Bill Text: NY S01056 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Makes the owner of a vehicle used to pass or overtake a stopped school bus jointly liable with the operator thereof when such violation is captured on a camera or observed by a school bus driver; authorizes the use of photographic evidence in the prosecution of such infraction; includes within the class A misdemeanor of assault in the third degree, the causation of physical injury to another person while passing or overtaking a stopped school bus; includes within the class E felony of criminally negligent homicide, the causation of death to another person while passing or overtaking a stopped school bus.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 3-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-01-10 - REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION [S01056 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S01056-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          1056
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 10, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sens.  YOUNG,  FUNKE, GALLIVAN -- read twice and ordered
          printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Trans-
          portation
        AN  ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the liabil-
          ity of owners of motor vehicles used to overtake  or  pass  a  stopped
          school bus receiving or discharging passengers and authorizing the use
          of  photographic  evidence  in the prosecution of such traffic infrac-
          tion; and to amend the penal law, in relation to assault in the  third
          degree and criminally negligent homicide
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The vehicle and traffic law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
     2  section 225-a to read as follows:
     3    § 225-a. Ownership and operation of vehicles; liability for passing or
     4  overtaking  stopped  school bus. 1.   Definitions. Whenever used in this
     5  article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
     6    a. "Owner" means any person, corporation, partnership,  firm,  agency,
     7  association, lessor or organization who at the time of the issuance of a
     8  notice of violation:
     9    (1) is the beneficial or equitable owner of a vehicle; or
    10    (2) has title to a vehicle; or
    11    (3)  is  the  registrant or co-registrant of a vehicle which is regis-
    12  tered with the department or the department of  motor  vehicles  of  any
    13  other  state,  territory,  district, province, nation or other jurisdic-
    14  tion; or
    15    (4) uses a vehicle in its vehicle renting and/or leasing business; or
    16    (5) is an owner of a vehicle as defined by section one  hundred  twen-
    17  ty-eight of this chapter.
    18    b.  "Lessor" means any person, corporation, firm, partnership, agency,
    19  association or organization engaged in the business of renting or  leas-
    20  ing  vehicles to any lessee or bailee under a rental agreement, lease or
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03946-01-9

        S. 1056                             2
     1  otherwise, wherein the said lessee or bailee has the  exclusive  use  of
     2  said vehicle for any period of time.
     3    c.  "Lessee" means any person, corporation, firm, partnership, agency,
     4  association or organization that rents, bails, leases or  contracts  for
     5  the  use  of  one or more vehicles and has the exclusive use thereof for
     6  any period of time.
     7    d. "Vehicle" means a vehicle as defined in section one hundred  fifty-
     8  nine of this chapter.
     9    e.  "Operator" means any person, corporation, firm, partnership, agen-
    10  cy, association, organization or lessee that uses or operates a  vehicle
    11  with  or  without the permission of the owner, and an owner who operates
    12  his or her own vehicle.
    13    f. "Notice of violation" means a notice of  violation  as  defined  in
    14  paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision one of section two hundred twenty-six of
    15  this article.
    16    g. "Fiscal year" means a period of one year commencing  on  the  first
    17  day of July and terminating on the thirtieth day of June.
    18    h.  "Primary  filing"  means  the initial filing of registration plate
    19  numbers by a lessor prior to the commencement of each fiscal year.
    20    2. Liability. a. The operator of a vehicle shall  be  liable  for  the
    21  fines or penalties imposed pursuant to this article. Except as otherwise
    22  provided  in  paragraphs  b  and e of this subdivision, the owner of the
    23  vehicle, even  if  not  the  operator  thereof,  shall  be  jointly  and
    24  severally liable with the operator thereof for any violation of subdivi-
    25  sion (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this chapter, if such
    26  vehicle  was  used or operated with the permission of the owner, express
    27  or implied, but in such case the owner may recover any fine or penalties
    28  paid by him or her from the operator.
