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This entry was published on 2019-06-28
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SECTION 1111-C
Owner liability for failure of operator to comply with bus lane restrictions
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 7, ARTICLE 24
* § 1111-c. Owner liability for failure of operator to comply with bus
lane restrictions. (a) 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law,
the city of New York is hereby authorized and empowered to establish a
bus rapid transit program imposing monetary liability on the owner of a
vehicle for failure of an operator thereof to comply with bus lane
restrictions in such city in accordance with the provisions of this
section. The New York city department of transportation or applicable
mass transit agency, for purposes of the implementation of such program,
shall operate bus lane photo devices only within designated bus lanes in
such bus rapid transit program. Such bus lane photo devices may be
stationary or mobile and shall be activated at locations determined by
such department of transportation and/or on buses selected by such
department of transportation in consultation with the applicable mass
transit agency, however, the applicable mass transit agency may also
install no less than fifty mobile bus lane photo devices on buses
operating on designated bus lanes in such bus rapid transit program
below 96th street in the borough of Manhattan, in consultation with the
New York city department of transportation for the purposes of this
section.

2. Any image or images captured by bus lane photo devices shall be
inadmissible in any disciplinary proceeding convened by the applicable
mass transit agency or any subsidiary thereof and any proceeding
initiated by the department involving licensure privileges of bus
operators. Any mobile bus lane photo device mounted on a bus shall be
directed outwardly from such bus to capture images of vehicles operated
in violation of bus lane restrictions, and images produced by such
device shall not be used for any other purpose in the absence of a court
order requiring such images to be produced.

3. The city of New York shall adopt and enforce measures to protect
the privacy of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists whose
identity and identifying information may be captured by a bus lane photo
device. Such measures shall include:

(i) utilization of necessary technologies to ensure, to the extent
practicable, that images produced by such bus lane photo devices 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 an
image allows for the identification of the driver, the passengers or
other contents of a vehicle;

(ii) a prohibition on the use or dissemination of vehicles' license
plate information and other information and images captured by bus lane
photo devices except: (A) as required to establish liability under this
section or collect payment of penalties; (B) as required by court order;
or (C) as otherwise required by law;

(iii) the installation of signage at regular intervals within
restricted bus lanes stating that bus lane photo devices are used to
enforce restrictions on vehicular traffic in bus lanes; and

(iv) oversight procedures to ensure compliance with the aforementioned
privacy protection measures.

4. Within the city of New York, such bus lane photo devices may only
be operated on designated bus lanes. Warning notices of violation be
issued during the first sixty days that bus lane photo devices are
operated on each route in the bus rapid transit program that is
established after June fifteenth, two thousand fifteen.

(b) If the city of New York has established a bus rapid transit
program 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 any bus lane restrictions that apply
to routes within such program, and such violation is evidenced by
information obtained from a bus lane photo device; 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 any bus lane restrictions.

(c) For purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the
following meanings:

1. "owner" shall have the meaning provided in article two-B of this
chapter.

2. "bus lane photo device" shall mean a device that is capable of
operating independently of an enforcement officer and produces one or
more images of each vehicle at the time it is in violation of bus lane
restrictions.

3. "bus lane restrictions" shall mean restrictions on the use of
designated traffic lanes by vehicles other than buses imposed on routes
within a bus rapid transit program by local law and signs erected by the
department of transportation of a city that establishes such a program
pursuant to this section.

4. "Bus Rapid Transit Phase I plan" shall mean the following five bus
rapid transit routes as designated by the New York city department of
transportation: Fordham Road, First/Second Avenue, Nostrand Avenue,
Thirty-Fourth Street, Hylan Boulevard, and an undesignated route in the
borough of Queens not to exceed ten miles.

5. "bus rapid transit program" shall mean routes designated by the New
York city department of transportation in consultation with the
applicable mass transit agency, in addition to the Bus Rapid Transit
Phase I plan routes, that operate on designated bus lanes and that may
include upgraded signage, enhanced road markings, minimum bus stop
spacing, off-board fare payment, traffic signal priority for buses, and
any other enhancement that increases bus speed or reliability.

