|SAME AS||SAME AS A01520-C|
|COSPNSR||ADDABBO, AKSHAR, AVELLA, BONACIC, FUNKE, LATIMER, MARCHIONE, MURPHY, O'MARA, PERALTA, RITCHIE, SAVINO, VALESKY|
|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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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3509--C 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 11, 2015 ___________ Introduced by Sens. YOUNG, AVELLA, FUNKE, MARCHIONE, O'MARA, RITCHIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading -- again amended and ordered reprinted, retain- ing its place in the order of third reading -- recommitted to the Committee on Transportation in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- 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 10 school bus with its red flashing signal lamps illuminated and stop arm 11 engaged. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01758-18-6S. 3509--C 2 1 § 3. Section 375 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a 2 new subdivision 21-j to read as follows: 3 21-j. School buses owned or contracted for by a school district which 4 has adopted a resolution providing for the installation of school bus 5 safety cameras, as defined in section eleven hundred seventy-four-a of 6 this chapter, may be equipped with and operate such cameras. School 7 districts that, at the time of adoption of such a resolution, have 8 entered into a contract for transportation services, may, notwithstand- 9 ing any other provision of state law, rule or regulation, renegotiate 10 the terms of their current transportation contract for the purposes of 11 allowing the installation of school bus safety cameras. School 12 districts shall not be required to take school buses out of service if 13 such buses are not equipped with automated school bus safety cameras or 14 functional automated safety cameras. 15 School districts and school bus transportation contractors shall be 16 held harmless from and not liable for any criminal or civil liability 17 arising from the operation of school bus safety cameras. The commis- 18 sioner shall promulgate rules and regulations for the installation of 19 school bus safety cameras. A designated vendor or employee of such 20 vendor, police officer, or designated governing body employee shall not 21 be liable for any loss that occurs while acting within the scope of 22 their employment or contractual engagement to implement or enforce a 23 violation of section eleven hundred seventy-four-a of this chapter. 24 § 4. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section 25 1174-a to read as follows: 26 § 1174-a. Owner liability for operator illegally overtaking or passing 27 a school bus. (a) For the purposes of this section: 28 1. "School bus safety camera" means an automated photo monitoring 29 device affixed to the outside of a school bus and designed to detect and 30 store videotape and one or more images of motor vehicles which overtake 31 or pass school buses in violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven 32 hundred seventy-four of this article. 33 2. "Owner" shall have the same meaning provided in article two-B of 34 this chapter. 35 (b) 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board of educa- 36 tion or of trustees of a school district is hereby authorized and 37 empowered to adopt a resolution providing for the installation and oper- 38 ation of school bus safety cameras upon school buses operated by or 39 contracted with such district. School districts shall not access the 40 images from such cameras but shall provide, pursuant to an agreement 41 with the appropriate law enforcement agency or agencies for the proper 42 handling and custody of such images, for the forwarding of images from 43 such cameras to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the area 44 in which the violation occurred, for the purpose of imposing monetary 45 liability on the owner of a motor vehicle for illegally overtaking or 46 passing a school bus in violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven 47 hundred seventy-four of this article. 48 2. In such school districts that have adopted a resolution authorizing 49 the installation of such school bus safety cameras, the board of educa- 50 tion or of trustees of the school district or a school bus transporta- 51 tion contractor may, furthermore, enter into an agreement with a private 52 vendor for the installation, operation, notice processing and adminis- 53 tration, and maintenance of school bus safety cameras on buses within 54 such district's fleet. School bus transportation contractors are 55 empowered to purchase or lease, through a private vendor, school bus 56 safety cameras; provided, that any agreement between a school bus trans-S. 3509--C 3 1 portation contractor and a private camera vendor shall stipulate that a 2 school bus transportation contractor shall only be allowed to recoup 3 expenses incurred through the installation and operation of a school bus 4 arm camera and shall not allow the school bus transportation contractor 5 to charge the camera vendor a fee for the installation, operation or 6 maintenance of such cameras, nor receive any portion of the fine for a 7 violation of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article. A 8 private camera vendor shall have the right to retain any school bus 9 safety cameras installed on a school bus after the expiration of the 10 agreement with the school bus transportation contractor, unless the 11 equipment was purchased from the vendor. Provided, further, that any 12 agreement between a school bus transportation contractor and a private 13 camera vendor shall stipulate the number of cameras to be installed 14 shall not exceed the total amount requested by the school district. 