Extends provisions of law relating to adjudications and owner liability for a violation of traffic-control signal indications in Nassau county.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 19 of the laws of 2009, amending the vehicle and traffic law and other laws relating to adjudications and owner liability for a violation of traffic-control signal indications, in relation to extending the provisions of such chapter
To prevent the deaths and injuries caused by motorists running red lights, by Authorizing Nassau County to adopt a local law to implement a program to install photo violation-monitoring devices at up to fifty intersections.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
This bill authorizes Nassau County to adopt a local law or ordinance to establish a demonstration program imposing monetary liability on vehicle owners for an operator's failure to comply with traffic-control signals at up to fifty intersections at any one time within and under the jurisdiction of Nassau County. Such demonstration program would be for a period of five years.
The bill establishes requirements for due process, including provisions for the evidence of liability and its availability to defendants, requirements governing the content of notices of liability, or "NOLs", the method by which NOLs must be sent to vehicle owners, and providing for the adjudication of violations in the court having jurisdiction over traffic infractions. The Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency is authorized to assist the Nassau County District Court. in the disposition and administration of the liability of owners for such violations.
It authorizes the imposition of a maximum $50 civil penalty for a violation and no more than $25 for failure to respond. It also directs the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to deny an application for an original or renewal registration if he/she has certification that the applicant failed to appear or comply with rules and regulations following entry of a final decision for three or more NOLs and/or parking violations within 18 months. The bill also contains provisions for relief from liability for owners of leased or rented motor vehicles.
Demonstration program equipment is subject to section 103 of the general municipal law, and the bill requires the use of necessary technologies to ensure, to the extent practicable, that photographs produced by such violation-monitoring systems do not include images identifying the driver, passengers or contents of a vehicle, and are exempt from FOIL recorded images.
The bill deems that NOLs would not be a conviction as an operator and thus would not be included on the owner's driver's license record, and prohibits the use of findings of liability for motor vehicle insurance purposes. Additionally, it provides as valid defenses that the vehicle was reported stolen and had not been recovered prior to the time the violation occurred, or that the traffic signal was malfunctioning at
the time of the alleged violation. Finally, it requires the County to submit an annual report on the demonstration program to the Governor and Legislature.
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 period, 33% were at signalized intersections.
Many cities in the United Stated already have operational photo enforcement for catching red light runners, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., resulting in safer intersections.
Most significantly, New York City has had a highly successful red light camera program. Since January 2006 scofflaw 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 red light camera program would provide a significant improvement in traffic safety within 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.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
Similar legislation: 2007-08: A7181-A, A7329
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7647 IN SENATE May 23, 2014 ___________Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations AN ACT to amend chapter 19 of the laws of 2009, amending the vehicle and traffic law and other laws relating to adjudications and owner liabil- ity for a violation of traffic-control signal indications, in relation to extending the provisions of such chapter THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 10 of chapter 19 of the laws of 2009, amending the vehicle and traffic law and other laws relating to adjudications and owner liability for a violation of traffic-control signal indications, is amended to read as follows: S 10. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law and shall expire December 1,
2019 when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed; provided that the amendments to paragraph a of subdivision 5-a of section 401 of the vehicle and traffic law made by section one of this act shall be subject to the expiration and reversion of such paragraph pursuant to section 17 of chapter 746 of the laws of 1988, as amended, when upon such date the provisions of section two of this act shall take effect; provided that the amendments to the opening paragraph and paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section 1809 of the vehicle and traffic law made by section four of this act shall be subject to the expiration and rever- sion of such subdivision pursuant to chapter 166 of the laws of 1991, as amended, when upon such date the provisions of section five of this act shall take effect; provided, however, that the amendments to the opening paragraph of subdivision 1 of section 1809 of the vehicle and traffic law made by section five of this act shall not affect the expiration of such subdivision and shall expire therewith; provided, however, that the amendments to subdivision 2 of section 371 of the general municipal law made by section seven of this act shall not affect the expiration of such section and shall be deemed to expire therewith; and provided, further, that any such local laws as may be enacted pursuant to this actEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15350-01-4 S. 7647 2
shall remain in full force and effect only until December 1,
2019. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.