§ 46.2-819.5

Enforcement through use of photo-monitoring system or automatic vehicle identification system in conjunction with usage of Dulles Access Highway

A. A photo-monitoring system or automatic vehicle identification system established at locations along the Dulles Access Highway, in order to identify vehicles that are using the Dulles Access Highway in violation of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Authority) regulation regarding usage, which makes violations of the regulation subject to civil penalties, shall be administered in accordance with this section. The civil penalties for violations of such regulation may not exceed the following: $ 50 for the first violation; $ 100 for a second violation within one year from the first violation; $ 250 for a third violation within two years from the second violation; and $ 500 for a fourth and any subsequent violation within three years from the second violation. In the event a violation of the Authority regulation is identified via the photo-monitoring system or automatic vehicle identification system, the operator of the Dulles Access Highway shall send a notice of the violation, of the applicable civil penalty and of any administrative fee calculated in accordance with subsection C to the registered owner of the vehicle identified by the system prior to seeking further remedies under this section. Upon receipt of the notice, the registered owner of the vehicle may elect to avoid any action by the operator to enforce the violation in court by waiving his right to a court hearing, pleading guilty to the violation, and paying a reduced civil penalty along with any applicable administrative fee to the operator. Should the recipient of the notice make such an election, the amount of the reduced civil penalty shall be as follows: $ 30 for the first violation; $ 50 for a second violation within one year from the first violation; $ 125 for a third violation within two years from the second violation; and $ 250 for a fourth and any subsequent violations within three years from the second violation.

B. Information collected by the photo-monitoring system or automatic vehicle identification system referenced in subsection A shall be limited exclusively to that information that is necessary for identifying those drivers who improperly use the Dulles Access Highway in violation of the Authority regulation. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all photographs, microphotographs, electronic images, or other data collected by a photo-monitoring system or automatic vehicle identification system shall be used exclusively for the identification of violators and shall not (i) be open to the public; (ii) be sold or used for sales, solicitation, or marketing purposes; (iii) be disclosed to any other entity except as may be necessary for the identification of violators or to a vehicle owner or operator as part of a challenge to the imposition of a civil penalty; or (iv) be used in a court in a pending action or proceeding unless the action or proceeding relates to a violation of the Authority regulation governing usage of the Dulles Access Highway or upon order from a court of competent jurisdiction. Information collected by the system shall be protected in a database with security comparable to that of the Department of Motor Vehicles’ system, and be purged and not retained later than 30 days after the collection and reconciliation of any civil penalties and administrative fees. The operator of the Dulles Access Highway shall annually certify compliance with this subsection and make all records pertaining to such system available for inspection and audit by the Commissioner of Highways or the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles or their designee. Any violation of this subsection shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor. In addition to any fines or other penalties provided for by law, any money or other thing of value obtained as a result of a violation of this subsection shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth.

C. The operator of the Dulles Access Highway may impose and collect an administrative fee, in addition to the civil penalty established by regulation, so as to recover the expenses of collecting the civil penalty, which administrative fee shall be reasonably related to the actual cost of collecting the civil penalty and shall not exceed $ 100 per violation. Such fee shall not be levied upon the operator of the vehicle until a second violation has been documented within 12 months of an initial violation, in which case the fee shall apply to such second violation and to any additional violation occurring thereafter. If the recipient of the notice referenced in subsection A makes the election provided by that subsection, the administrative fee shall not exceed $ 25.

D. If the election provided for in subsection A is not made, the operator of the Dulles Access Highway may proceed to enforce the violation in court. If the matter proceeds to court, the registered owner or operator of a vehicle shall be liable for the civil penalty set out in the Authority regulation governing usage of the Dulles Access Highway, any applicable administrative fees calculated in accordance with subsection C and applicable court costs if the vehicle is found, as evidenced by information obtained from a photo-monitoring system or automatic vehicle identification system as provided in this section, to have used the Dulles Access Highway in violation of the Authority regulation; provided, that the civil penalty may not exceed the amount of the penalty identified in subsection A.

E. Any action under this section shall be brought in the General District Court of the county in which the violation occurred.

F. Proof of a violation of the Authority regulation governing the use of the Dulles Access Highway shall be evidenced by information obtained from the photo-monitoring system or automatic vehicle identification system referenced in subsection A. A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by a technician employed or authorized by the operator of the Dulles Access Highway, or a facsimile of such a certificate, that is based on inspection of photographs, microphotographs, videotapes, or other recorded images or electronic data produced by the photo-monitoring system shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. Any photographs, microphotographs, videotape, or other recorded images or electronic data evidencing such a violation shall be available for inspection in any proceeding to adjudicate the liability for such violation under this section.

G. A summons issued under this section, which describes a vehicle that, on the basis of a certificate referenced in subsection F, is alleged to have been operated in violation of the Authority regulation governing usage of the Dulles Access Highway, shall be prima facie evidence that such vehicle was operated in violation of the Authority regulation.