15 3. Such school bus safety cameras shall only take photographs and 16 videotape of motor vehicles and their license plates thereon, while such 17 vehicle is operated in violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven 18 hundred seventy-four of this article. No such photograph or video shall 19 reveal any occupant of a motor vehicle. Provided, however, that no 20 simplified traffic information issued pursuant to this section shall be 21 dismissed solely because a photograph or photographs allow for the iden- 22 tification of the occupants and/or contents of a motor vehicle. 23 4. Upon adoption of a resolution by a school district as required in 24 subdivision twenty-one-j of section three hundred seventy-five of this 25 chapter, such school district may enter into a memorandum of understand- 26 ing with a local governing authority to enable the implementation of the 27 provisions of this section. Such traffic violations bureau or court 28 shall make available to such school district the adjudication data 29 required by paragraph seven of subdivision (l) of this section as to 30 allow such school district to complete the report required by subdivi- 31 sion (l) of this section in a timely manner. Any intergovernmental 32 agreement pursuant to this paragraph shall inform such traffic 33 violations bureau or court of the requirements of this subdivision and 34 shall make provisions regarding the transmittal of such required infor- 35 mation. School districts that elect to purchase such cameras shall be 36 reimbursed for the cost of such cameras out of the net proceeds, after 37 the expenses of administration. Reimbursement for the cost of such 38 cameras shall not be considered generating income. 39 (c) In any school district in which school bus safety cameras are 40 installed and operated pursuant to subdivision (b) of this section, the 41 owner of a motor vehicle, upon issuance of a simplified traffic informa- 42 tion by a police officer, shall be liable for a civil penalty of two 43 hundred fifty dollars if such vehicle was used or operated with the 44 permission of the owner, express or implied, in violation of subdivision 45 (a) of such section, and such violation is evidenced by information 46 obtained from a school bus safety camera; provided, however, that no 47 owner of a vehicle shall be liable for a penalty imposed pursuant to 48 this section where the operator of such vehicle has been convicted of 49 the underlying violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred 50 seventy-four of this article. Provided, further, that the net proceeds 51 of any penalty, after the expenses of administration and operating costs 52 of the cameras, collected by a traffic violations bureau or court pursu- 53 ant to this section shall be expended for programs related to improving 54 traffic safety and/or school district safety in the municipality in 55 which the violation occurred. School districts are authorized to accept 56 grants from municipalities for the implementation of this section.S. 3509--C 4 1 School districts may allow for a warning period of up to twenty-one days 2 from the time the first school bus safety cameras are installed in the 3 district before monetary penalties are imposed on violations occurring 4 from such cameras. 5 (d) A school district or school bus camera vendor shall forward or 6 cause to be forwarded, the images and videotape from its school bus 7 safety cameras to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the 8 area where the violation occurred. A school bus contractor may not proc- 9 ess a violation of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article. 10 After receipt of such images, a police officer shall inspect such vide- 11 otape and images to determine whether a violation of subdivision (a) of 12 section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article was committed, 13 provided that such videotape and one or more images must display a red 14 visual signal as specified in subdivision twenty of section three 15 hundred seventy-five of this chapter. If such police officer finds that 16 such a violation occurred, he or she shall issue a simplified traffic 17 information alleging the violation, and such information with a copy of 18 the photographic image of the violation shall be mailed to the owner of 19 the motor vehicle by first class mail within thirty days of the alleged 20 violation. The videotape and images produced by a school bus safety 21 camera shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. All 22 photographic images of motor vehicles which do not depict or result in 23 liability for violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred 24 seventy-four of this article shall be destroyed by the appropriate 25 school district and law enforcement agency within two days. 26 (e) An imposition of liability pursuant to this section shall not be 27 deemed a conviction as an operator and shall not be made part of the 28 operating record of the person upon whom such liability is imposed nor 29 shall it be used for insurance purposes in the provision of motor vehi- 30 cle insurance coverage. 31 (f) 1. A simplified traffic information and the photographic image of 32 the alleged violation shall be sent by first class mail to each person 33 alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation of subdivision (a) of 34 section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article pursuant to this 35 section within thirty days if such owner is a resident of this state and 36 within forty-five business days if such owner is a non-resident, 37 provided that a warning notice and not a simplified traffic information 38 shall be sent if such violation is evidenced by information obtained 39 from a school bus safety camera that has been operational but inactive 40 for a period determined by the school district. Personal delivery on 41 the owner shall not be required. A manual or automatic record of mailing 42 prepared in the ordinary course of business shall be prima facie 43 evidence of the facts contained therein. 