. "[Electronic] Interagency toll collection system" means a system for electronically transmitting information from a device [on a vehicle] to receiving equipment in a toll [collection facility] lane, which information is used to charge a valid account holder the appropriate toll or charge for use of the turnpike system.
IV. "E-Z Pass" means a regional system of electronic toll collection operated by the members of the E-Z Pass Interagency Group, or when the context requires, means the registered service mark "E-Z Pass."
V. "Interagency group" means the agencies of this or any other state that have mutually agreed to operate the E-Z Pass regional [electronic] interagency toll collection system by use of similar practices, procedures, and toll collection equipment.
VI. ["Vehicle" means every device in, upon or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks] "Toll lane" means electronic and/or cash lanes, or electronic lanes with no cash option.
237:16-b Regional [Electronic] Interagency Toll Collection Authorized. The commissioner is hereby authorized to execute all documents and perform all other acts necessary to enter into and carry out the provisions of a regional [electronic] interagency toll collection system agreement with the Interagency Group in order to increase the efficiency of turnpike operation and to improve traffic management in the state and region.
IV. The commissioner may enter into discussions with other state jurisdictions to create reciprocal agreements for the enforcement and collection of tolls and administrative fees due [under the E-Z Pass system]. The departments of transportation and safety may release driver's and owner's information to other jurisdictions for the purpose of enforcement or collection of tolls and may take such other action as is necessary to effectuate the reciprocal toll collection enforcement agreements.
V. For effective toll collection enforcement, the department of transportation and the department of safety may accept a request from another state to deny registration renewal privileges for a vehicle registration plate in accordance with RSA 263:56-f for unpaid tolls incurred in the other state, provided that the other state represents that the request is in keeping with criteria for denial of registration renewal privileges as set forth in the states’ respective reciprocal toll collection enforcement agreement. Any costs incurred for the implementation of software to effectuate reciprocal toll collection enforcement agreements shall be reimbursed from the turnpike fund.
I. Upon receiving a report from the commissioner of the department of transportation or designee, or another state having a reciprocal toll collection enforcement agreement, that the owner of a vehicle, as defined in RSA 236:31, has violated the terms of RSA 236:31, or a reciprocal toll collection enforcement agreement in accordance with RSA 237:16-c, the director shall notify the owner in writing by first class mail that the owner's motor vehicle registration renewal privileges may be suspended on the date which is 30 days from the date of notification unless the toll and any administrative fees assessed by the department of transportation are paid. The director shall also notify the owner that he or she may request an administrative hearing before the suspension takes effect. The hearing shall be limited in scope and shall not constitute an appeal of the fees or fines related to the unpaid tolls, which can only be determined by the department of transportation. A request for a hearing shall be in writing. A request for a hearing received by the division more than 30 days from the date the notice is issued shall be denied as untimely.
II.(a) The director shall, pursuant to RSA 541-A, adopt by rule, a uniform administrative fine schedule for [violations] suspension of registration renewal privileges and reinstatement of those privileges. The fine for each suspension of registration renewal privileges requested by the commissioner of transportation shall not exceed:
(1) $250 for a first requested suspension.
(2) $500 for a second offense within a 12-month period from the time of the first requested suspension.
(3) $1,000 for a third or subsequent offense within a 12-month period from the time of the first requested suspension.
(b) The commissioner of safety, in proven cases of hardship or for other good cause, may suspend all or part of any administrative fine for reinstatement of registration renewal privileges so imposed. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, all administrative fines collected under this section shall be deposited into the [turnpike] highway fund.
SB 240-FN- FISCAL NOTE
AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE (AMENDMENT #2019-1705h)
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
At Least $363,250
At Least $73,000
At Least $76,000
At Least $78,000
[ ] General [ ] Education [ X ] Highway [ X ] Other - Turnpike Fund and *Restricted Cost of Collections
*Pursuant to Part II, article 6-a of the New Hampshire constitution, any costs associated with the collection and administration of Highway Funds by the Department of Safety shall be deducted by the Department before such funds are credited to the Highway Fund as unrestricted revenue.
This bill authorizes the Department of Transportation and the Department of Safety to share vehicle registration information with other states as necessary to enforce reciprocal toll collection and to deny registration renewal for certain vehicles due to unpaid tolls incurred in another state. Currently, New Hampshire holds reciprocal agreements with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of Maine and utilizes holds on motor vehicle registrations to increase toll collections. The Department of Transportation states this bill would allow them to enter into agreements with other states, including: Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New York. The Department reports the current number of turnpike customers eligible for holds in these states is low relative to Massachusetts and Maine, but the Department anticipates the number of customers to increase as “All Electronic Tolling” is implemented in FY 2021. Estimated new collections as result of these agreements are as follows:
77 Percent of Tolls Due
18 Percent of Fines Due
Estimated New Collections
Note: the Department of Transportation assumes 77 percent of unpaid tolls and 18 percent of unpaid administrative fines would be collected based on current collection percentages for Massachusetts and Maine customers.
The Department reports the need to hire an additional employee to handle the additional customers eligible for holds as a result of this bill.
Estimated New Position
Program Assistant II (LG 15, Step 1)
The Department of Safety reports this bill would require significant programming changes to the Department’s MAAP system to allow interfacing with other states at an initial cost of $173,250. For each state added to the system, the cost per state is estimated to be $21,000 in testing and integration procedures. Therefore, under the assumption New Hampshire interfaces with Massachusetts and Maine who currently hold reciprocity agreement with New Hampshire but lack systems integration and four additional northeastern states with customers eligible for collections, the system programming costs would be $299,250 ($173,250 + $126,000). Depending on the number of transactions to process, the Department estimates an annual cost of at least $10,000 in material and postage expenditures to send notifications of suspensions and possibly the need to hire staff to maintain the current processing speeds. This bill as amended requires the estimated $299,250 in software changes necessary to implement reciprocal toll collection enforcement to be reimbursed from the Turnpike Fund. Therefore, the Department expenses paid from the restricted costs of collections account would be the material and postage expenditures and any expenditures utilized to hire more staff to maintain processing speeds.
This bill also deposits the administrative fines due to the suspension of registration renewal privileges and reinstatement of those privileges, as a result of evading the toll collection system, into the highway fund instead of the turnpike fund. The Department of Transportation estimates this provision of the bill would result in $40,000 being deposited to the highway fund instead of the turnpike fund each year.
Department of Transportation and Department of Safety