A01520 Summary:

BILL NOA01520C
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORMagnarelli
 
COSPNSRWeprin, Galef, Russell, Hooper, Cusick, McDonough, Miller, Arroyo, Gottfried, Crespo, Robinson, Pichardo, Ramos, Fahy, Skoufis, Bronson, Hunter, Jean-Pierre
 
MLTSPNSRCook, Lupardo, McDonald, Mosley, Rivera, Sepulveda, Simon, Solages, Thiele, Titone
 
Amd 375 & 227, add 1174-a, V & T L; amd 3621 & 3623-a, Ed L; amd 87, Pub Off L
 
Enacts the "school bus camera safety act" to authorize the installation and use of photo monitoring devices on school buses to detect and record vehicles illegally passing or overtaking a school bus; provides for owner liability of a motor vehicle detected by a camera to have illegally passed or overtaken a school bus; provides that liability shall be a civil fine equal to the traffic infraction fine imposed therefor; authorizes school districts to receive state aid for the purchase of such cameras.
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A01520 Actions:

BILL NOA01520C
 
01/12/2015referred to transportation
06/10/2015amend (t) and recommit to transportation
06/10/2015print number 1520a
06/11/2015amend and recommit to transportation
06/11/2015print number 1520b
01/06/2016referred to transportation
02/10/2016amend and recommit to transportation
02/10/2016print number 1520c
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A01520 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         1520--C
 
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 12, 2015
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  MAGNARELLI,  WEPRIN, GALEF, RUSSELL, HOOPER,
          CUSICK,  McDONOUGH,  MILLER,  ARROYO,  GOTTFRIED,  CRESPO,   ROBINSON,
          PICHARDO,  RAMOS, FAHY, SKOUFIS, BRONSON, HUNTER -- Multi-Sponsored by
          -- M. of A. CLARK, COOK, LUPARDO, McDONALD, MOSLEY, RIVERA, SEPULVEDA,
          SIMON, SOLAGES, THIELE, TITONE  --  read  once  and  referred  to  the
          Committee  on  Transportation  --  committee discharged, bill amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and  recommitted  to  said  committee  --
          again  reported from said committee with amendments, ordered reprinted
          as amended and recommitted to said committee  --  recommitted  to  the
          Committee on Transportation in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2
          --  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended
          and recommitted to said committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the  education  law,  in
          relation  to authorizing the installation and use of safety cameras on
          school buses for the purpose of monitoring overtaking  and passing  of
          school  bus  violations;  to amend the vehicle and traffic law and the
          public officers law, in relation to owner liability  for  an  operator
          illegally  overtaking  or  passing a school bus; and providing for the
          repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "school bus camera safety act".
     3    § 2. Legislative intent. In the state of New York, 2.5  million  chil-
     4  dren ride school buses and public transportation to and from school each
     5  day. The legislature recognizes that the safe transportation of children
     6  to  and  from  school is a shared responsibility of each school district
     7  and the driving public. It is the intent of this legislature to  author-
     8  ize  school  districts  to  utilize school bus safety camera technology,
     9  which will identify drivers who violate the law  by  passing  a  stopped

