Bill Text: PA HB821 | 2011-2012 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: In registration of vehicles, further providing for display of registration plate; and, in general provisions relating to operation of vehicles, providing for automated red light enforcement systems in second class, second class A and third class cities and for a penalty.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 8-3)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2011-02-28 - Referred to TRANSPORTATION [HB821 Detail]

Download: Pennsylvania-2011-HB821-Introduced.html

  

 

    

PRINTER'S NO.  854

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

HOUSE BILL

 

No.

821

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY P. COSTA, BRIGGS, CALTAGIRONE, CARROLL, CLYMER, DeLUCA, HESS, PAYNE AND K. SMITH, FEBRUARY 28, 2011

  

  

REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION, FEBRUARY 28, 2011  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

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Amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated

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Statutes, in registration of vehicles, further providing for

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display of registration plate; and, in general provisions

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relating to operation of vehicles, providing for automated

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red light enforcement systems in second class, second class A

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and third class cities and for a penalty.

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The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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hereby enacts as follows:

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Section 1.  Section 1332(b)(2) of Title 75 of the

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Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:

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§ 1332.  Display of registration plate.

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* * *

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(b)  Obscuring plate.--It is unlawful to display on any

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vehicle a registration plate which:

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* * *

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(2)  is obscured in any manner which inhibits the proper

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operation of an automated red light enforcement system in

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place pursuant to section 3116 (relating to automated red

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light enforcement systems in first class cities) or 3117

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(relating to automated red light enforcement systems in

 


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second class, second class A and third class cities); or

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* * *

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Section 2.  Title 75 is amended by adding a section to read:

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§ 3117.  Automated red light enforcement systems in second

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class, second class A and third class cities.

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(a)  General rule.--A city of the second class, second class

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A or third class, upon passage of an ordinance, is authorized to

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enforce section 3112(a)(3) (relating to traffic-control signals)

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by recording violations using an automated red light enforcement

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system approved by the department.

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(b)  Applicability.--This section shall only be applicable at

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intersections in a city of the second class, second class A or

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third class agreed upon by the system administrator and the

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secretary.

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(c)  Owner liability.--For each violation under this section,

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the owner of the vehicle shall be liable for the penalty imposed

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unless the owner is convicted of the same violation under

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another section of this title or has a defense under subsection

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(g).

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(d)  Certificate as evidence.--

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(1)  A certificate, or a facsimile of a certificate,

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based upon inspection of recorded images produced by an

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automated red light enforcement system and sworn to or

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affirmed by a police officer employed by the city of the

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second class, second class A or third class shall be prima

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facie evidence of the facts contained in it.

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(2)  The city must include written documentation that the

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automated red light enforcement system was operating

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correctly at the time of the alleged violation.

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(3)  A recorded image evidencing a violation of section

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3112(a)(3) shall be admissible in any judicial or

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administrative proceeding to adjudicate the liability for the

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violation.

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(e)  Penalty.--

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(1)  The penalty for a violation under subsection (a)

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shall be a fine of $100 unless a lesser amount is set by

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ordinance.

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(2)  A fine is not authorized for a violation of this

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section if any of the following apply:

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(i)  The intersection is being manually controlled.

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(ii)  The signal is in the mode described in section

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3114 (relating to flashing signals).

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(3)  A fine is not authorized during any of the

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following:

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(i)  The first 120 days of operation of the automated

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system at the initial intersection.

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(ii)  The first 60 days for each additional

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intersection selected for the automated system.

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(4)  A warning may be sent to the violator under

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paragraph (3).

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(5)  A penalty imposed under this section shall not be

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deemed a criminal conviction and shall not be made part of

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the operating record under section 1535 (relating to schedule

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of convictions and points) of the individual upon whom the

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penalty is imposed, nor may the imposition of the penalty be

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subject to merit rating for insurance purposes.

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(6)  No surcharge points may be imposed in the provision

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of motor vehicle insurance coverage.

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(7)  Fines collected under this section shall not be

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subject to 42 Pa.C.S. § 3571 (relating to Commonwealth

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portion of fines, etc.) or 3573 (relating to municipal

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corporation portion of fines, etc.).

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(f)  Limitations.--

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(1)  No automated red light enforcement system shall be

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utilized in such a manner as to take a frontal view recorded

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image of the vehicle as evidence of having committed a

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violation.

