-  This bill is not active in this session.
 

A04950 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A4950B
 
SPONSOR: Magnarelli
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to school bus photo violation monitoring systems and owner liability for failure of operator to stop for a school bus displaying a red visual signal; to amend the general municipal law, in relation to jurisdiction and procedure; to amend the public officers law, in relation to certain photographs, videotapes or other recorded images; to amend the education law, in relation to authorizing school districts to enter into agreements with municipalities for the installation and use of school bus photo violation monitoring systems; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation is intended to protect the health, safety, and welfare of schoolchildren riding school buses.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Sections 1 through 8-g amend provisions of Article 2-B of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) in relation to parking violations bureau adjudi- cation of notices of liability issued for the failure of motor vehicle operators to comply with VTL § 1174 (overtaking and passing stopped school buses displaying red visual signals); Section 9 establishes a demonstration program authorizing counties not wholly contained within a city, cities, towns and villages to enact local laws or ordinances imposing liability on vehicle owners for the failure of motor vehicle operators to comply with VTL § 11 74 (overtak- ing and passing stopped school buses displaying red visual signals), within parameters established by this section. The demonstration program would empower these municipalities to install and operate school bus photo violation monitoring systems (stationary or mobile), which could be installed on school buses owned or operated by the school district within the municipality pursuant to an agreement. All costs would be borne by the municipalities subject to the agreements; Sections 10 through 11-f amend VTL §§ 1809 and 1809-e to exempt notices of liability issued under the school bus photo violation monitoring demonstration program from mandatory State traffic ticket surcharges; Section 12 amends VTL § 1803 to provide for the distribution of fines and penalties collected under demonstration programs established by counties; Sections 13 through 13-d amend General Municipal Law (GML) § 371 in relation to traffic violations bureau adjudication of notices of liabil- ity issued for the failure of motor vehicle operators to comply with VTL § 1174 (overtaking and passing stopped school buses displaying red visu- al signals); Sections 14 and 14-a amend GML § 371(2) in relation to Nassau and Suffolk County traffic and parking violations agencies' assistance to the respective counties' district courts in the disposition and adminis- tration of liability of motor vehicle owners for operators' failure to comply with VTL § 1174 (overtaking and passing stopped school buses displaying red visual signals); Section 15 amends Public Officers Law § 87 to exempt photographs, micro- photographs, videotape, or other recorded images prepared under the school bus photo violation monitoring demonstration program from freedom of information law disclosure; Section 16 requires that the purchase or lease of equipment for the school bus photo violation monitoring demonstration program be subject to GML § 103 (relating to procurement requirements); Sections 17 through 21 amend Education Law §§1604, 1709, 2503, 2554, and 2590-h to authorize common school districts, union free school districts, city school districts with a population below 125,000, city school districts in cities with a population above 125,000, and the New York City school district to enter agreements with municipalities within such districts for the installation and use of school bus photo violation monitoring systems; Section 22 adds a provision to the Unconsolidated Law regarding agree- ments between municipalities and school districts; Section 23 adds a provision to the Unconsolidated Law relating to the issuance of warning notices to motor vehicle owners; Section 24 adds a provision to the Unconsolidated Law regarding the sharing of demonstration program annual reports with local law enforce- ment agencies; and Section 25 provides that the law would take effect 30 days after enact- ment, and expire and be deemed repealed December 1, 2024.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): The bill would modify provisions relating to signage, penalties for violations, the procedure that would take effect in the event of munici- pal non-payment of costs, agreement withdrawal, the content and sharing of annual reports,'and extending the sunset by one year.   JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, a ticket for illegally passing a stopped school bus displaying a red visual signal can be issued only by a police officer who witnesses the violation. This bill provides for additional enforce- ment options by authorizing a demonstration program to allow local governments to impose liability on the owners of motor vehicles for the failure of the drivers of such vehicles to comply with the law prohibit- ing the overtaking and passing of stopped school buses displaying red visual signals. The program allows for the use of mobile cameras mounted on school buses, as well as stationary cameras, with the cost to be borne solely by the municipalities. Many efforts in New York State have already been undertaken to combat this problem, with some positive results, such as OPERATION SAFE STOP. However, the number of violations continues to be alarming. A recent one-day survey done by the NYS Association for School Pupil Transporta- tion yielded astounding results and underscores the need for this legis- lation. On May 1st, 2013, the Association found that the 236 school bus drivers in 21 school districts in New York in rural, urban and small city settings that participated in the survey reported 306 illegal pass- es including 6 "right side" passes. That represents an average of 1.28 illegal passes per school bus. That number, if extrapolated, would bring the estimated number of illegal passes in the State to over 64,000 on that date alone. Other studies have estimated that more than 50,000 drivers throughout New York on a single school day illegally pass stopped school buses. New York has long recognized the paramount importance of protecting school children transported on school buses, with strong laws and regu- lations governing school bus operation and safety equipment, school bus driver qualifications and training, and mandatory stops by other motor- ists. The use of school bus photo violation monitoring systems (cameras) is necessary to prevent further deaths and injuries caused by dangerous motorists who ignore current law. Several other states, including Geor- gia, Maryland, North Carolina, Iowa, Virginia, Connecticut, and Washing- ton, have enacted legislation similar to this bill in response to a growing national concern over illegal passing, or "stop arm violations." This bill will expand the enforcement tools available in New York to further address this issue, and will significantly lessen the numbers of violations that continue to compromise the health, safety and well-being of our students.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013-2014: A.7350-A 2015-2016: A.1520-C 2017-18: A.321-B   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Unknown.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law and shall expire December 1, 2024 when upon such date the provisions of this act shall be deemed repealed; provided that any such local law as may be enacted pursuit to this act shall remain in full force and effect only until December 1, 2024.
Go to top