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01758-19-6

        A. 1520--C                          2
 
     1  school  bus  with its red flashing signal lamps illuminated and stop arm
     2  engaged.
     3    § 3. Section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a
     4  new subdivision 21-j to read as follows:
     5    21-j.  School buses owned or contracted for by a school district which
     6  has adopted a resolution providing for the installation  of  school  bus
     7  safety  cameras,  as defined in section eleven hundred seventy-four-a of
     8  this chapter, may be equipped with and operate  such  cameras.    School
     9  districts  that,  at  the  time  of  adoption of such a resolution, have
    10  entered into a contract for transportation services, may,  notwithstand-
    11  ing  any  other  provision of state law, rule or regulation, renegotiate
    12  the terms of their current transportation contract for the  purposes  of
    13  allowing  the  installation  of  school  bus  safety  cameras.    School
    14  districts shall not be required to take school buses out of  service  if
    15  such  buses are not equipped with automated school bus safety cameras or
    16  functional automated safety cameras.
    17    School districts and school bus transportation  contractors  shall  be
    18  held  harmless  from  and not liable for any criminal or civil liability
    19  arising from the operation of school bus safety cameras.    The  commis-
    20  sioner  shall  promulgate  rules and regulations for the installation of
    21  school bus safety cameras.   A designated vendor  or  employee  of  such
    22  vendor,  police officer, or designated governing body employee shall not
    23  be liable for any loss that occurs while  acting  within  the  scope  of
    24  their  employment  or  contractual  engagement to implement or enforce a
    25  violation of section eleven hundred seventy-four-a of this chapter.
    26    § 4. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding  a  new  section
    27  1174-a to read as follows:
    28    § 1174-a. Owner liability for operator illegally overtaking or passing
    29  a school bus. (a) For the purposes of this section:
    30    1.  "School  bus  safety  camera"  means an automated photo monitoring
    31  device affixed to the outside of a school bus and designed to detect and
    32  store videotape and one or more images of motor vehicles which  overtake
    33  or  pass  school buses in violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven
    34  hundred seventy-four of this article.
    35    2. "Owner" shall have the same meaning provided in  article  two-B  of
    36  this chapter.
    37    (b) 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board of educa-
    38  tion  or  of  trustees  of  a  school  district is hereby authorized and
    39  empowered to adopt a resolution providing for the installation and oper-
    40  ation of school bus safety cameras upon  school  buses  operated  by  or
    41  contracted  with  such  district.  School districts shall not access the
    42  images from such cameras but shall provide,  pursuant  to  an  agreement
    43  with  the  appropriate law enforcement agency or agencies for the proper
    44  handling and custody of such images, for the forwarding of  images  from
    45  such cameras to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the area
    46  in  which  the  violation occurred, for the purpose of imposing monetary
    47  liability on the owner of a motor vehicle for  illegally  overtaking  or
    48  passing  a  school bus in violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven
    49  hundred seventy-four of this article.
    50    2. In such school districts that have adopted a resolution authorizing
    51  the installation of such school bus safety cameras, the board of  educa-
    52  tion  or  of trustees of the school district or a school bus transporta-
    53  tion contractor may, furthermore, enter into an agreement with a private
    54  vendor for the installation, operation, notice processing  and  adminis-
    55  tration,  and  maintenance  of school bus safety cameras on buses within
    56  such  district's  fleet.  School  bus  transportation  contractors   are

