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This entry was published on 2021-10-08
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SECTION 1180-E
Owner liability for failure of operator to comply with certain posted maximum speed limits
Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) CHAPTER 71, TITLE 7, ARTICLE 30
* § 1180-e. Owner liability for failure of operator to comply with
certain posted maximum speed limits. (a) 1. Notwithstanding any other
provision of law, the commissioner of transportation is hereby
authorized to establish a demonstration program imposing monetary
liability on the owner of a vehicle for failure of an operator thereof
to comply with posted maximum speed limits in a highway construction or
maintenance work area located on a controlled-access highway (i) when
highway construction or maintenance work is occurring and a work area
speed limit is in effect as provided in paragraph two of subdivision (d)
or subdivision (f) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article or
(ii) when highway construction or maintenance work is occurring and
other speed limits are in effect as provided in subdivision (b) or (g)
or paragraph one of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eighty of
this article. Such demonstration program shall empower the commissioner
to install photo speed violation monitoring systems within no more than
twenty highway construction or maintenance work areas located on
controlled-access highways and to operate such systems within such work
areas (iii) when highway construction or maintenance work is occurring
and a work area speed limit is in effect as provided in paragraph two of
subdivision (d) or subdivision (f) of section eleven hundred eighty of
this article or (iv) when highway construction or maintenance work is
occurring and other speed limits are in effect as provided in
subdivision (b) or (g) or paragraph one of subdivision (d) of section
eleven hundred eighty of this article. The commissioner, in consultation
with the superintendent of the division of state police, shall determine
the location of the highway construction or maintenance work areas
located on a controlled-access highway in which to install and operate
photo speed violation monitoring systems. In selecting a highway
construction or maintenance work area in which to install and operate a
photo speed violation monitoring system, the commissioner shall consider
criteria including, but not limited to, the speed data, crash history,
and roadway geometry applicable to such highway construction or
maintenance work area. A photo speed violation monitoring system shall
not be installed or operated on a controlled-access highway exit ramp.

2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after holding a public
hearing in accordance with the public officers law and subsequent
approval of the establishment of a demonstration program in accordance
with this section by a majority of the members of the entire board of
the thruway authority, the chair of the thruway authority is hereby
authorized to establish a demonstration program imposing monetary
liability on the owner of a vehicle for failure of an operator thereof
to comply with posted maximum speed limits in a highway construction or
maintenance work area located on the thruway (i) when highway
construction or maintenance work is occurring and a work area speed
limit is in effect as provided in paragraph two of subdivision (d) or
subdivision (f) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article or (ii)
when highway construction or maintenance work is occurring and other
speed limits are in effect as provided in subdivision (b) or (g) or
paragraph one of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eighty of
this article. Such demonstration program shall empower the chair to
install photo speed violation monitoring systems within no more than ten
highway construction or maintenance work areas located on the thruway
and to operate such systems within such work areas (iii) when highway
construction or maintenance work is occurring and a work area speed
limit is in effect as provided in paragraph two of subdivision (d) or
subdivision (f) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article or (iv)
when highway construction or maintenance work is occurring and other
speed limits are in effect as provided in subdivision (b) or (g) or
paragraph one of subdivision (d) of section eleven hundred eighty of
this article. The chair, in consultation with the superintendent of the
division of state police, shall determine the location of the highway
construction or maintenance work areas located on the thruway in which
to install and operate photo speed violation monitoring systems. In
selecting a highway construction or maintenance work area in which to
install and operate a photo speed violation monitoring system, the chair
shall consider criteria including, but not limited to, the speed data,
crash history, and roadway geometry applicable to such highway
construction or maintenance work area. A photo speed violation
monitoring system shall not be installed or operated on a thruway exit
ramp.

3. No photo speed violation monitoring system shall be used in a
highway construction or maintenance work area unless (i) on the day it
is to be used it has successfully passed a self-test of its functions;
and (ii) it has undergone an annual calibration check performed pursuant
to paragraph five of this subdivision. The commissioner or chair, as
applicable, shall install signs giving notice that a photo speed
violation monitoring system is in use, in conformance with standards
established in the MUTCD.