6. "designated bus lane" shall mean a lane dedicated for the exclusive
use of buses with the exceptions allowed under 4-12(m) and 4-08(a)(3) of
title 34 of the rules of the city of New York.

(d) A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by a technician employed by
the city in which the charged violation occurred, or a facsimile
thereof, based upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs,
videotape or other recorded images produced by a bus lane photo device,
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
this section.

(e) An owner liable for a violation of a bus lane restriction imposed
on any route within a bus rapid transit program shall be liable for
monetary penalties in accordance with a schedule of fines and penalties
promulgated by the parking violations bureau of the city of New York;
provided, however, that the monetary penalty for violating a bus lane
restriction shall not exceed fifty dollars, one hundred dollars for a
second offense within a twelve-month period, one hundred fifty dollars
for a third offense within a twelve-month period, two hundred dollars
for a fourth offense within a twelve-month period, and two hundred fifty
dollars for each subsequent offense within a twelve-month period;
provided, further, that an owner shall be liable for an additional
penalty not to exceed 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 pursuant to this section shall not be
deemed a conviction of 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 a bus lane
restriction. Personal delivery to 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 a bus lane
restriction, the registration number of the vehicle involved in such
violation, the location where such violation took place including the
street address or cross streets, one or more images identifying the
violation, the date and time of such violation and the identification
number of the bus lane photo device 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 the agency
or agencies designated by the city of New York, or any other entity
authorized by such city to prepare and mail such notification of
violation.

5. Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners by this section
shall be by the New York city parking violations bureau.

(h) If an owner of a vehicle receives a notice of liability pursuant
to this section for any time period during which such 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 a bus
lane restriction 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
parking violations bureau of such city.

(i) 1. 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 a bus lane restriction, provided
that:

(i) prior to the violation, the lessor has filed with such parking
violations bureau in accordance with the provisions of section two
hundred thirty-nine of this chapter; and

(ii) within thirty-seven days after receiving notice from such bureau
of the date and time of a liability, together with the other information
contained in the original notice of liability, the lessor submits to
such bureau the correct name and address of the lessee of the vehicle
identified in the notice of liability at the time of such violation,
together with such other additional information contained in the rental,
lease or other contract document, as may be reasonably required by such
bureau pursuant to regulations that may be promulgated for such purpose.

2. Failure to comply with subparagraph (ii) of paragraph one of this
subdivision shall render the lessor liable for the penalty prescribed in
this section.

3. Where the lessor complies with the provisions of paragraph one of
this subdivision, 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 such violation
pursuant to this section and shall be sent a notice of liability
pursuant to subdivision (g) of this section.

(j) If the owner liable for a violation of a bus lane restriction was
not the operator of the vehicle at the time of the violation, the owner
may maintain an action for indemnification against the operator.

(k) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the liability
of an operator of a vehicle for any violation of bus lane restrictions.

(l) If the city of New York adopts a bus rapid transit demonstration
program pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section it shall submit a
report on the results of the use of bus lane photo devices to the
governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the
assembly by April first, two thousand twelve and every two years
thereafter. Such report shall include, but not be limited to:

1. a description of the locations and/or buses where bus lane photo
devices were used;

2. the total number of violations recorded on a monthly and annual
basis;

3. the total number of notices of liability issued;

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

5. the number of violations adjudicated and results of such
adjudications including breakdowns of dispositions made;

6. the total amount of revenue realized by such city and any
participating mass transit agency;

7. the quality of the adjudication process and its results;

8. the total number of cameras by type of camera;

9. the total cost to the city and the total cost to any participating
mass transit agency; and

10. a detailed report on the bus speeds, reliability, and ridership
before and after implementation of the bus rapid transit demonstration
program for each bus route, including current statistics.

(m) Any revenue from fines and penalties collected pursuant to this
section from any mobile bus lane photo devices, not including any
revenue shared with the city of New York pursuant to agreement shall be
remitted by the city of New York to the applicable mass transit agency
on a quarterly basis to be deposited in the general transportation
account of the New York city transportation assistance fund established
pursuant to section twelve hundred seventy-i of the public authorities
law.

* NB Repealed September 20, 2025