CHAPTER 13

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 67

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND

SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 2

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTERS 27 AND 41 OF TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE PERTAINING TO TOLL EVASION.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (two-thirds of all members elected to each house thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Amend Section 2733(a), Title 21, of the Delaware Code, by creating a new subsection "(8)" thereof, to read as follows:

"Has violated Section 4129 of this title based upon notification of such violation provided by the Department of Transportation to the Department. However, no suspension of driving privileges shall take place if the toll(s), administrative fee and civil penalty has been paid prior to the hearing required under subsection (b) of this Section."

Section 2. Amend Chapter 41, Title 21, of the Delaware Code, by adding a new section, as follows:

"Section 4129. Civil Penalty for Evasion of Tolls.

(a) In addition to the provisions of Section 4127 of this Chapter, any person who refuses to pay, evades or attempts to evade the payment of a toll in connection with the use of the Delaware Turnpike and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway and any other State toll road shall be liable for the payment of one toll, a $25.00 administrative fee, and for a civil penalty of $25 per violation payable to the Department of Transportation or its designee.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (d) hereof, an owner of a vehicle shall be jointly and severally liable for failure of an operator thereof to comply with the provisions of subsection (a). 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 provisions of this Section, and such violation is evidenced by information obtained from visual observation, video surveillance device or other method of identifying the vehicle; provided, however, that no owner of a vehicle shall be liable where the operator of the vehicle has been identified and charged with a violation of this Section for the same incident.

(c) In the event of nonpayment of the proper toll, as evidenced by visual observation, a video surveillance device or other method of identifying the vehicle, the Department of Transportation or its designee may send an advisory and payment request to the owner of the vehicle by regular mail at the address of record with the Division of Motor Vehicles, or, if applicable, the licensing authority of another jurisdiction, providing the owner with the opportunity to resolve the matter prior to the issuance of a summons and complaint that charges a violation of this Section. The advisory and payment request shall contain sufficient information to inform the owner of the nature, date, time and location of the alleged violation. In addition to the payment of the proper toll, the Department of Transportation may require as part of the advisory and payment request that the owner pay a reasonable administrative fee of $25 to the entity processing the violation. If the owner fails to pay the required toll and fee, the owner shall be subject to liability on the 31st day following the date of the violation, for the violation of this Section by the vehicle owner or operator.

(d) An owner of a vehicle who is a lessor of a vehicle operated in violation of this Section shall not be liable for such violation if the lessor submits a copy of the rental, lease, or other contract document covering that vehicle, on the date of the violation, with the name and address of the lessee dearly legible, to the Department of Transportation or its designee, within ten (10) days of the receipt of the notice of violation. Failure to provide such information in the timeframe required, shall render the lessor liable for the penalty prescribed by this Section, Where the lessor complies with the provisions of this subsection, the lessee of such vehicle shall be deemed the owner of the vehicle for the purposes of this Section and shall be subject to liability for the violation hereunder, as if the lessee were the owner and/or operator at the time of the violation."

Section 3. Amend §4127(a), Title 21, Delaware Code by inserting between "Turnpike" and "except" the phrase ", the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway or any other State toll road."

Approved April 7, 1997