Bill Text: NJ S3347 | 2020-2021 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Allows municipality to use school bus video footage to ticket driver for illegally passing school bus.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-12 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Law and Public Safety Committee [S3347 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2020-S3347-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3347

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 12, 2021

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  ANTHONY M. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris and Somerset)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Allows municipality to use school bus video footage to ticket driver for illegally passing school bus.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning school buses, supplementing P.L.1965, c.119 (C.39:3B-1 et seq.), and amending P.L.1942, c.192.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  a.  A municipality may use school bus video camera footage to assist in the enforcement of section 1 of P.L.1942, c.192 (C.39:4-128.1). 

     b.    In any municipality in which recorded images from a school bus video camera are used to assist in the enforcement of section 1 of P.L.1942, c.192 (C.39:4-128.1), a law enforcement official of the municipality shall review the recorded images produced by the video camera.  In conducting the review, the law enforcement official shall determine whether there is sufficient evidence to conclude that a violation of section 1 of P.L.1942, c.192 (C.39:4-128.1) has occurred and shall issue, within 90 days from the date on which the violation occurred, a summons when it is deemed appropriate.  A school bus video camera summons issued pursuant to this section shall be served by a law enforcement official in accordance with the Rules of Court. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the recorded images produced by the school bus video camera shall be available for the exclusive use of any law enforcement official for the purposes of discharging the official's duties pursuant to P.L.2007, c.348 (C.39:4-8.12 et seq.).  Any recorded image or information produced in connection with a school bus video camera shall not be deemed a public record under P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) or the common law concerning access to public records.  The recorded images shall not be discoverable as a public record by any person, entity, or governmental agency, except upon a subpoena issued by a grand jury or a court order in a criminal matter, nor shall they be offered in evidence in any civil or administrative proceeding not directly related to a violation of section 1 of P.L.1942, c.192 (C.39:4-128.1).  

     Any recorded image or information produced by a school bus video camera in connection with a specific violation of section 1 of P.L.1942, c.192 (C.39:4-128.1) shall be purged and not retained for more than 60 days after the collection of any fine or penalty.  If a law enforcement official does not issue a summons for a violation within 90 days, all recorded images and information collected pertaining to that alleged violation shall be purged within three days. 

     c.     Except as provided in subsection d. of this section, the owner and operator shall be jointly liable for a summons issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section, unless the owner can show

that the vehicle was used without his consent, express or implied.  An owner who pays any fine, penalty, costs or administrative fees in connection with a summons issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall have the right to recover that sum from the operator in a court of competent jurisdiction.

     d.    The owner of a motor vehicle who is a lessor shall not be liable for a summons issued pursuant to subsection a. of this section when the motor vehicle is under the control or in the possession of the lessee, if upon notice of a summons issued, the owner of the motor vehicle which was leased at the time of the offense notifies the clerk of the court where the case is pending, by an affidavit of the name and address of the lessee.  The affidavit shall be in a form prescribed by the Administrative Director of the Courts.

     After providing the name and address of the lessee, the owner shall not be required to attend a hearing of the offense, unless otherwise notified by the court.

     e.     In no case shall motor vehicle points or automobile insurance eligibility points pursuant to section 26 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-14) be assessed against any person liable for a summons issued under the provisions of this section.

     f.     A person liable for a summons issued shall be subject to: (1) a fine of $100 for a first offense, and (2) a fine of $250 for each subsequent offense.  The penalties shall be enforced and recovered pursuant to the provisions of chapter 5 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.  There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle which was involved in the violation of this section was the person who committed the act. Any person who suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of a violation of this section or who suppresses the identity of the violator shall be subject to a fine of $100.

     g.    For purposes of this section, "school bus" means any vehicle equipped with a crossing arm, pursuant to P.L.1996, c.96 (C.39:3B-1.1 et seq.). 