        A. 1520--C                          3
 
     1  empowered  to  purchase  or  lease, through a private vendor, school bus
     2  safety cameras; provided, that any agreement between a school bus trans-
     3  portation contractor and a private camera vendor shall stipulate that  a
     4  school  bus  transportation  contractor  shall only be allowed to recoup
     5  expenses incurred through the installation and operation of a school bus
     6  arm camera and shall not allow the school bus transportation  contractor
     7  to  charge  the  camera  vendor a fee for the installation, operation or
     8  maintenance of such cameras, nor receive any portion of the fine  for  a
     9  violation  of  section  eleven  hundred  seventy-four of this article. A
    10  private camera vendor shall have the right  to  retain  any  school  bus
    11  safety  cameras  installed  on  a school bus after the expiration of the
    12  agreement with the school  bus  transportation  contractor,  unless  the
    13  equipment  was  purchased  from  the vendor. Provided, further, that any
    14  agreement between a school bus transportation contractor and  a  private
    15  camera  vendor  shall  stipulate  the  number of cameras to be installed
    16  shall not exceed the total amount requested by the school district.
    17    3. Such school bus safety cameras  shall  only  take  photographs  and
    18  videotape of motor vehicles and their license plates thereon, while such
    19  vehicle  is  operated  in violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven
    20  hundred seventy-four of this article. No such photograph or video  shall
    21  reveal  any  occupant  of  a motor vehicle.   Provided, however, that no
    22  simplified traffic information issued pursuant to this section shall  be
    23  dismissed solely because a photograph or photographs allow for the iden-
    24  tification of the occupants and/or contents of a motor vehicle.
    25    4.  Upon  adoption of a resolution by a school district as required in
    26  subdivision twenty-one-j of section three hundred seventy-five  of  this
    27  chapter, such school district may enter into a memorandum of understand-
    28  ing with a local governing authority to enable the implementation of the
    29  provisions  of  this  section.   Such traffic violations bureau or court
    30  shall make available to  such  school  district  the  adjudication  data
    31  required  by  paragraph  seven  of subdivision (l) of this section as to
    32  allow such school district to complete the report required  by  subdivi-
    33  sion  (l)  of  this  section  in  a timely manner. Any intergovernmental
    34  agreement  pursuant  to  this  paragraph  shall  inform   such   traffic
    35  violations  bureau  or court of the requirements of this subdivision and
    36  shall make provisions regarding the transmittal of such required  infor-
    37  mation.    School districts that elect to purchase such cameras shall be
    38  reimbursed for the cost of such cameras out of the net  proceeds,  after
    39  the  expenses  of  administration.  Reimbursement  for  the cost of such
    40  cameras shall not be considered generating income.
    41    (c) In any school district in which  school  bus  safety  cameras  are
    42  installed  and operated pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section, the
    43  owner of a motor vehicle, upon issuance of a simplified traffic informa-
    44  tion by a police officer, shall be liable for a  civil  penalty  of  two
    45  hundred  fifty  dollars  if  such  vehicle was used or operated with the
    46  permission of the owner, express or implied, in violation of subdivision
    47  (a) of such section, and such  violation  is  evidenced  by  information
    48  obtained  from  a  school  bus safety camera; provided, however, that no
    49  owner of a vehicle shall be liable for a  penalty  imposed  pursuant  to
    50  this  section  where  the operator of such vehicle has been convicted of
    51  the underlying violation of subdivision (a) of  section  eleven  hundred
    52  seventy-four  of  this article. Provided, further, that the net proceeds
    53  of any penalty, after the expenses of administration and operating costs
    54  of the cameras, collected by a traffic violations bureau or court pursu-
    55  ant to this section shall be expended for programs related to  improving
    56  traffic  safety  and/or  school  district  safety in the municipality in

