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This entry was published on 2019-12-13
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SECTION 1111-B*3
Owner liability for failure of operator to comply with traffic-control indications
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 7, ARTICLE 24
* § 1111-b. Owner liability for failure of operator to comply with
traffic-control indications. (a) 1. Notwithstanding any other provision
of law, the county of Suffolk is hereby authorized and empowered to
adopt and amend a local law or ordinance 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 such county in accordance with the provisions of this
section. Such demonstration program shall empower such county to install
and operate traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring devices at
no more than one hundred intersections within and under the jurisdiction
of such county at any one time.

2. Such demonstration program shall utilize necessary technologies to
ensure, to the extent practicable, that photographs produced by such
traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring systems shall not
include images that identify the driver, the passengers, or the contents
of the vehicle. Provided, however, that no notice of liability issued
pursuant to this section shall be dismissed solely because a photograph
or photographs allow for the identification of the contents of a
vehicle, provided that such county has made a reasonable effort to
comply with the provisions of this paragraph.

(b) In any such county which has adopted a local law or ordinance
pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section, the owner of a vehicle
shall be liable for a penalty imposed pursuant to this section if such
vehicle was used or operated with the permission of the owner, express
or implied, in violation of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred
eleven of this article, and such violation is evidenced by information
obtained from a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring
system; provided however that no owner of a vehicle shall be liable for
a penalty imposed pursuant to this section where the operator of such
vehicle has been convicted of the underlying violation of subdivision
(d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article.

(c) For purposes of this section, "owner" shall have the meaning
provided in article two-B of this chapter. For purposes of this section,
"traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring system" shall mean a
vehicle sensor installed to work in conjunction with a traffic-control
signal which automatically produces two or more photographs, two or more
microphotographs, a videotape or other recorded images of each vehicle
at the time it is used or operated in violation of subdivision (d) of
section eleven hundred eleven of this article.

(d) A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by a technician employed by
Suffolk county in which the charged violation occurred, or a facsimile
thereof, based upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs,
videotape or other recorded images produced by a traffic-control signal
photo violation-monitoring system, shall be prima facie evidence of the
facts contained therein. Any photographs, microphotographs, videotape or
other recorded images evidencing such a violation shall be available for
inspection in any proceeding to adjudicate the liability for such
violation pursuant to a local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to this
section.

(e) An owner liable for a violation of subdivision (d) of section
eleven hundred eleven of this article pursuant to a local law or
ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall be liable for monetary
penalties in accordance with a schedule of fines and penalties to be set
forth in such local law or ordinance. The liability of the owner
pursuant to this section shall not exceed fifty dollars for each
violation; provided, however, that such local law or ordinance may
provide for an additional penalty not in excess of twenty-five dollars
for each violation for the failure to respond to a notice of liability
within the prescribed time period.

(f) An imposition of liability under a local law or ordinance adopted
pursuant to this section shall not be deemed a conviction as an operator
and shall not be made part of the operating record of the person upon
whom such liability is imposed nor shall it be used for insurance
purposes in the provision of motor vehicle insurance coverage.

(g) 1. A notice of liability shall be sent by first class mail to each
person alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation of subdivision
(d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article pursuant to this
section. Personal delivery on the owner shall not be required. A manual
or automatic record of mailing prepared in the ordinary course of
business shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein.

2. A notice of liability shall contain the name and address of the
person alleged to be liable as an owner for a violation of subdivision
(d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article pursuant to this
section, the registration number of the vehicle involved in such
violation, the location where such violation took place, the date and
time of such violation and the identification number of the camera which
recorded the violation or other document locator number.

3. The notice of liability shall contain information advising the
person charged of the manner and the time in which he or she may contest
the liability alleged in the notice. Such notice of liability shall also
contain a warning to advise the persons charged that failure to contest
in the manner and time provided shall be deemed an admission of
liability and that a default judgment may be entered thereon.

4. The notice of liability shall be prepared and mailed by Suffolk
county or by any other entity authorized by such county to prepare and
mail such notification of violation.

(h) Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners by this section
shall be by the court having jurisdiction over traffic infractions.

