Raleigh, N.C. — State senators gave unanimous approval Tuesday to an omnibus bill authorizing interstate ramp meters, ads on ferries and sponsorships of Department of Transportation operations.
The measure, House Bill 1025, would allow the DOT to sell ad space and even naming rights on ferries and at ferry terminals and sponsorships of rest stops and other DOT facilities or projects to raise revenue for ferries and maintenance work, respectively.
It also directs the DOT to move forward with ramp meters – simple stoplights installed on high-volume on-ramps that are used to space traffic flowing onto interstates at rush hour.
The DOT already had the authority to install ramp meters, but under current law, running a red light on a meter would have been treated the same as running a regular red light, subject to a ticket and insurance points. Anticipating a public outcry, the agency postponed use of the meters.
House Bill 1025 clarifies that running a ramp meter is an infraction, which doesn't carry points or an insurance surcharge.
A provision in the House version allowing drivers to renew their licenses for four years by phone, email or online was removed from the Senate version of the bill. That provision has already passed the House in another measure.
The bill now goes back to the House for a final vote on the Senate's changes.