Bill S34-2009

Authorizes the county of Nassau to establish a demonstration program to monitor compliance with traffic control indications

Authorizes the county of Nassau to establish a demonstration program to monitor compliance with traffic control indications; provides such county may impose monetary liability on the owner of a vehicle for failure of an operator thereof to comply with traffic control indications.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 6, 2010: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • Jan 7, 2009: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S34

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to establishing a demonstration program imposing monetary liability on the owner of a vehicle for failure of an operator thereof to comply with traffic control indications in Nassau county

PURPOSE : This Legislation seeks to prevent the deaths and injuries caused by motorists running red light by authorizing Nassau county to adopt local law to implement a program to install photo violation-monitoring devices at up to fifty intersections.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : The bill would amend Section 1111-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to authorize Nassau County to adopt a local law to implement a demonstration program to install photo violation-monitoring devices at up to fifty intersections. This program would be similar to the program that section 1111-a presently authorizes the City of New York to implement. Like the City, Nassau County would be authorized to impose monetary liability of up to fifty dollars on the owners of vehicles shown by a photo violation-monitoring device to fail to comply with traffic- jurisdiction to adjudicate violations under this section in Nassau County. As in the City, no liability could be imposed against owners who did not give their consent to the operation of their vehicle. But there would be a statutory presumption that vehicles were operated with owners' consent. Also, as in the City of New York, it would be a defense that traffic control indications were malfunctioning at the time of the alleged violation. Lessors and rental companies would not be held liable for violations. Vehicle owners are not prohibited from maintaining actions for indemnification against operators. Finally, the bill would require Nassau County, like the City of New York, to submit an annual program report to the legislature and Governor. The report will be prepared by the Executive Director of TPVA.

JUSTIFICATION : Aggressive driving, including running red lights, is a significant reason for a reported increase in the percentage of fatalities occurring at intersections as noted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Red light running accidents are often the worst type of accident; they often involve speed and right-angle impacts, which can lead to the most severe injuries. In New York State 30% of reported vehicular accidents in 1998 occurred at signalized intersections. Of those, 244 involved fatalities. Of More than 18,000 pedestrian accidents occurring in the same peiord, 33% were at signalized intersections.

Many cities in the United States already have operational photo enforcement for catching red light runners, including New York City. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, and Washington DC Photo enforcement of red light running, and in making intersections safer.

Most significantly, New York City has had a highly successful red light cameras. Since January 2006 scoff law enforcement has increased by one hundred fifty-eight percent. The data from the New York City Department of Transportation has demonstrated that the presence of red light cameras significantly alters the behavior of drivers and dramatically reduces the number of accidents at affected intersections. Traffic accidents at intersections are a major public safety issue in Nassau county and it is beyond doubt that a red light camera program would provide a significant improvement in traffic safety with in the County. The Nassau County Traffic Safety Board reports that three of New York's deadliest roads are Hempstead Turnpike, Old Country Road and sunrise Highway.