        A. 1520--C                          4
 
     1  which the violation occurred.  School districts are authorized to accept
     2  grants from municipalities  for  the  implementation  of  this  section.
     3  School districts may allow for a warning period of up to twenty-one days
     4  from  the  time the first school bus safety cameras are installed in the
     5  district before monetary penalties are imposed on  violations  occurring
     6  from such cameras.
     7    (d)  A  school  district  or school bus camera vendor shall forward or
     8  cause to be forwarded, the images and  videotape  from  its  school  bus
     9  safety  cameras  to  a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the
    10  area where the violation occurred. A school bus contractor may not proc-
    11  ess a violation of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this  article.
    12  After  receipt of such images, a police officer shall inspect such vide-
    13  otape and images to determine whether a violation of subdivision (a)  of
    14  section  eleven  hundred  seventy-four  of  this  article was committed,
    15  provided that such videotape and one or more images must display  a  red
    16  visual  signal  as  specified  in  subdivision  twenty  of section three
    17  hundred seventy-five of this chapter. If such police officer finds  that
    18  such  a  violation  occurred, he or she shall issue a simplified traffic
    19  information alleging the violation, and such information with a copy  of
    20  the  photographic image of the violation shall be mailed to the owner of
    21  the motor vehicle by first class mail within thirty days of the  alleged
    22  violation.  The  videotape  and  images  produced by a school bus safety
    23  camera shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. All
    24  photographic images of motor vehicles which do not depict or  result  in
    25  liability  for  violation  of  subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred
    26  seventy-four of this article  shall  be  destroyed  by  the  appropriate
    27  school district and law enforcement agency within two days.
    28    (e)  An  imposition of liability pursuant to this section shall not be
    29  deemed a conviction as an operator and shall not be  made  part  of  the
    30  operating  record  of the person upon whom such liability is imposed nor
    31  shall it be used for insurance purposes in the provision of motor  vehi-
    32  cle insurance coverage.
    33    (f)  1. A simplified traffic information and the photographic image of
    34  the alleged violation shall be sent by first class mail to  each  person
    35  alleged  to  be liable as an owner for a violation of subdivision (a) of
    36  section eleven hundred seventy-four of this  article  pursuant  to  this
    37  section within thirty days if such owner is a resident of this state and
    38  within  forty-five  business  days  if  such  owner  is  a non-resident,
    39  provided that a warning notice and not a simplified traffic  information
    40  shall  be  sent  if  such violation is evidenced by information obtained
    41  from a school bus safety camera that has been operational  but  inactive
    42  for  a  period  determined by the school district.  Personal delivery on
    43  the owner shall not be required. A manual or automatic record of mailing
    44  prepared in the  ordinary  course  of  business  shall  be  prima  facie
    45  evidence of the facts contained therein.
    46    2. A simplified traffic information shall contain the name and address
    47  of the person alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation of subdi-
    48  vision (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article pursu-
    49  ant  to this section, the registration number of the vehicle involved in
    50  such violation, the location where such violation took  place  including
    51  global  positioning  system  coordinates,  the  date  and  time  of such
    52  violation and the identification number of the school bus safety  camera
    53  which recorded the violation or other document locator number.
    54    3. The simplified traffic information shall contain information advis-
    55  ing  the person charged of the manner, the time, the place and the court
    56  or administrative body in which he or  she  may  contest  the  liability

        A. 1520--C                          5
 
     1  alleged  in the simplified traffic information.  Such simplified traffic
     2  information shall also contain a warning to advise the  persons  charged
     3  that  failure  to answer in the manner and time provided shall be deemed
     4  an admission of liability and that he or she shall be liable for failure
     5  to respond to a summons.
     6    (g)  Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners by this section
     7  shall be by a traffic violations bureau established pursuant to  section
     8  three hundred seventy of the general municipal law or, if there be none,
     9  by the court having jurisdiction over traffic infractions.
    10    (h)  If an owner receives a simplified traffic information pursuant to
    11  this section for any time period during which the vehicle was stolen, it
    12  shall be a valid defense to an allegation of liability for  a  violation
    13  of  subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this arti-
    14  cle pursuant to this section that the vehicle had been reported  to  the
    15  police  as  stolen  prior to the time the violation occurred and had not
    16  been recovered by such time.  For  purposes  of  asserting  the  defense
    17  provided  by  this  subdivision  it shall be sufficient that a certified
    18  copy of the police report on the stolen vehicle be sent by  first  class
    19  mail  to  the  traffic  violations  bureau, court having jurisdiction or
    20  parking violations bureau.
    21    (i) An owner who is a lessor of a vehicle to which a simplified  traf-
    22  fic  information was issued pursuant to this section shall not be liable
    23  for the violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred  seventy-
    24  four  of this article, provided that he or she sends to the court having
    25  jurisdiction a copy of the rental, lease or other such contract document
    26  covering such vehicle on the date of the violation, with  the  name  and
    27  address  of  the  lessee clearly legible, within thirty-seven days after
    28  receiving notice from the court of the date and time of such  violation,
    29  together with the other information contained in the original simplified
    30  traffic information.  Failure to send such information within such thir-
    31  ty-seven  day  time period shall render the owner liable for the penalty
    32  prescribed  by  this  section.  Where  the  lessor  complies  with   the
    33  provisions  of  this subdivision, the lessee of such vehicle on the date
    34  of such violation shall be deemed to be the owner of  such  vehicle  for
    35  purposes  of  this  section,  shall  be  subject  to  liability  for the
    36  violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred  seventy-four  of
    37  this  article  pursuant  to  this section and shall be sent a simplified
    38  traffic information pursuant to this section.
    39    (j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the  liability
    40  of  an  operator  of  a  vehicle for any violation of subdivision (a) of
    41  section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article.
    42    (k) The school bus safety cameras installed and operated  pursuant  to
    43  this  section  shall  be  used  solely  for the purposes of carrying out
    44  photo-monitoring and videotaping of violations  of  subdivision  (a)  of
    45  section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article.
    46    (l)  In any such school district which adopts a resolution pursuant to
    47  subdivision (b) of this section, such  school  district  shall,  to  the
    48  extent that such information is available to it, submit an annual report
    49  on  the  results of the use of a school bus safety camera program to the
    50  governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker  of  the
    51  assembly  on or before September first, two thousand seventeen and on or
    52  before such date in each succeeding year in which the program is  opera-
    53  ble  through  September  two  thousand  twenty-two.  Such  report  shall
    54  include, but not be limited to:
    55    1. a description of the routes where school bus  safety  cameras  were
    56  used;