    29    b. The lessor of a motor vehicle shall not  be  liable  for  fines  or
    30  penalties imposed pursuant to this article for any violation of subdivi-
    31  sion (a) of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this chapter if:
    32    (1)  prior  to the infraction, the lessor has filed with the office of
    33  the department specified in such notice of  violation  the  registration
    34  plate  number,  plate  type, and place of registration of the vehicle to
    35  which the notice of violation was issued and paid  the  required  filing
    36  fee provided in paragraph f of this subdivision and,
    37    (2) within thirty-seven days after receiving notice from the office of
    38  the  department  specified  in  such notice of violation of the date and
    39  time of a violation, together with the other  information  contained  in
    40  the  original  notice  of violation, the lessor submits to the office of
    41  the department specified in such notice of violation  the  correct  name
    42  and  address  of  the  lessee of the vehicle identified in the notice of
    43  violation at the time of such violation, together with such other  addi-
    44  tional  information  contained  in  the  rental, lease or other contract
    45  document, as may be reasonably required by the office of the  department
    46  specified  in  such notice of violation pursuant to regulations that may
    47  be promulgated for such purpose.
    48    c. If the lessor has complied with subparagraph one of paragraph b  of
    49  this  subdivision  such  lessor shall not be liable for any penalties in
    50  excess of the scheduled fine unless such lessor fails to  appear  within
    51  thirty-seven days of actual receipt of a notice of violation pursuant to
    52  paragraph e of this subdivision.
    53    d. If the lessor who has complied with subparagraph one of paragraph b
    54  of  this subdivision has paid any fine or penalty for which he or she is
    55  liable and the office of the department  specified  in  such  notice  of
    56  violation  subsequently  collects from the operator or lessee the amount

        S. 1056                             3
     1  of the scheduled fine and penalty owed by such person,  or  any  portion
     2  thereof,  the  lessor shall be entitled to reimbursement from the office
     3  of the department specified in such notice of violation of the amount of
     4  the  fine  and  penalty paid by the lessor, less the costs of collection
     5  incurred by such office of the department.
     6    e. The lessor shall not be  liable  for  any  fines  or  penalties  in
     7  connection  with  a notice of violation for a vehicle whose registration
     8  plate number is filed and the fee therefor paid prior to the time of the
     9  issuance of notice of violation, unless the lessor shall receive  notice
    10  from  the office of the department specified in such notice of violation
    11  of the date and time of such violation, together with the other informa-
    12  tion contained in the original notice of violation, within  ninety  days
    13  after service of the notice of violation, in accordance with subdivision
    14  one of section two hundred twenty-six of this article.
    15    f.  The  annual  fee  for  filing a registration plate number with the
    16  department by lessors under this section shall  be  twelve  dollars  per
    17  fiscal  year.  Lessors  shall  also provide the office of the department
    18  specified in such notice of violation with such other additional  infor-
    19  mation  in  such format as the commissioner by regulation may reasonably
    20  require. The registration plate number shall  not  be  considered  filed
    21  with  the office of the department specified in such notice of violation
    22  unless the annual filing fee provided for in this subdivision shall have
    23  been paid. Lessors shall not be entitled to a refund, reduction,  credit
    24  or  other consideration in connection with such annual filing fee in the
    25  event that such registration plate number  is  withdrawn  from  service,
    26  destroyed or surrendered during the fiscal year for which such registra-
    27  tion  plate  number  shall  have  been filed. In the event that a lessor
    28  files with the office of the department  specified  in  such  notice  of
    29  violation  registration plate numbers during the fiscal year, the annual
    30  filing fee for same shall be prorated on a monthly basis, in  accordance
    31  with a schedule that the commissioner shall promulgate by regulation for
    32  such  purpose.  The  primary  filing by each lessor for each fiscal year
    33  shall be  made at least thirty days prior to  the  commencement  of  the
    34  fiscal year.
    35    g.  Where the United States postal authorities return to the office of
    36  the department specified in  such  notice  of  violation  a  delinquency
    37  notice  forwarded  by  the  office  of  the department specified in such
    38  notice of violation to a name and address of a  lessee  furnished  by  a
    39  lessor in accordance with provisions of this section, such return notice
    40  shall be presumptive evidence of the furnishing of an incorrect name and
    41  address  by the lessor. The lessor may, however, conclusively rebut such
    42  presumption if within sixty days after receiving notification  from  the
    43  office  of  the department specified in such notice of violation of such
    44  returned mail notice, the lessor shall provide  to  the  office  of  the
    45  department  specified  in  such notice of violation a copy of the rental
    46  agreement or lease agreement for such lessee  containing  the  name  and
    47  address  previously  furnished to the office of the department specified
    48  in such notice of violation. In the event that a lessor  shall  fail  to
    49  rebut  the presumption established by this subdivision, the lessor shall
    50  be liable for the fines imposed pursuant to this article and in  accord-
    51  ance with the rules and regulations promulgated by the commissioner.