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(2)  (i)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law,

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camera equipment deployed as part of an automated red

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light enforcement system as provided under this section

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must be incapable of automated or user-controlled remote

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intersection surveillance by means of recorded video

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images. Recorded images collected as part of the

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automated red light enforcement system may only record

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traffic violations and may not be used for any other

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surveillance purposes.

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(ii)  The restrictions set forth under this paragraph

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shall not be construed to preclude a court of competent

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jurisdiction from issuing an order directing that the

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information be provided to law enforcement officials if

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the information is reasonably described and is requested

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solely in connection with a criminal law enforcement

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action.

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(3)  (i)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law,

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information prepared under this section and information

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relating to violations under this section which is kept

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by the city of the second class, second class A or third

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class, its authorized agents or employees, including

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recorded images, written records, reports or facsimiles,

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names, addresses and the number of violations under this

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section, shall be for the exclusive use of the city, its

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authorized agents, its employees and law enforcement

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officials for the purpose of discharging their duties

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under this section and under any ordinances and

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resolutions of the city.

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(ii)  The information shall not be deemed a public

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record under the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3),

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known as the Right-to-Know Law. The information shall not

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be discoverable by court order or otherwise, nor shall it

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be offered in evidence in any action or proceeding which

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is not directly related to a violation of this section or

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any ordinance or resolution of the city.

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(iii)  The restrictions set forth under this

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paragraph shall not be deemed to preclude a court of

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competent jurisdiction from issuing an order directing

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that the information be provided to law enforcement

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officials if the information is reasonably described and

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is requested solely in connection with a criminal law

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enforcement action.

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(4)  Recorded images obtained through the use of

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automated red light enforcement systems deployed as a means

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of promoting traffic safety in a city of the second class,

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second class A or third class shall be destroyed within one

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year of final disposition of an recorded event. The city

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shall file notice with the Department of State that the

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records have been destroyed in accordance with this section.

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(5)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law,

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registered vehicle owner information obtained as a result of

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the operation of an automated red light enforcement system

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under this section shall not be the property of the

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manufacturer or vendor of the automated red light enforcement

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system and may not be used for any purpose other than

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prescribed in this section.

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(g)  Defenses.--

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(1)  (i)  It shall be a defense to a violation under this

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section that the person named in the notice of the

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violation was not operating the vehicle at the time of

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the violation. The owner may be required to submit

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evidence that the owner was not the driver at the time of

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the alleged violation.

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(ii)  The city of the second class, second class A or

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third class may not require the owner of the vehicle to

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disclose the identity of the operator of the vehicle at

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the time of the violation.

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(2)  If an owner receives a notice of violation under

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this section of a time period during which the vehicle was

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reported to a police department of any state or municipality

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as having been stolen, it shall be a defense to a violation

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under this section that the vehicle has been reported to a

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police department as stolen prior to the time the violation

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occurred and had not been recovered prior to that time.

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(3)  It shall be a defense to a violation under this

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section that the person receiving the notice of violation was

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not the owner of the vehicle at the time of the offense.

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(h)  Department approval.--No automated red light enforcement

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system may be used without the approval of the department, which

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shall have the authority to promulgate regulations for the

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certification and use of such systems.

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(i)  Duty of city.--If a city of the second class, second

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class A or third class elects to implement this section, the

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following provisions shall apply:

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(1)  The city may not use an automated red light

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enforcement system unless an appropriate sign is posted in a

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conspicuous place before the area in which the automated red

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light enforcement device is to be used notifying the public

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that an automated red light enforcement device is in use

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immediately ahead.

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(2)  The city shall designate or appoint its parking

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authority or other applicable entity as the system

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administrator to supervise and coordinate the administration

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of notices of violation issued under this section.

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(3)  (i)  The system administrator shall prepare a notice

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of violation to the registered owner of a vehicle

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identified in a recorded image produced by an automated

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red light enforcement system as evidence of a violation

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of section 3112(a)(3). The issuance of the notice of

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violation must be done by a police officer employed by

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the police department with primary jurisdiction over the

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area where the violation occurred.

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(ii)  The notice of violation shall have attached to

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it all of the following:

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(A)  A copy of the recorded image showing the

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vehicle.

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(B)  The registration number and state of

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issuance of the vehicle registration.

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(C)  The date, time and place of the alleged

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violation.

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(D)  Notice that the violation charged is under

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section 3112(a)(3).

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(E)  Instructions for return of the notice of

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violation.