        A. 1520--C                          6
 
     1    2.  the  aggregate  number,  type  and severity of accidents caused by
     2  passing a school bus in violation of section eleven hundred seventy-four
     3  of this article provided, however, the school  district  maintains  such
     4  information;
     5    3. the number of violations recorded for each school bus safety camera
     6  and in the aggregate on a monthly basis;
     7    4.  the  total number of notices of liability issued for violations of
     8  this section;
     9    5. the number of fines and total amount of fines paid after the  first
    10  notice of liability;
    11    6.  the  number  of violations adjudicated and results of such adjudi-
    12  cations including breakdowns of disposition made for violations recorded
    13  by such systems;
    14    7. the total amount of revenue realized from adjudications;
    15    8. expenses incurred in connection with this program  by  such  school
    16  district or private bus contractor providing transportation services for
    17  the school district;
    18    9. the quality of the adjudication process and its results; and
    19    10.  a  description  of  public education activities conducted to warn
    20  motorists of the dangers of passing a school bus.
    21    (m) No owner or operator of a motor vehicle, who has been charged with
    22  a violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of
    23  this article in a simplified traffic information,  shall  be  deemed  to
    24  have any liability for such violation pursuant to this section.
    25    §  5.  Section  3621  of  the education law is amended by adding a new
    26  subdivision 16 to read as follows:
    27    16. "School bus safety camera" shall mean an automated photo  monitor-
    28  ing  device  authorized to be installed and operated on the outside of a
    29  school bus pursuant to section  eleven  hundred  seventy-four-a  of  the
    30  vehicle and traffic law.
    31    §  6.  Paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 3623-a of the education
    32  law, as amended by chapter 453 of the laws of 2005, is amended  to  read
    33  as follows:
    34    c.  The purchase of equipment deemed a proper school district expense,
    35  including: (i) the purchase of two-way radios to be used on old and  new
    36  school  buses, (ii) the purchase of stop-arms, to be used on old and new
    37  school buses, (iii) the purchase and installation of seat  safety  belts
    38  on  school buses in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-six
    39  hundred thirty-five-a of this article, (iv) the purchase of  school  bus
    40  back  up  beepers,  (v)  the purchase of school bus front crossing arms,
    41  (vi) the purchase  of  school  bus  safety  sensor  devices,  (vii)  the
    42  purchase  and  installation  of  exterior  reflective  marking on school
    43  buses, (viii)  the  purchase  of  automatic  engine  fire  extinguishing
    44  systems  for school buses used to transport students who use wheelchairs
    45  or other assistive mobility devices, (ix) the  purchase  of  school  bus
    46  safety  cameras,  and  [(ix)]  (x)  the  purchase  of other equipment as
    47  prescribed in the regulations of the commissioner; and
    48    § 7. Subdivision 3 and paragraph a of subdivision 4 of section 227  of
    49  the  vehicle and traffic law, subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 337 of
    50  the laws of 1970 and renumbered by chapter 288 of the laws of  1989  and
    51  paragraph  a of subdivision 4 as amended by section 7 of part J of chap-
    52  ter 62 of the laws of 2003, are amended to read as follows:
    53    3. After due consideration of the evidence and arguments offered in  a
    54  contested  case, the hearing officer shall determine whether the charges
    55  have been established. In the case of an owner charged as such  pursuant
    56  to  article  twenty-nine of this chapter, it shall be a complete defense

