RI Truck-Only Toll Signed Into Law

Rhode Island is officially the first and only state to have a truck-only toll on its highways.

It all happened so fast. On Wednesday night, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed the bill, followed by the state Senate on Thursday, and then it was signed into law by Gov. Gina Raimondo just moments after the Senate vote.

The truck-only tolls have been a heated issue since they were first proposed as part of Gov. Raimondo’s RhodeWorks plan early last summer. Supporters of the bill see it as a way to get their roads and bridges fixed without taxing locals, while opponents claim that is an illegal bar on interstate trade, prohibited by federal law.

Rhode Island will charge up to $20 in tolls for a one-way trip across the state using I-95, but those tolls will only be levied against truckers.

On Thursday morning, even before the Senate vote, the American Trucking Association vowed that if the bill was signed into law, they would “see them in court.”

But there is concern that since legal matters tend to take a long time to settle, in the meantime other states may try to implement similar solutions to their budgetary woes.

Opponents of the truck-only tolls claim that this is a blatant cash grab, and the supporters don’t seem to be doing much to diminish that fear. House Speaker Mattiello who supports the law said that “it seems to me that we are going to get a lot of economic benefit and most of it will be paid by out of state trucking companies.”

This law will undoubtedly be challenged in court, but until it is overruled, Rhode Island stands posed to put up toll locations all across its highways that read “Truck-Only Tolls.”

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