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OCR for page 19
19 · Different metrics used: At present, there is no formal, stan- courts, use of collection agencies, placing property liens, dard industry metric for determining and reporting toll credit reporting, driver's license or license plate holds, and leakage, and a number of agencies use more than one met- vehicle impounding. ric. These metrics can be based on total annual transactions, · Criminal offense: Failure to pay may result in charges of total annual revenues, or some combination of these param- theft with restitution required. eters. Even if some toll agencies use the same metric, there is · Administrative fees: Failure to pay may result in additional considerable variability in how the formulas are calculated. administrative fees. This can lead to different conclusions with respect to total toll leakage as well as creating an incentive for smoothing the The main differences between civil and criminal enforce- results. ment typically are the costs of administration relative to the level of deterrence desired or needed. Specifically, civil enforce- 2.2.7 Administrative Fees and ment is less expensive to administer and offers greater control Criminalization of Toll Violations in processing violations, but it may provide less of a deterrent to violations. Examples of toll facilities that use civil enforce- Toll-violation enforcement is a significant issue for all toll- ment include the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and the collection methods. There is a direct correlation between the Orange County Transportation Authority. type of toll-collection method used and the type of violation Criminal enforcement is a stronger deterrent against toll enforcement measures that should be considered and installed. violations because of the possibility of the imposition of larger This correlation relates to the ability to prevent violations and fines and possible imprisonment. However, criminal enforce- to collect payments from violators. Enforcement activities ment may be more expensive to administer and more difficult are either undertaken in-house or are contracted out to third to coordinate since it involves prosecution under criminal court party (public) agencies. Issues related to violation enforcement proceedings. Criminal enforcement requires coordination with include (i) the physical detection and prevention of toll vio- police authorities, courts, and prosecutors. From a cost per- lations and (ii) the prosecution and accountability of toll spective, a toll agency would need to determine if the costs of violators using legal methods. the desired enforcement mechanism are reasonable given the projected return in revenues and fees. Examples of toll agen- Detection and Prevention cies that use criminal enforcement are the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and Detection and prevention of toll violations can be under- the Harris County Toll Road Authority in Texas. taken using the following methods: In either circumstance, civil or criminal, unless specifically · Gates: Gates will not open until payment is registered. prohibited, the state always retains (or should reserve) the right · Toll attendant observation: An attendant records the license to pursue the collection of fees and penalties owed to it through plate number of the vehicle that he or she observed not pay- all available means, including withholding privileges adminis- ing. Information is logged on paper or electronically and is tered by the state such as vehicle registration. Whether toll data cross-referenced against motor vehicle records to determine are subject to legal proceedings and can be released to outside vehicle ownership. parties (e.g., those involved in non-highway criminal, civil, or · Camera/video enforcement system: A picture of the license matrimonial issues) depends on the existing statutes within plate is taken if the system fails to record an ETC or cash each state. Generally, state public information or open records payment associated with that vehicle. The license plate is laws require the release of information that a governmental cross-referenced against motor vehicle records to determine entity collects or that is retained on its behalf. Because elec- vehicle ownership. tronic tolling requires the collection of personal information · Police/law enforcement: Police observe nonpayment and (name, address, phone number, credit card, vehicle descrip- pursue violator. tion, license plate, etc.), states have amended their statutes to prevent the unauthorized release of this information and to limit release to certain circumstances. This can include court Accountability and Prosecution order, toll enforcement, and the investigation of a felony Toll violators can be made accountable for their actions offense. The retention of personal data is typically limited to using the following legal methods: only the period necessary to collect outstanding toll and fee amounts due to the agency. · Traffic offense: Failure to pay may result in traffic citation. With the increase in the number of electronic toll facilities · Civil offense: Failure to pay may result in collection efforts, around the country, the collection of personal data has gener- including sending notices of nonpayment, filings in civil ally had a limited impact on user acceptance. Ease of travel has