    52    h.  The  commissioner  shall  by  rules  and regulations prescribe the
    53  manner and method of giving notice  of  outstanding  violations  to  the
    54  lessees.  All  notices  to  lessors under this section shall be by first
    55  class mail to the address on file with  the  office  of  the  department

        S. 1056                             4
     1  specified in such notice of violation or by such other means as shall be
     2  provided for in the rules and regulations of the commissioner.
     3    i.  A lessor shall cooperate by providing the office of the department
     4  specified in such notice of violation, or its  designated  agents,  with
     5  such other additional information as shall be contained in such lessor's
     6  rental  or  lease agreements with their lessees as shall be available to
     7  them.
     8    3. Stolen vehicles. If any owner of a motor vehicle receives a  notice
     9  of violation as such owner for a period during which the described vehi-
    10  cle  was  reported  to  any  police department as having been stolen, it
    11  shall be a valid defense to any charge of a violation of subdivision (a)
    12  of section eleven hundred seventy-four of this chapter charged  pursuant
    13  to  this  article that the motor vehicle had been reported to the police
    14  as stolen prior to the time the violation  occurred  and  had  not  been
    15  recovered  by  such  time.  For  the  purposes  of asserting the defense
    16  provided by this subdivision, it shall be sufficient  that  a  certified
    17  copy  of the police report of the stolen vehicle be mailed to the office
    18  of the department specified in such notice of violation.
    19    § 2. The section heading and subdivision 1 of section 226 of the vehi-
    20  cle and traffic law, as added by chapter 1074 of the laws of  1969,  are
    21  amended to read as follows:
    22    Summons;  notice  of violation; answer. 1.  Summons.  (a) General. The
    23  commissioner shall be authorized to prescribe by regulation the form for
    24  the summons and complaint to be used for all traffic  violations  speci-
    25  fied  in  subdivision  one  of  section  two hundred twenty-five of this
    26  [chapter] article, and to establish procedures for proper administrative
    27  controls over the disposition thereof.  Such summons may be the same  as
    28  the  uniform  summons  provided for in section two hundred seven of this
    29  [chapter] title.  The chief executive officer of each local police force
    30  which is required to use the summons and complaint provided  for  herein
    31  shall prepare or cause to be prepared such records and reports as may be
    32  prescribed by the commissioner.
    33    (b)  Notice  of  violation.  Whenever  photographic evidence of or the
    34  operator of a school bus reports  a  violation  of  subdivision  (a)  of
    35  section  eleven  hundred  seventy-four of this chapter, a summons may be
    36  served by mail upon the owner of the vehicle observed in such  violation
    37  as  set  forth  in the records of the department provided, however, that
    38  such summons is accompanied by a notice of violation referring  to  such
    39  summons,  both  in  form  as shall be prescribed by the commissioner for
    40  this purpose, such vehicle is identified in  such  notice  of  violation
    41  both by its registration plate number and a description thereof, includ-
    42  ing its make, model, body type and color, and such notice is accompanied
    43  by  said  officer's certification of the evidence which is the basis for
    44  such violation authorizing the mailing thereof. When  such  summons  and
    45  notice  of  violation  are  so served by mail pursuant to this paragraph
    46  duplicates or facsimiles thereof shall be filed with and retained by the
    47  office of the department specified on such notice of violation, shall be
    48  deemed records kept in the ordinary course  of  business  and  shall  be
    49  prima  facie  evidence of the facts contained therein; in addition, such
    50  notice of violation and summons served by mail as herein provided  shall
    51  have  the  same  force  and  effect  and  the recipient thereof shall be
    52  subject to the same penalties for disregard thereof as though  the  same
    53  were  personally  served  on  the  person charged with the violation set
    54  forth therein, except as may otherwise be set forth in this article, and
    55  shall have clearly imprinted thereon in easily  visible  block  letters:
    56  YOUR FAILURE TO ANSWER THIS SUMMONS MAY RESULT IN THE SUSPENSION OF YOUR

