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Published on : Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels is set to strengthen toll evasion enforcement at its seven bridges and two tunnels in New York City. This plan aligns with a proposed New York State regulation to suspend the registrations of vehicles that repeatedly evade payment on toll crossings.
“New York’s transportation network relies on drivers paying their fair share and those who evade tolls put an unfair burden on other law-abiding motorists,” Governor Cuomo said. “This ramped up enforcement sends the message that these actions will not be tolerated and will keep those who ignore their responsibilities off our roadways.”
The MTA Bridges and Tunnels Committee today approved updating its regulations to incorporate the proposed new state regulation, including due process procedures and policies for vehicle owners to challenge or transfer toll violations before a $50 fee is levied, and to inform them that their registrations are at risk of suspension. The full MTA Board is scheduled to consider the revised regulations Wednesday.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles last month proposed a new regulation to permit suspending the registration of vehicles after their owners fail to pay five tolls, fees or other charges resulting from violations on different days within a period of 18 months, and ignore repeated notices to remedy the unpaid charges. Persistent violators will be required to pay the tolls and fees, or have the charges dismissed, in order to prevent the suspension of their registrations or to have their registrations reinstated. A 45-day public comment period on this proposed regulation ends January 4, 2016. All comments received will be taken into consideration before the regulations are formally adopted and implemented in April 2016.
Donald Spero, Acting President of MTA Bridges and Tunnels said, “More than 800,000 vehicles use our bridges and tunnels on an average weekday, and our customers have the right to expect that they all pay the proper toll. As more of our customers rely on E-ZPass and our Rockaways crossings move to all-electronic tolling, stronger enforcement of our toll policies will benefit every motorist at our bridges and tunnels.”
DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said, “New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law gives DMV the authority to suspend registrations for habitual and persistent violations of the law. This proposed regulation sends a message to toll evaders that avoiding tolls is a serious offense and is simply not worth it. DMV will continue to work with MTA Bridges and Tunnels and its tolling authority partners to hold evaders accountable.”
Bridges and Tunnels imposes a $50 administrative fee per violation for vehicle owners who fail to pay tolls through E-ZPass or via mailed invoices. Motorists who fail to pay are subject to the fee, plus the full undiscounted toll of the crossing. The proposal before the MTA Board provides procedures and information in violation notices for disputing toll violation and grounds for dismissal, the process for vehicle rental and leasing companies to transfer responsibility to renters and lessees, and warnings that violators may have their vehicle registrations suspended by the state.
The new proposal makes fair and predictable the procedures and policies for alleged toll evaders and strengthens enforcement by heightening the repercussions of toll evasion. If approved by the Board, the proposal begins a legal process to make the revisions following the same administrative process as the state regulation.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels bridges are the Robert F. Kennedy, Throgs Neck, Verrazano-Narrows, Bronx-Whitestone, Henry Hudson, Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial, and Cross Bay Veterans Memorial; its tunnels are the Hugh L. Carey and Queens Midtown.