44 2. A simplified traffic information shall contain the name and address 45 of the person alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation of subdi- 46 vision (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article pursu- 47 ant to this section, the registration number of the vehicle involved in 48 such violation, the location where such violation took place including 49 global positioning system coordinates, the date and time of such 50 violation and the identification number of the school bus safety camera 51 which recorded the violation or other document locator number. 52 3. The simplified traffic information shall contain information advis- 53 ing the person charged of the manner, the time, the place and the court 54 or administrative body in which he or she may contest the liability 55 alleged in the simplified traffic information. Such simplified traffic 56 information shall also contain a warning to advise the persons chargedS. 3509--C 5 1 that failure to answer in the manner and time provided shall be deemed 2 an admission of liability and that he or she shall be liable for failure 3 to respond to a summons. 4 (g) Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners by this section 5 shall be by a traffic violations bureau established pursuant to section 6 three hundred seventy of the general municipal law or, if there be none, 7 by the court having jurisdiction over traffic infractions. 8 (h) If an owner receives a simplified traffic information pursuant to 9 this section for any time period during which the vehicle was stolen, it 10 shall be a valid defense to an allegation of liability for a violation 11 of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this arti- 12 cle pursuant to this section that the vehicle had been reported to the 13 police as stolen prior to the time the violation occurred and had not 14 been recovered by such time. For purposes of asserting the defense 15 provided by this subdivision it shall be sufficient that a certified 16 copy of the police report on the stolen vehicle be sent by first class 17 mail to the traffic violations bureau, court having jurisdiction or 18 parking violations bureau. 19 (i) An owner who is a lessor of a vehicle to which a simplified traf- 20 fic information was issued pursuant to this section shall not be liable 21 for the violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred seventy- 22 four of this article, provided that he or she sends to the court having 23 jurisdiction a copy of the rental, lease or other such contract document 24 covering such vehicle on the date of the violation, with the name and 25 address of the lessee clearly legible, within thirty-seven days after 26 receiving notice from the court of the date and time of such violation, 27 together with the other information contained in the original simplified 28 traffic information. Failure to send such information within such thir- 29 ty-seven day time period shall render the owner liable for the penalty 30 prescribed by this section. Where the lessor complies with the 31 provisions of this subdivision, the lessee of such vehicle on the date 32 of such violation shall be deemed to be the owner of such vehicle for 33 purposes of this section, shall be subject to liability for the 34 violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of 35 this article pursuant to this section and shall be sent a simplified 36 traffic information pursuant to this section. 37 (j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the liability 38 of an operator of a vehicle for any violation of subdivision (a) of 39 section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article. 40 (k) The school bus safety cameras installed and operated pursuant to 41 this section shall be used solely for the purposes of carrying out 42 photo-monitoring and videotaping of violations of subdivision (a) of 43 section eleven hundred seventy-four of this article. 44 (l) In any such school district which adopts a resolution pursuant to 45 subdivision (b) of this section, such school district shall, to the 46 extent that such information is available to it, submit an annual report 47 on the results of the use of a school bus safety camera program to the 48 governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the 49 assembly on or before September first, two thousand seventeen and on or 50 before such date in each succeeding year in which the program is opera- 51 ble through September two thousand twenty-two. Such report shall 52 include, but not be limited to: 53 1. a description of the routes where school bus safety cameras were 54 used; 55 2. the aggregate number, type and severity of accidents caused by 56 passing a school bus in violation of section eleven hundred seventy-fourS. 3509--C 6 1 of this article provided, however, the school district maintains such 2 information; 3 3. the number of violations recorded for each school bus safety camera 4 and in the aggregate on a monthly basis; 5 4. the total number of notices of liability issued for violations of 6 this section; 7 5. the number of fines and total amount of fines paid after the first 8 notice of liability; 9 6. the number of violations adjudicated and results of such adjudi- 10 cations including breakdowns of disposition made for violations recorded 11 by such systems; 12 7. the total amount of revenue realized from adjudications; 13 8. expenses incurred in connection with this program by such school 14 district or private bus contractor providing transportation services for 15 the school district; 16 9. the quality of the adjudication process and its results; and 17 10. a description of public education activities conducted to warn 18 motorists of the dangers of passing a school bus. 19 (m) No owner or operator of a motor vehicle, who has been charged with 20 a violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of 21 this article in a simplified traffic information, shall be deemed to 22 have any liability for such violation pursuant to this section. 