        S. 1056                             5
     1  LICENSE  OR DRIVING PRIVILEGE PURSUANT TO § 226 OF THE VEHICLE AND TRAF-
     2  FIC LAW.
     3    §  3. Subdivision 3 and paragraph a of subdivision 4 of section 227 of
     4  the vehicle and traffic law, subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 337  of
     5  the  laws  of 1970 and renumbered by chapter 288 of the laws of 1989 and
     6  paragraph a of subdivision 4 as amended by section 7 of part J of  chap-
     7  ter 62 of the laws of 2003, are amended to read as follows:
     8    3.  After due consideration of the evidence and arguments offered in a
     9  contested case, the hearing officer shall determine whether the  charges
    10  have  been established. In the case of an owner charged as such pursuant
    11  to this article, it shall be a complete defense to such  charge  that  a
    12  vehicle  alleged  to be in violation was operated without the permission
    13  of such owner or his agent and the establishment of lack  of  permission
    14  shall  result  in  an  order  dismissing such charge against such owner.
    15  Where the charges have not been established,  an  order  dismissing  the
    16  charges  shall  be entered.  Where a determination is made that a charge
    17  has been established, either in a contested case or  in  an  uncontested
    18  case  where  there  is  an appearance before a hearing officer, or if an
    19  answer admitting the charge otherwise has been received, an  appropriate
    20  order shall be entered in the department's records.
    21    a.  An order entered upon the failure to answer or appear or after the
    22  receipt of an answer admitting the charge or where  a  determination  is
    23  made  that the charge has been established shall be civil in nature, but
    24  shall be treated as a conviction for the purposes of this  chapter.  The
    25  commissioner  or his designee may include in such order an imposition of
    26  any penalty authorized by any provision of this chapter for a conviction
    27  of such violation, except that no  penalty  [therefore]  therefor  shall
    28  include  imprisonment,  nor,  if monetary, exceed the amount of the fine
    29  which could have been imposed had the charge been heard by a court.  The
    30  driver's  license  or privileges, or, if the charge involves a violation
    31  of section three hundred eighty-five or section four hundred one of this
    32  chapter by a registrant who was not the operator  of  the  vehicle,  the
    33  registration  of  such  vehicle  or  privilege of operation of any motor
    34  vehicle owned by such registrant may be suspended pending the payment of
    35  any penalty so imposed; however, in the case of an owner charged as such
    36  pursuant to this article, his or her driver's license or privilege shall
    37  not be affected by such order or determination other than as  suspension
    38  thereof  for  failure to appear or pay as set forth in this article, nor
    39  shall a conviction hereunder of such owner as  such  result  in  depart-
    40  mental  administrative sanctions affecting his or her driving license or
    41  privilege. Any suspension issued pursuant to  this  paragraph  shall  be
    42  subject  to  the  provisions  of  paragraph  (j-1) of subdivision two of
    43  section five hundred three of this chapter.
    44    § 4. Section 1174 of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by  adding
    45  a new subdivision (b-1) to read as follows:
    46    (b-1)  The driver and/or owner of a vehicle charged with the violation
    47  of subdivision (a) of this section, may be  prosecuted  based  upon  the
    48  observations of the driver of a school bus or photographic evidence.
    49    § 5. Section 120.00 of the penal law is amended to read as follows:
    50  § 120.00 Assault in the third degree.
    51    A person is guilty of assault in the third degree when:
    52    1.  With  intent to cause physical injury to another person, he or she
    53  causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or
    54    2. He or she recklessly causes physical injury to another person; or

        S. 1056                             6
     1    3. With criminal negligence, he  or  she  causes  physical  injury  to
     2  another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument[.];
     3  or
     4    4.  He or she causes physical injury to another person while operating
     5  a motor vehicle in  violation  of  subdivision  (a)  of  section  eleven
     6  hundred seventy-four of the vehicle and traffic law.
     7    Assault in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.
     8    § 6. Section 125.10 of the penal law is amended to read as follows:
     9  § 125.10 Criminally negligent homicide.
    10    A person is guilty of criminally negligent homicide when[, with]:
    11    1.  With  criminal  negligence,  he or she causes the death of another
    12  person[.]; or
    13    2. He or she causes the death of  another  person  while  operating  a
    14  motor  vehicle in violation of subdivision (a) of section eleven hundred
    15  seventy-four of the vehicle and traffic law.
    16    Criminally negligent homicide is a class E felony.
    17    § 7. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
    18  ing the date on which it shall have become a law.
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