Judge orders halt to Rhode Island truck tolls, rules system is unconstitutional

A federal judge has slammed the brakes on Rhode Island’s truck tolls and sided with the long-haul trucking industry’s complaint that the highway charges were unfair and unconstitutional. After U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith ordered Rhode Island officials to stop collecting truck tolls within 48 hours, Rhode Island Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lisbeth Pettengill on Wednesday afternoon said the tolls would be shut off “probably this evening.” The state has collected $101 million in truck tolls since the first one launched in 2018. Without the dozen toll locations across the state, Rhode Island would lose an estimated $40 million annually in revenue. Rhode Island is the only state in the country with a truck-toll system like the one Smith struck down. The trucking industry fought it since 2018 in large part to prevent any other states from trying their own.


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