BILL NUMBER: S34
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to
establishing a demonstration program imposing monetary liability on
the owner of a vehicle for failure of an operator thereof to comply
with traffic control indications in Nassau county
This Legislation seeks to prevent the deaths and injuries caused by
motorists running red light by authorizing Nassau county to adopt
local law to implement a program to install photo violation-monitoring
devices at up to fifty intersections.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
The bill would amend Section 1111-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to
authorize Nassau County to adopt a local law to implement a
demonstration program to install photo violation-monitoring devices at
up to fifty intersections. This program would be similar to the
program that section 1111-a presently authorizes the City of New York
to implement. Like the City, Nassau County would be authorized to
impose monetary liability of up to fifty dollars on the owners of
vehicles shown by a photo violation-monitoring device to fail to
comply with traffic- jurisdiction to adjudicate violations under this
section in Nassau County. As in the City, no liability could be
imposed against owners who did not give their consent to the operation
of their vehicle. But there would be a statutory presumption that
vehicles were operated with owners' consent. Also, as in the City of
New York, it would be a defense that traffic control indications were
malfunctioning at the time of the alleged violation. Lessors and
rental companies would not be held liable for violations. Vehicle
owners are not prohibited from maintaining actions for indemnification
against operators. Finally, the bill would require Nassau County,
like the City of New York, to submit an annual program report to the
legislature and Governor. The report will be prepared by the Executive
Director of TPVA.
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 peiord, 33% were at
Many cities in the United States already have operational photo
enforcement for catching red light runners, including New York City.
Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, and Washington DC
Photo enforcement of red light running, and in making intersections
Most significantly, New York City has had a highly successful red
light cameras. Since January 2006 scoff law 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 a red light
camera program would provide a significant improvement in traffic
safety with in 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.
Nassau County is being joined by Suffolk, Westchester and many upstate
counties in the effort to bolster traffic safety.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
2007-2008: Passed the Senate (S.4296)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE :
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