senate Bill S7593

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to liability of vehicle owners for toll collection violations

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  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
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May 15, 2014 referred to transportation

S7593 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Authorities Law
Laws Affected:
Desig §2985 to be Title 11-A, add Title Head, amd §§2985 & 1209-a, Pub Auth L; amd §240, V & T L; amd §§2, 16-a, 16-b & 16-c, Chap 774 of 1950

S7593 - Bill Texts

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Relates to liability of vehicle owners for toll collection violations.

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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.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7593

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15278-01-4

S. 7593                             2

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

S. 7593                             3

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-

S. 7593                             4

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

S. 7593                             5

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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