(i) If an owner receives a notice of liability pursuant to this
section for any time period during which the vehicle was reported to the
police department as having been stolen, it shall be a valid defense to
an allegation of liability for a violation of subdivision (d) of section
eleven hundred eleven of this article pursuant to this section that the
vehicle had been reported to the police as stolen prior to the time the
violation occurred and had not been recovered by such time. For purposes
of asserting the defense provided by this subdivision it shall be
sufficient that a certified copy of the police report on the stolen
vehicle be sent by first class mail to the court having jurisdiction.

(j) An owner who is a lessor of a vehicle to which a notice of
liability was issued pursuant to subdivision (g) of this section shall
not be liable for the violation of subdivision (d) of section eleven
hundred eleven of this article, provided that he or she sends to the
court having jurisdiction a copy of the rental, lease or other such
contract document covering such vehicle on the date of the violation,
with the name and address of the lessee clearly legible, within
thirty-seven days after receiving notice from the court of the date and
time of such violation, together with the other information contained in
the original notice of liability. Failure to send such information
within such thirty-seven day time period shall render the owner liable
for the penalty prescribed by this section. Where the lessor complies
with the provisions of this paragraph, the lessee of such vehicle on the
date of such violation shall be deemed to be the owner of such vehicle
for purposes of this section, shall be subject to liability for the
violation of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this
article pursuant to this section and shall be sent a notice of liability
pursuant to subdivision (g) of this section.

(k) 1. If the owner liable for a violation of subdivision (d) of
section eleven hundred eleven of this article pursuant to this section
was not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the violation, the
owner may maintain an action for indemnification against the operator.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, no owner of a
vehicle shall be subject to a monetary fine imposed pursuant to this
section if the operator of such vehicle was operating such vehicle
without the consent of the owner at the time such operator failed to
obey a traffic-control indication. For purposes of this subdivision
there shall be a presumption that the operator of such vehicle was
operating such vehicle with the consent of the owner at the time such
operator failed to obey a traffic-control indication.

(l) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the liability
of an operator of a vehicle for any violation of subdivision (d) of
section eleven hundred eleven of this article.

(m) When a county has established a demonstration program pursuant to
this section, all fines and penalties collected under such program shall
be made to the county treasurer within the first ten days of the month
following collection.

(n) Any county that adopts a demonstration program pursuant to
subdivision (a) of this section shall submit an annual report detailing
the results of the use of such traffic-control signal photo
violation-monitoring system to the governor, the temporary president of
the senate and the speaker of the assembly on or before June first, two
thousand ten and on the same date in each succeeding year in which the
demonstration program is operable. Such report shall include, but not be
limited to:

1. a description of the locations where traffic-control signal photo
violation-monitoring systems were used;

2. the aggregate number, type and severity of accidents reported at
intersections where a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring
system is used for the three years preceding the installation of such
system, to the extent the information is maintained by the department of
motor vehicles of this state;

3. the aggregate number, type and severity of accidents reported at
intersections where a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring
system is used for the reporting year, as well as for each year that the
traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring system has been
operational, to the extent the information is maintained by the
department of motor vehicles of this state;

4. the number of events and number of violations recorded at each
intersection where a traffic-control signal photo violation-monitoring
system is used and in the aggregate on a daily, weekly and monthly
basis;

5. the number of notices of liability issued for violations recorded
by such system at each intersection where a traffic-control signal photo
violation-monitoring system is used;

6. the number of fines imposed and total amount of fines paid after
first notice of liability;

7. the number and percentage of violations adjudicated and results of
such adjudications including breakdowns of disposition made for
violations recorded by such systems;

8. the total amount of revenue realized by such county from such
adjudications including a breakdown of revenue realized by such county
for each year since deployment of its traffic-control signal photo
violation-monitoring system;

9. expenses incurred by such county in connection with the program;
and

10. quality of the adjudication process and its results.

(o) It shall be a defense to any prosecution for a violation of
subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eleven of this article
pursuant to a local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to this section
that such traffic-control indications were malfunctioning at the time of
the alleged violation.

* NB Repealed December 1, 2024

* NB There are 3 § 1111-b's