Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 11. RULES OF THE ROAD [21000 - 23336]

  ( Division 11 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 13. Vehicular Crossings and Toll Highways [23250 - 23336]

  ( Heading of Chapter 13 amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 1241, Sec. 22. )

ARTICLE 3. Tolls and Other Charges [23300 - 23303]
  ( Article 3 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

23300.
  

The Department of Transportation shall erect appropriate signs at each entrance to a vehicular crossing to notify traffic that it is entering upon a vehicular crossing.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 545.)

23301.
  

Except as provided in Section 23301.5, each vehicle that enters into or upon a vehicular crossing immediately becomes liable for those tolls and other charges as may from time to time be prescribed by the California Transportation Commission.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 425, Sec. 1. (AB 254) Effective January 1, 2010.)

23301.5.
  

(a) An authorized emergency vehicle is exempt from any requirement to pay a toll or other charge on a vehicular crossing, toll highway, or high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane, including the requirements of Section 23301, if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The authorized emergency vehicle is properly displaying an exempt California license plate, and is properly identified or marked as an authorized emergency vehicle, including, but not limited to, displaying an external surface-mounted red warning light, blue warning light, or both, and displaying public agency identification, including, but not limited to, “Fire Department,” “Sheriff,” or “Police.”

(2) (A) The vehicle is being driven while responding to or returning from an urgent or emergency call, engaged in an urgent or emergency response, or engaging in a fire station coverage assignment directly related to an emergency response.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph, an “urgent” response or call means an incident or circumstance that requires an immediate response to a public safety-related incident, but does not warrant the use of emergency warning lights. “Urgent” does not include any personal use, commuting, training, or administrative uses.

(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), an authorized emergency vehicle, when returning from an urgent or emergency call, or from being engaged in an urgent or emergency response, or from engaging in a fire station coverage assignment directly related to an emergency response, shall not be exempt from any requirement to pay a toll or other charge imposed while traveling on a HOT lane.

(3) The driver of the vehicle determines that the use of the toll facility shall likely improve the availability or response and arrival time of the authorized emergency vehicle and its delivery of essential public safety services.

(b) If the operator of a toll facility elects to send a bill or invoice to the public agency for the use of the toll facility by an authorized emergency vehicle, exempt pursuant to subdivision (a), the fire chief, police chief, county sheriff, head of the public agency, or his or her designee, is authorized to certify in writing that the authorized emergency vehicle was responding to or returning from an emergency call or response and is exempt from the payment of the toll or other charge in accordance with this section. The letter shall be accepted by the toll operator in lieu of payment and is a public document.

(c) An authorized emergency vehicle that does not comply with this section is not exempt from the requirement to pay a toll or other charge on a toll highway, vehicular crossing, or HOT lane. Upon information and belief of the toll operator that an authorized emergency vehicle is not in compliance with this section, the fire chief, police chief, county sheriff, head of the public agency, or his or her designee, upon the written request of the owner or operator of the toll facility, shall provide or otherwise make accessible to the toll operator the dispatch records or log books relevant to the time period when the vehicle was in use on the toll highway, vehicular crossing, or HOT lane.

(d) This section does not prohibit or amend an agreement entered into between the owner or operator of a toll facility and a local emergency service provider that establishes mutually agreed upon terms for the use of the toll facility by the emergency service provider. This section shall not prohibit the owner or operator of a toll facility from having a policy that meets or exceeds this section. If at any time an emergency service provider or the owner or operator of a toll facility opts to terminate an agreement regarding the payment and processing of tolls or other charges, this section shall apply to the emergency service provider and the toll facility. An agreement between an emergency service provider and the owner or operator of a toll facility does not exempt other emergency service providers not named in the original agreement and the toll facility from the requirements of this section when those other emergency service providers use a toll facility in the jurisdiction of the owner or operator of the toll facility.

(e) Sections 23302 and 23302.5 do not apply to authorized emergency vehicles exempt pursuant to this section.

(f) As used in this section, “toll facility” includes a toll road, HOT lane, toll bridge, toll highway, a vehicular crossing for which payment of a toll or charge is required, or any other toll facility.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 561, Sec. 255. (AB 1516) Effective January 1, 2018.)

23301.8.
  

Where an issuing agency permits pay-by-plate toll payment as described in subdivision (e) of Section 23302, it shall communicate, as practicable, the pay-by-plate toll amount in the same manner as it communicates other toll payment methods. The issuing agency shall provide publicly available information on how pay-by-plate toll payment works, including the toll amount, process for payment, and period of time a vehicle has to resolve the payment before an issuing agency may process the trip as a violation under Section 40255. Communication of this information may include the Department of Transportation’s approved signage, posting of information on the issuing agency’s Internet Web site, media advertising, public meeting or disclosure as required by the issuing agency’s policies, or other methods of communication. Except where the issuing agency has an agreement with a vehicle owner that specifies in advance any administrative fees that will be imposed on the owner for pay-by-plate toll payment, administrative costs shall be incorporated into the pay-by-plate toll amount, and no additional administrative costs shall be added above the posted pay-by-plate toll amount.

