Rhode Island cancels tolls for truck drivers
On Wednesday, a Rhode Island federal judge ordered to stop collecting tolls from the truckers under the RhodeWorks program.
Judge William Smith ruled in favor of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and other trucking groups in a 2018 lawsuit against the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and other agencies.
The case concerned the collection of tolls only from truck drivers. Rhode Island is now “enjoined from charging or collecting tolls or from enforcing nonpayment of such tolls through penalty for nonpayment or avoidance.”
RhodeWorks was adopted in February 2016 as a result of speculation that the state’s bridges and roads were becoming unusable due to heavy truck traffic. Rhode Island began charging only truck tolls in June 2018.
Judge Smith ruled that truck tolls were unconstitutional and violated the Dormant Trade Ordinance, which prohibits states from passing laws that unduly burden interstate commerce.
“We told Rhode Island’s leaders from the start that their crazy scheme was not only discriminatory, but illegal,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “We’re pleased the court agreed. To any state looking to target our industry, you better bring your A-game… because we’re not rolling over.”