        A. 1520--C                          7
 
     1  to such charge that a vehicle alleged to be in  violation  was  operated
     2  without  the permission of such owner or his or her agent and the estab-
     3  lishment of lack of permission shall result in an order dismissing  such
     4  charge against such owner.  Where the charges have not been established,
     5  an order dismissing the charges shall be entered.  Where a determination
     6  is  made  that a charge has been established, either in a contested case
     7  or in an uncontested case where there is an appearance before a  hearing
     8  officer,  or  if  an  answer  admitting  the  charge  otherwise has been
     9  received, an appropriate order shall  be  entered  in  the  department's
    10  records.
    11    a.  An order entered upon the failure to answer or appear or after the
    12  receipt of an answer admitting the charge or where  a  determination  is
    13  made  that the charge has been established shall be civil in nature, but
    14  shall be treated as a conviction for the purposes of this  chapter.  The
    15  commissioner or his or her designee may include in such order an imposi-
    16  tion  of  any  penalty authorized by any provision of this chapter for a
    17  conviction of such violation, except that no penalty [therefore]  there-
    18  for  shall  include imprisonment, nor, if monetary, exceed the amount of
    19  the fine which could have been imposed had the charge been  heard  by  a
    20  court.  The driver's license or privileges, or, if the charge involves a
    21  violation of section three hundred eighty-five or section  four  hundred
    22  one  of  this  chapter  by  a registrant who was not the operator of the
    23  vehicle, the registration of such vehicle or privilege of  operation  of
    24  any  motor vehicle owned by such registrant may be suspended pending the
    25  payment of any penalty so imposed; however, in  the  case  of  an  owner
    26  charged as such pursuant to this article, his or her driver's license or
    27  privilege  shall  not  be  affected by such order or determination other
    28  than as suspension thereof for failure to appear or pay as set forth  in
    29  this  article,  nor  shall  a conviction hereunder of such owner as such
    30  result in departmental administrative sanctions  affecting  his  or  her
    31  driver's  license  or  privilege. Any suspension issued pursuant to this
    32  paragraph shall be subject to  the  provisions  of  paragraph  (j-1)  of
    33  subdivision two of section five hundred three of this chapter.
    34    § 8. Subdivision 2 of section 87 of the public officers law is amended
    35  by adding a new paragraph (p) to read as follows:
    36    (p)  are  photographs,  microphotographs,  videotape or other recorded
    37  images prepared under the authority of section eleven  hundred  seventy-
    38  four-a  of the vehicle and traffic law.  Any school district that adopts
    39  a resolution providing for the installation and operation of school  bus
    40  safety  cameras  upon  school  buses operated by or contracted with such
    41  district pursuant to section eleven hundred seventy-four-a of the  vehi-
    42  cle  and  traffic  law shall notify its residents through adopted proce-
    43  dures about such installation and operation before any simplified  traf-
    44  fic  information  issued  based  on evidence obtained by such school bus
    45  safety cameras.
    46    § 9. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
    47  ing the date on which it shall have become a law; except  that  sections
    48  four  and  five of this act shall take effect on the first of April next
    49  succeeding the effective date of this act.  The provisions of  this  act
    50  shall expire and be deemed repealed September 1, 2022.
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