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(iii)  The text of the notice must be as follows:

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This notice shall be returned personally, by mail or by

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an agent duly authorized in writing, within 30 days of

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issuance. A hearing may be obtained upon the written

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request of the registered owner.

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(j)  System administrator.--

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(1)  The system administrator may hire and designate

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personnel as necessary or contract for services to implement

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this section.

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(2)  The system administrator shall process fines issued

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under this section.

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(3)  The system administrator shall submit an annual

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report to the chairman and the minority chairman of the

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Transportation Committee of the Senate and the chairman and

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minority chairman of the Transportation Committee of the

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House of Representatives. The report shall include for the

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prior year:

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(i)  The number of violations and fines issued.

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(ii)  A compilation of fines paid and outstanding.

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(iii)  The amount of money paid to a vendor or

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manufacturer under this section.

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(k)  Notice to owner.--

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(1)  In the case of a violation involving a motor vehicle

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registered under the laws of this Commonwealth, the notice of

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violation shall be mailed within 30 days after the commission

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of the violation or within 30 days after the discovery of the

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identity of the registered owner, whichever is later, and not

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thereafter to the address of the registered owner as listed

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in the records of the department.

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(2)  In the case of motor vehicles registered in

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jurisdictions other than this Commonwealth, the notice of

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violation shall be mailed within 30 days after the discovery

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of the identity of the registered owner and not thereafter to

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the address of the registered owner as listed in the records

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of the official in the jurisdiction having charge of the

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registration of the vehicle.

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(l)  Mailing of notice and records.--Notice of violation must

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be sent by first class mail. A manual or automatic record of

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mailing prepared by the system administrator in the ordinary

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course of business shall be prima facie evidence of mailing and

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shall be admissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding

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as to the facts contained in it.

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(m)  Payment of fine.--

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(1)  An owner to whom a notice of violation has been

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issued may admit responsibility for the violation and pay the

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fine provided in the notice.

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(2)  (i)  Payment must be made personally, through an

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authorized agent or by mailing both payment and the

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notice of violation to the system administrator. Payment

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by mail must be made only by money order, credit card or

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check made payable to the system administrator.

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(ii)  The system administrator shall remit the fine,

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less the system administrator's operation and maintenance

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costs necessitated under this section, to the department

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for deposit into the Motor License Fund.

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(iii)  Fines deposited in the fund under this

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paragraph shall be used by the department to develop, by

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regulation, a transportation enhancements grant program.

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(3)  Payment of the established fine and applicable

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penalties shall operate as a final disposition of the case.

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(n)  Hearing.--

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(1)  An owner to whom a notice of violation has been

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issued may, within 30 days of the mailing of the notice,

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request a hearing to contest the liability alleged in the

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notice. A hearing request must be made by appearing before

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the system administrator during regular office hours either

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personally or by an authorized agent or by mailing a request

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in writing.

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(2)  Upon receipt of a hearing request, the system

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administrator shall in a timely manner schedule the matter

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before a hearing officer. The hearing officer shall be

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designated by the city of the second class, second class A or

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third class. Written notice of the date, time and place of

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hearing must be sent by first class mail to the owner.

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(3)  The hearing shall be informal, the rules of evidence

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shall not apply and the decision of the hearing officer shall

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be final, subject to the right of the owner to appeal the

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decision to the magisterial district judge.

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(4)  If the owner requests in writing that the decision

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of the hearing officer be appealed to the magisterial

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district judge, the system administrator shall file the

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notice of violation and supporting documents with the

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magisterial district judge, which shall hear and decide the

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matter de novo.

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(o)  Compensation to manufacturer or vendor.--If a city of

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the second class, second class A or third class has established

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an automated red light enforcement system deployed as a means of

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promoting traffic safety and the enforcement of the traffic laws

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of this Commonwealth or the city, the compensation paid to the

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manufacturer or vendor of the automated red light enforcement

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system:

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(1)  May not be based upon the number of traffic

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citations issued or a portion or percentage of the fine

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generated by the citations.

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(2)  Shall be based upon the value of the equipment and

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the services provided or rendered in support of the automated

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red light enforcement system.

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(p)  Duration of yellow light change interval.--The duration

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of the yellow light change interval at intersections where

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automated red light enforcement systems are in use shall conform

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to the yellow light change interval duration specified on the

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traffic signal permit issued by the department of a second

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class, second class A or third class city.

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(q)  Expiration.--This section shall expire December 31,

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2020.

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Section 3.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

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