HIGHWAY REGULATION, PROTECTION AND CONTROL REGULATIONS
236:31 Evasion of Tolls and Charges.
I. For purposes of this section:
(a) "Department" means the department of transportation.
(b) "Driver" means driver as defined in RSA 259:25.
(c) "Electronic toll collection" means the collection of tolls or charges by electronically transmitting information from a device to receiving equipment located in a toll lane, in order to charge 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.
(e) "License" means license as defined in RSA 259:48.
(f) "Owner" means owner as defined in RSA 259:72.
(g) "Pay" means the transfer of funds in cash or by instructions to a financial service allowing withdrawal by debit or credit to an account maintained to satisfy the obligation to pay a toll or charge established by law for use of a highway or bridge in this state.
(h) "Violation" means to fail, neglect, or refuse to pay the toll or charge for the use of a bridge, highway, or part thereof, by a motor vehicle.
(i) "Toll collection system" means a system for collecting tolls or charges, including but not limited to cash 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.
II. No person shall fail, neglect, or refuse to pay the toll or charge for the use of any bridge, highway, or part thereof; or use, or attempt to use, any device or method which results in a toll collection monitoring system being unable to accurately assess or collect the toll or charge due or to detect the non-payment of the toll or charge. Any person violating this section shall be subject to the provisions of this section and to an order of suspension pursuant to RSA 263:56-f.
III. The owner of a vehicle using a bridge or highway subject to a toll or charge shall be responsible for payment of the toll and charges due, plus any administrative fees the department assesses in accordance with its rules, and to an order of suspension under RSA 263:56-f, unless:
(a) The vehicle was taken without owner's consent, pursuant to RSA 262:12, or was a stolen vehicle at the time of the violation and the owner provides to the department, or its designee, upon receipt of notice of a violation of this section, a copy of a report of the unauthorized taking or theft made to a law enforcement agency; or
(b) The vehicle was leased or rented to another person, and the owner submits to the department, or its designee, a copy of the rental agreement, lease, or other contract document covering the vehicle on the date of the violation with the name and address of the renter or lessee clearly legible; at which time the renter or lessee of the vehicle on the date of the violation shall be deemed to be the owner of the vehicle for the purposes of this section, and shall be subject to the notice and order of suspension under RSA 263:56-f.
IV. Notwithstanding RSA 237:16-d, the department shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A for the implementation of a system to detect, record, verify, and administratively enforce violations of this section, or collect payment when there is no cash payment option in the toll lanes. The rules shall include:
(a) The criteria used to establish that a toll or charge has not been paid.
(b) A procedure to promptly resolve inadvertent violations in the accounts of electronic toll customers otherwise in good standing.
(c) A procedure for processing all other violations of this section, which shall require the department, or its designee, to send by regular mail, or other agreed upon method, an advisory and payment request to the owner of the vehicle, within 60 days of the date of the violation. The advisory and payment request shall notify the owner of the date, time, and location of the alleged violation, give the owner the opportunity to resolve the alleged violation by payment of the toll or charge due and a reasonable administrative fee, and advise the owner that failure to pay the required toll or charge and administrative fee shall cause the department to file a report with the department of safety, division of motor vehicles, seeking an order of suspension pursuant to RSA 263:56-f.
(d) A schedule of administrative fees to be imposed upon those who violate this section. Such administrative fees shall be set from time to time in an amount sufficient to permit the department to fully recover its costs, and the costs incurred by the department of safety, to administer, maintain, and upgrade the violation enforcement system. All funds received under this section shall be deposited in the turnpike fund. The department of transportation may, with the approval of the fiscal committee of the general court and the governor and council, draw from the turnpike fund to administer the toll collection system.
V. Any toll collection monitoring equipment acquired, operated by, or used by the department, or its designee, shall be designed to make a record of the front, or rear, or both, portions of the vehicle, including any registration plates affixed to the vehicle. Such equipment shall not be designed to produce a photograph, microphotograph, videotape, or other recorded image of the face of the operator or any passenger in the motor vehicle, unless the production of such image is unavoidable because the operator or passenger is not in a passenger compartment, as on a motorcycle.
VI. (a) The department, and any designee of the department, shall maintain the confidentiality of all information acquired in connection with the administration and enforcement of toll evasion, including but not limited to credit and account data, photographs or other images, and all personally identifying information obtained relative to owners of vehicles. Such information shall not be a public record subject to disclosure under RSA 91-A and shall be used solely for enforcement of this section.
(b) The department, or any agent that has contracted with the department to gather, collect, maintain, store, or collate any information acquired in connection with the administration and enforcement of toll collection, shall not use, share, reveal, duplicate, sell, provide access to, or by any other means use, or allow other entities to use, such information.
(c) The department may use an agent or third party contractor, including but not limited to collection agencies, to pursue and collect tolls and fees from users of the turnpike system whose vehicles are registered outside the United States.
VII. The transponders and the monitoring system used in a toll collection system shall not be used to track or determine the location of a vehicle or be used to collect information, including but not limited to the name, street address, post office box number, license, or billing information, about the individual and vehicle associated with the transponder, except at each point where a toll is collected or incurred.
VIII. Nothing in this section shall prevent access to the data collected in the administration and enforcement of toll collection by a certified law enforcement officer conducting an investigation undertaken pursuant to a court order, or in exigent circumstances.
IX. The information and data referred to in this section shall not include any motor vehicle records obtained from the department of safety pursuant to RSA 260:14, III-a or RSA 260:14, III-c, whose use and release shall be in strict accordance with RSA 260:14.
Source. RSA 249:30-a. 1957, 40:1. 1973, 531:76. 1981, 87:1. 2004, 241:1. 2007, 286:1, eff. Sept. 1, 2007. 2013, 186:1-8, eff. Aug. 31, 2013. 2015, 242:1, eff. Sept. 11, 2015. 2019, 312:1, 2, eff. Oct. 1, 2019. 2020, 33:19, 20, eff. Sept. 22, 2020.