(Added by Stats. 2009, Ch. 459, Sec. 1. (AB 628) Effective January 1, 2010.)

23302.
  

(a) (1) It is unlawful for a driver to fail to pay tolls or other charges on any vehicular crossing or toll highway. Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (b), (c), or (d), it is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section for a person to drive a vehicle onto any vehicular crossing or toll highway without either lawful money of the United States in the driver’s immediate possession in an amount sufficient to pay the prescribed tolls or other charges due from that driver or a transponder or other electronic toll payment device associated with a valid Automatic Vehicle Identification account with a balance sufficient to pay those tolls.

(2) Except as specified in paragraph (3), if a transponder or other electronic toll payment device is used to pay tolls or other charges due, the device shall be located in or on the vehicle in a location so as to be visible for the purpose of enforcement at all times when the vehicle is located on the vehicular crossing or toll highway. Where required by the operator of a vehicular crossing or toll highway, this requirement applies even if the operator offers free travel or nontoll accounts to certain classes of users.

(3) If a motorcyclist uses a transponder or other electronic toll payment device to lawfully enter a vehicle crossing or toll highway, the motorcyclist shall use any one of the following methods as long as the transponder or device is able to be read by the toll operator’s detection equipment:

(A) Place the transponder or other electronic toll payment device in the motorcyclist’s pocket.

(B) Place the transponder or other electronic toll payment device inside a cycle net that drapes over the gas tank of the motorcycle.

(C) Mount the transponder or other electronic toll payment device on license plate devices provided by the toll operator, if the toll operator provides those devices.

(D) Keep the transponder or other electronic toll payment device in the glove or storage compartment of the motorcycle.

(E) Mount the transponder or other electronic toll payment device on the windshield of the motorcycle.

(b) For vehicular crossings and toll highways that use electronic toll collection as the only method of paying tolls or other charges, it is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section for a driver to drive a vehicle onto the vehicular crossing or toll highway without a transponder or other electronic toll payment device associated with a valid Automatic Vehicle Identification account with a balance sufficient to pay those tolls.

(c) For vehicular crossings and toll highways where the issuing agency, as defined in Section 40250, permits pay-by-plate payment of tolls and other charges, in accordance with policies adopted by the issuing agency, it is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section for a driver to drive a vehicle onto the vehicular crossing or toll highway without at least one of the following:

(1) Lawful money of the United States in the driver’s immediate possession in an amount sufficient to pay the prescribed tolls or other charges due from that person.

(2) A transponder or other electronic toll payment device associated with a valid Automatic Vehicle Identification account with a balance sufficient to pay those tolls.

(3) Valid vehicle license plates properly attached pursuant to Section 4850.5 or 5200 to the vehicle in which that driver enters onto the vehicular crossing or toll highway.

(d) For vehicular crossings and toll highways where the issuing agency, as defined in Section 40250, permits pay-by-plate payment of tolls and other charges in accordance with policies adopted by the issuing agency, and where electronic toll collection is the only other method of paying tolls or other charges, it is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section for a driver to drive a vehicle onto the vehicular crossing or toll highway without either a transponder or other electronic toll payment device associated with a valid Automatic Vehicle Identification account with a balance sufficient to pay those tolls or valid vehicle license plates properly attached to the vehicle pursuant to Section 4850.5 or 5200 in which that driver enters onto the vehicular crossing or toll highway.

(e) As used in this article, “pay-by-plate toll payment” means an issuing agency’s use of on-road vehicle license plate identification recognition technology to accept payment of tolls in accordance with policies adopted by the issuing agency.

(f) This section does not require an issuing agency to offer pay-by-plate toll processing as a method for paying tolls.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 81, Sec. 1. (AB 1890) Effective January 1, 2013.)

23302.5.
  

(a) No person shall evade or attempt to evade the payment of tolls or other charges on any vehicular crossing or toll highway.

(b) A violation of subdivision (a) is subject to civil penalties and is neither an infraction nor a public offense, as defined in Section 15 of the Penal Code. The enforcement of those civil penalties shall be governed by the civil administrative procedures set forth in Article 4 (commencing with Section 40250) of Chapter 1 of Division 17.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 739, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 1996.)

23303.
  

The Department of Transportation shall have a lien and may enforce such lien, as provided in Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 3067) of Title 14 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, for all tolls and charges provided by this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 545.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH3.