Nassau County is being joined by Suffolk, Westchester and many upstate counties in the effort to bolster traffic safety.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2007-2008: Passed the Senate (S.4296)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 34 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FUSCHILLO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to establishing a demonstration program imposing monetary liability on the owner of a vehicle for failure of an operator thereof to comply with traffic control indications in Nassau county THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision (a) of section 1111-a of the vehicle and traf- fic law, as amended by chapter 658 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (a) 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each city with a population of one million or more [is] AND THE COUNTY OF NASSAU ARE hereby EACH INDIVIDUALLY authorized and empowered to adopt and amend a local law or ordinance establishing a demonstration program imposing monetary liability on the owner of a vehicle for failure of an operator thereof to comply with traffic-control indications in such city OR COUN- TY in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such demonstration program shall empower a city to install and operate traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring devices at no more than one hundred intersections within such city at any one time AND SHALL EMPOWER SUCH COUNTY TO INSTALL AND OPERATE TRAFFIC-CONTROL SIGNAL PHOTO VIOLATION-MONITORING DEVICES AT NO MORE THAN FIFTY INTERSECTIONS WITHIN SUCH COUNTY AT ANY ONE TIME. 2. Such demonstration program shall utilize necessary technologies to ensure, to the extent practicable, that photographs produced by such traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring systems shall not include images that identify the driver, the passengers, or the contents of the vehicle. Provided, however, that no notice of liability issued pursuant to this section shall be dismissed solely because a photograph
or photographs allow for the identification of the contents of a vehi- cle, provided that such city OR COUNTY has made a reasonable effort to comply with the provisions of this paragraph. S 2. Subdivisions (b), (d) and (e) of section 1111-a of the vehicle and traffic law, subdivisions (b) and (d) as amended by chapter 658 of the laws of 2006 and subdivision (e) as amended by chapter 479 of the laws of 1994, are amended to read as follows: (b) In any city OR COUNTY which has adopted a local law or ordinance pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section, the owner of a vehicle shall be liable for a penalty imposed pursuant to this section if such vehicle was used or operated with the permission of the owner, express or implied, in violation of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article, and such violation is evidenced by information obtained from a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring system; provided however that no owner of a vehicle shall be liable for a penalty imposed pursuant to this section where the operator of such vehicle has been convicted of the underlying violation of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article. (d) A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by a technician employed by the city OR COUNTY in which the charged violation occurred, or a facsim- ile thereof, based upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs, videotape or other recorded images produced by a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring system, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. Any photographs, microphotographs, videotape or other recorded images evidencing such a violation shall be available for inspection in any proceeding to adjudicate the liability for such violation pursuant to a local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to this section. (e) An owner liable for a violation of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article pursuant to a local law or ordi- nance adopted pursuant to this section shall be liable for monetary penalties in accordance with a schedule of fines and penalties to be set forth in such local law or ordinance, except that in a city which, by local law, has authorized the adjudication of such owner liability by a parking violations bureau, such schedule shall be promulgated by such bureau, AND IN NASSAU COUNTY IF, BY LOCAL LAW, SUCH COUNTY AUTHORIZES ADJUDICATION OF SUCH OWNER LIABILITY BY THE NASSAU COUNTY TRAFFIC AND PARKING VIOLATIONS AGENCY, SUCH SCHEDULE SHALL BE PROMULGATED BY THE BOARD OF JUDGES OF THE DISTRICT COURT FOR NASSAU COUNTY, PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED EIGHT OF THE UNIFORM DISTRICT COURT ACT. The liability of the owner pursuant to this section shall not exceed fifty dollars for each violation; provided, however, that such local law or ordinance may provide for an additional penalty not in excess of twenty-five dollars for each violation for the failure to respond to a notice of liability within the prescribed time period. S 3. Paragraph 4 of subdivision (g) of section 1111-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 746 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows: 4. The notice of liability shall be prepared and mailed by the city OR COUNTY having jurisdiction over the intersection where the violation occurred, or by any other entity authorized by the city OR COUNTY to prepare and mail such notification of violation. S 4. Subdivision (h) of section 1111-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 746 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows:
(h) Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners by this section shall be by a traffic violations bureau OR IN NASSAU COUNTY, BY THE NASSAU COUNTY TRAFFIC AND PARKING VIOLATIONS AGENCY established pursuant to section three hundred seventy of the general municipal law or, if there be none, by the court having jurisdiction over traffic infrac- tions, except that any city which has established an administrative tribunal to hear and determine complaints of traffic infractions consti- tuting parking, standing or stopping violations may, by local law, authorize such adjudication by such tribunal. S 5. Paragraph 1 of subdivision (j) of section 1111-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter 746 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows: 1. In a city OR A COUNTY where the adjudication of liability imposed upon owners pursuant to this section is by a traffic violations bureau, THE NASSAU COUNTY TRAFFIC AND PARKING VIOLATIONS AGENCY or a court having jurisdiction, an owner who is a lessor of a vehicle to which a notice of liability was issued pursuant to subdivision (g) of this section shall not be liable for the violation of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article, provided that he or she sends to the traffic violations bureau, THE NASSAU COUNTY TRAFFIC AND PARKING VIOLATIONS AGENCY or court having jurisdiction a copy of the rental, lease or other such contract document covering such vehicle on the date of the violation, with the name and address of the lessee clearly legible, within thirty-seven days after receiving notice from the TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS bureau or court of the date and time of such violation, OR WITHIN FORTY-TWO DAYS AFTER RECEIVING NOTICE FROM THE NASSAU COUNTY TRAFFIC AND PARKING VIOLATIONS AGENCY OF THE DATE AND TIME OF SUCH VIOLATION, together with the other information contained in the original notice of liability. Failure to send such information within such thirty-seven OR FORTY-TWO day time period shall render the owner liable for the penalty prescribed by this section. Where the lessor complies with the provisions of this paragraph, the lessee of such vehi- cle on the date of such violation shall be deemed to be the owner of such vehicle for purposes of this section, shall be subject to liability for the violation of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article pursuant to this section and shall be sent a notice of liability pursuant to subdivision (g) of this section. S 6. Subdivision (m) of section 1111-a of the vehicle and traffic law, as amended by chapter 658 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (m) In any COUNTY OR city which adopts a demonstration program pursu- ant to subdivision (a) of this section, such COUNTY OR city shall submit an annual report on the results of the use of a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring system to the governor, the temporary presi- dent of the senate and the speaker of the assembly on or before June first, two thousand [seven] TEN and on the same date in each succeeding year in which the demonstration program is operable. Such report shall include, but not be limited to: 1. a description of the locations where traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring systems were used; 2. within SUCH COUNTY OR each borough of such city, the aggregate number, type and severity of accidents reported at intersections where a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring system is used for the year preceding the installation of such system, to the extent the infor- mation is maintained by the department of motor vehicles of this state;
3. within SUCH COUNTY OR each borough of such city, the aggregate number, type and severity of accidents reported at intersections where a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring system is used, to the extent the information is maintained by the department of motor vehicles of this state; 4. the number of violations recorded at each intersection where a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring system is used and in the aggregate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis; 5. the total number of notices of liability issued for violations recorded by such systems; 6. the number of fines and total amount of fines paid after first notice of liability issued for violations recorded by such systems; 7. the number of violations adjudicated and results of such adjudi- cations including breakdowns of dispositions made for violations recorded by such systems; 8. the total amount of revenue realized by such COUNTY OR city from such adjudications; 9. expenses incurred by such COUNTY OR city in connection with the program; and 10. quality of the adjudication process and its results. S 7. This act shall take effect immediately, provided, however, the amendments to section 1111-a of the vehicle and traffic law made by this act shall not affect the repeal of such section and shall be deemed repealed therewith.

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