H. Upon a finding by a court that the vehicle described in the summons issued under this section was in violation of the Authority regulation, the court shall impose a civil penalty upon the registered owner or operator of such vehicle in accordance with the penalty amounts specified in subsection D, together with any applicable court costs and applicable administrative fees calculated in accordance with subsection C. Civil penalties and administrative fees assessed as a result of an action initiated under this section and collected by the court shall be remanded by the clerk of the court that adjudicated the action to the treasurer or director of finance of the county or city in which the violation occurred for payment to the operator of the Dulles Access Highway.The registered owner of a vehicle shall be given reasonable notice of an enforcement action in court by way of a summons that informs the owner that his vehicle has been used in violation of the Authority regulation governing the use of the Dulles Access Highway and of the time and place of the court hearing, as well as of the civil penalty and court costs for the violation. Upon the filing of an affidavit with the court at least 14 days prior to the hearing date by the registered owner of the vehicle stating that he was not the driver of the vehicle on the date of the violation and providing the legal name and address of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the violation, a summons shall be issued to such alleged operator of the vehicle.In any action against such a vehicle operator, an affidavit made by the registered owner providing the name and address of the vehicle operator at the time of the violation shall constitute prima facie evidence that the person named in the affidavit was operating the vehicle at all the relevant times relating to the matter addressed in the affidavit.If the registered owner of the vehicle produces a certified copy of a police report showing that the vehicle had been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time of the alleged offense and remained stolen at the time of the alleged offense, then the court shall dismiss the summons issued to the registered owner of the vehicle.

I. Upon a finding by a court that a person has three or more violations of the Authority regulation governing the use of the Dulles Access Highway and has failed to pay the required civil penalties, administrative fees and court costs into the court, the court shall notify the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, who shall refuse to issue or renew any vehicle registration certificate to or for such person or the license plate for the vehicle owned by such person until the court has notified the Commissioner that such civil penalties, fees, and costs have been paid. The Commissioner shall collect a $ 40 administrative fee from such person to defray the cost of responding to court notices given pursuant to this subsection.

J. For purposes of this section, “operator of the Dulles Access Highway” means the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; “owner” means the registered owner of a vehicle on record with the Department of Motor Vehicles; “photo-monitoring system” means equipment that produces one or more photographs, microphotographs, videotapes, or other recorded images of vehicles at the time they are used or operated in violation of the Authority regulation governing the use of the Dulles Access Highway; “automatic vehicle identification system” means an electronic vehicle identification system that automatically produces an electronic record of each vehicle equipped with an automatic vehicle identification device that uses monitored portions of the Dulles Access Highway; and “automatic vehicle identification device” means an electronic device that communicates by wireless transmission with an automatic vehicle identification system.

K. Any vehicle rental or vehicle leasing company, if named in a summons, shall be released as a party to the action if it provides the operator of the Dulles Access Highway with a copy of the vehicle rental agreement or lease, or an affidavit that identifies the renter or lessee, prior to the date of hearing set forth in the summons. Upon receipt of such rental agreement, lease, or affidavit, a summons shall be issued to such renter or lessee. Release of this information shall not be deemed a violation of any provision of the Government Data Collection and Dissemination Practices Act (§ 2.2-3800 et seq.) or the Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act (§ 38.2-600 et seq.). In any action against the renter or lessee, a copy of the vehicle rental agreement, lease, or affidavit identifying the renter or lessee of the vehicle at the time of the violation shall be prima facie evidence that the person named in the rental agreement, lease, or affidavit was operating the vehicle at all the relevant times relating to the matter named in the summons.

L. Imposition of a civil penalty pursuant to this section shall not be deemed a conviction as an operator and shall not be made a part of the driving record of the person upon whom such civil penalty is imposed, nor shall it be used for insurance purposes in the provision of motor vehicle insurance coverage. The provisions of § 46.2-395 shall not be applicable to any civil penalty, administrative fee, or cost imposed or ordered paid under this section.

M. On a form prescribed by the Supreme Court, a summons for a violation of the Authority regulation governing the use of the Dulles Access Highway may be executed pursuant to § 19.2-76.2. The operator of the Dulles Access Highway or its personnel or agents mailing such summons shall be considered conservators of the peace for the sole and limited purpose of mailing such summons. Pursuant to § 19.2-76.2, the summons for a violation of the Authority regulation governing usage of the Dulles Access Highway may be executed by mailing by first-class mail a copy thereof to the address of the owner of the vehicle as shown on the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles or, if the registered owner or rental or leasing company has named and provided a valid address for the operator of the vehicle at the time of the violation as provided in this section, to the address of such named operator of the vehicle. If the summoned person fails to appear on the date of return set out in the summons mailed pursuant to this section, the summons shall be executed in the manner set out in § 19.2-76.3.

N. The operator of the Dulles Access Highway may enter into an agreement with the Department of Motor Vehicles, in accordance with the provisions of subdivision B 21 of § 46.2-208, to obtain vehicle owner information regarding the registered owners of vehicles that improperly use the Dulles Access Highway. Information provided to the operator of the Dulles Access Highway shall only be used in the enforcement of the Authority regulation governing use of the Dulles Access Highway, and the operator shall be subject to the same conditions and penalties regarding release of the information as contained in subsection B.

O. Should other vehicle recognition technology become available that is appropriate to be used for the purpose of monitoring improper usage of the Dulles Access Highway, the operator of the Dulles Access Highway shall be permitted to use any such technology that has been approved for use by the Virginia State Police, the Commonwealth of Virginia, or any of its localities.

P. All civil penalties paid to the operator of the Dulles Access Highway pursuant to this section shall be used by the operator of the Dulles Access Highway only for the operation and improvement of the Dulles Corridor, including the Dulles Toll Road.

History

2010, cc. 813, 865.

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