23 § 5. Section 3621 of the education law is amended by adding a new 24 subdivision 16 to read as follows: 25 16. "School bus safety camera" shall mean an automated photo monitor- 26 ing device authorized to be installed and operated on the outside of a 27 school bus pursuant to section eleven hundred seventy-four-a of the 28 vehicle and traffic law. 29 § 6. Paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 3623-a of the education 30 law, as amended by chapter 453 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read 31 as follows: 32 c. The purchase of equipment deemed a proper school district expense, 33 including: (i) the purchase of two-way radios to be used on old and new 34 school buses, (ii) the purchase of stop-arms, to be used on old and new 35 school buses, (iii) the purchase and installation of seat safety belts 36 on school buses in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-six 37 hundred thirty-five-a of this article, (iv) the purchase of school bus 38 back up beepers, (v) the purchase of school bus front crossing arms, 39 (vi) the purchase of school bus safety sensor devices, (vii) the 40 purchase and installation of exterior reflective marking on school 41 buses, (viii) the purchase of automatic engine fire extinguishing 42 systems for school buses used to transport students who use wheelchairs 43 or other assistive mobility devices, (ix) the purchase of school bus 44 safety cameras, and [ (ix)] (x) the purchase of other equipment as 45 prescribed in the regulations of the commissioner; and 46 § 7. Subdivision 3 and paragraph a of subdivision 4 of section 227 of 47 the vehicle and traffic law, subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 337 of 48 the laws of 1970 and renumbered by chapter 288 of the laws of 1989 and 49 paragraph a of subdivision 4 as amended by section 7 of part J of chap- 50 ter 62 of the laws of 2003, are amended to read as follows: 51 3. After due consideration of the evidence and arguments offered in a 52 contested case, the hearing officer shall determine whether the charges 53 have been established. In the case of an owner charged as such pursuant 54 to article twenty-nine of this chapter, it shall be a complete defense 55 to such charge that a vehicle alleged to be in violation was operated 56 without the permission of such owner or his or her agent and the estab-S. 3509--C 7 1 lishment of lack of permission shall result in an order dismissing such 2 charge against such owner. Where the charges have not been established, 3 an order dismissing the charges shall be entered. Where a determination 4 is made that a charge has been established, either in a contested case 5 or in an uncontested case where there is an appearance before a hearing 6 officer, or if an answer admitting the charge otherwise has been 7 received, an appropriate order shall be entered in the department's 8 records. 9 a. An order entered upon the failure to answer or appear or after the 10 receipt of an answer admitting the charge or where a determination is 11 made that the charge has been established shall be civil in nature, but 12 shall be treated as a conviction for the purposes of this chapter. The 13 commissioner or his or her designee may include in such order an imposi- 14 tion of any penalty authorized by any provision of this chapter for a 15 conviction of such violation, except that no penalty [ therefore] there- 16 for shall include imprisonment, nor, if monetary, exceed the amount of 17 the fine which could have been imposed had the charge been heard by a 18 court. The driver's license or privileges, or, if the charge involves a 19 violation of section three hundred eighty-five or section four hundred 20 one of this chapter by a registrant who was not the operator of the 21 vehicle, the registration of such vehicle or privilege of operation of 22 any motor vehicle owned by such registrant may be suspended pending the 23 payment of any penalty so imposed; however, in the case of an owner 24 charged as such pursuant to this article, his or her driver's license or 25 privilege shall not be affected by such order or determination other 26 than as suspension thereof for failure to appear or pay as set forth in 27 this article, nor shall a conviction hereunder of such owner as such 28 result in departmental administrative sanctions affecting his or her 29 driver's license or privilege. Any suspension issued pursuant to this 30 paragraph shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph (j-1) of 31 subdivision two of section five hundred three of this chapter. 32 § 8. Subdivision 2 of section 87 of the public officers law is amended 33 by adding a new paragraph (p) to read as follows: 34 (p) are photographs, microphotographs, videotape or other recorded 35 images prepared under the authority of section eleven hundred seventy- 36 four-a of the vehicle and traffic law. Any school district that adopts 37 a resolution providing for the installation and operation of school bus 38 safety cameras upon school buses operated by or contracted with such 39 district pursuant to section eleven hundred seventy-four-a of the vehi- 40 cle and traffic law shall notify its residents through adopted proce- 41 dures about such installation and operation before any simplified traf- 42 fic information issued based on evidence obtained by such school bus 43 safety cameras. 44 § 9. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- 45 ing the date on which it shall have become a law; except that sections 46 four and five of this act shall take effect on the first of April next 47 succeeding the effective date of this act. The provisions of this act 48 shall expire and be deemed repealed September 1, 2022.