 

     2.    Section 1 of P.L.1942, c.192 (C.39:4-128.1) is amended to read as follows: 

     1.    On highways having roadways not divided by safety islands or physical traffic separation installations, the driver of a vehicle approaching or overtaking a bus, which is being used for the transportation of children to or from school or a summer day camp or any school connected activity, or which is being used for the transportation of a person who has a developmental disability, and which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any child or a person who has a developmental disability, shall stop such vehicle not less than 25 feet from such school bus and keep such vehicle stationary until such child or person who has a developmental disability has entered said bus or has alighted and reached the side of such highway and until a flashing red light is no longer exhibited by the bus; provided, such bus is designated as a school bus by one sign on the front and one sign on the rear, with each letter on such signs at least four inches in height.

     On highways having dual or multiple roadways separated by safety islands or physical traffic separation installations, the driver of a vehicle overtaking a school bus, which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any child or any person who has a developmental disability, shall stop such vehicle not less than 25 feet from such school bus and keep such vehicle stationary until such child or person who has a developmental disability has entered said bus or has alighted and reached the side of the highway and until a flashing red light is no longer exhibited by the bus.

     On highways having dual or multiple roadways separated by safety islands or physical traffic separation installations, the driver of a vehicle on another roadway approaching a school bus, which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any child, or any person who has a developmental disability shall reduce the speed of his vehicle to not more than 10 miles per hour and shall not resume normal speed until the vehicle has passed the bus and has passed any child who may have alighted therefrom or be about to enter said bus.

     For purposes of this section, "highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way whether publicly or privately maintained when any part thereof is open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

     Whenever a school bus is parked at the curb for the purpose of receiving children directly from a school or a summer day camp or any school connected activity or discharging children to enter a school, or a summer day camp or any school connected activity, which is located on the same side of the street as that on which the bus is parked, drivers of vehicles shall be permitted to pass said bus without stopping, but at a speed not in excess of 10 miles per hour.

     Whenever a school bus is parked at the curb for the purpose of receiving or discharging a person who has a developmental disability on the same side of the street as that on which the bus is parked, drivers of vehicles shall be permitted to pass the bus without stopping, but at a speed not in excess of 10 miles per hour.

     The driver of a bus which is being used for the transportation of children to or from school or a summer day camp or any school connected activity, or for the transportation of a person who has a developmental disability shall continue to exhibit a flashing red light and shall not start his bus until every child who may have alighted therefrom shall have reached a place of safety.

     [Any] Except as otherwise provided in section 1 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), a person who [shall violate] violates any provision of this act shall be subject to (1) a fine of not less than [$100.00] $100 , (2) imprisonment for not more than 15 days or community service for 15 days in such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate, (3) or both for the first offense, and a fine not less than [$250.00] $250 , imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both for each subsequent offense.  The penalties shall be enforced and recovered pursuant to the provisions of chapter 5 of Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.  There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle which was involved in the violation of this section was the person who committed the act.  Any person who suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of a violation of this section or who suppresses the identity of the violator shall be subject to a fine of $100.

     The Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission may also revoke the license to drive a motor vehicle of any person who shall have been guilty of such willful violation of any of the provisions of this act as shall, in the discretion of the chief administrator, justify such revocation, but the chief administrator shall, at all times, have power to validate such a license which has been revoked, or to grant a new license to any person whose license to drive a motor vehicle shall have been revoked pursuant to this act.

(cf: P.L.2012, c.20, s.2)

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month next following the date of enactment. 

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill permits a municipality to use school bus video camera footage to assist in the enforcement of section 1 of P.L.1942, c.192 (C.39:4-128.1), which prohibits vehicles from passing a school bus while passengers are picked up or discharged. 

     The bill provides that in any municipality in which recorded images from a school bus video camera are used to assist in the enforcement of section 1 of P.L.1942, c.192 (C.39:4-128.1), a law enforcement official of the municipality is to review the recorded images produced by the video camera and issue a summons when it is deemed appropriate within 90 days from the date on which the violation occurred.  The bill also provides that if a law enforcement official does not issue a summons for a violation within 90 days, all recorded images and information collected pertaining to that alleged violation is required to be purged. 

     Under the bill, a person liable for a summons issued based upon images captured from a school bus video camera would be subject to a fine of $100 for a first offense and $250 for each subsequent offense.

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