4. Operators of photo speed violation monitoring systems shall have
completed training in the procedures for setting up, testing, and
operating such systems. Each such operator shall complete and sign a
daily set-up log for each such system that he or she operates that (i)
states the date and time when, and the location where, the system was
set up that day, and (ii) states that such operator successfully
performed, and the system passed, the self-tests of such system before
producing a recorded image that day. The commissioner or the chair, as
applicable, shall retain each such daily log until the later of the date
on which the photo speed violation monitoring system to which it applies
has been permanently removed from use or the final resolution of all
cases involving notices of liability issued based on photographs,
microphotographs, video or other recorded images produced by such
system.

5. Each photo speed violation monitoring system shall undergo an
annual calibration check performed by an independent calibration
laboratory which shall issue a signed certificate of calibration. The
commissioner or the chair, as applicable, shall keep each such annual
certificate of calibration on file until the final resolution of all
cases involving a notice of liability issued during such year which were
based on photographs, microphotographs, videotape or other recorded
images produced by such photo speed violation monitoring system.

6. (i) Such demonstration program shall utilize necessary technologies
to ensure, to the extent practicable, that photographs,
microphotographs, videotape or other recorded images produced by such
photo speed 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 such a photograph,
microphotograph, videotape or other recorded image allows for the
identification of the driver, the passengers, or the contents of
vehicles where the commissioner or the chair, as applicable, shows that
they made reasonable efforts to comply with the provisions of this
paragraph in such case.

(ii) Photographs, microphotographs, videotape or any other recorded
image from a photo speed violation monitoring system shall be for the
exclusive use of the commissioner or the chair, as applicable, for the
purpose of the adjudication of liability imposed pursuant to this
section and of the owner receiving a notice of liability pursuant to
this section, and shall be destroyed by the commissioner or chair, as
applicable, upon the final resolution of the notice of liability to
which such photographs, microphotographs, videotape or other recorded
images relate, or one year following the date of issuance of such notice
of liability, whichever is later. Notwithstanding the provisions of any
other law, rule or regulation to the contrary, photographs,
microphotographs, videotape or any other recorded image from a photo
speed violation monitoring system shall not be open to the public, nor
subject to civil or criminal process or discovery, nor used by any court
or administrative or adjudicatory body in any action or proceeding
therein except that which is necessary for the adjudication of a notice
of liability issued pursuant to this section, and no public entity or
employee, officer or agent thereof shall disclose such information,
except that such photographs, microphotographs, videotape or any other
recorded images from such systems:

(A) shall be available for inspection and copying and use by the motor
vehicle owner and operator for so long as such photographs,
microphotographs, videotape or other recorded images are required to be
maintained or are maintained by such public entity, employee, officer or
agent; and

(B) (1) shall be furnished when described in a search warrant issued
by a court authorized to issue such a search warrant pursuant to article
six hundred ninety of the criminal procedure law or a federal court
authorized to issue such a search warrant under federal law, where such
search warrant states that there is reasonable cause to believe such
information constitutes evidence of, or tends to demonstrate that, a
misdemeanor or felony offense was committed in this state or another
state, or that a particular person participated in the commission of a
misdemeanor or felony offense in this state or another state, provided,
however, that if such offense was against the laws of another state, the
court shall only issue a warrant if the conduct comprising such offense
would, if occurring in this state, constitute a misdemeanor or felony
against the laws of this state; and

(2) shall be furnished in response to a subpoena duces tecum signed by
a judge of competent jurisdiction and issued pursuant to article six
hundred ten of the criminal procedure law or a judge or magistrate of a
federal court authorized to issue such a subpoena duces tecum under
federal law, where the judge finds and the subpoena states that there is
reasonable cause to believe such information is relevant and material to
the prosecution, or the defense, or the investigation by an authorized
law enforcement official, of the alleged commission of a misdemeanor or
felony in this state or another state, provided, however, that if such
offense was against the laws of another state, such judge or magistrate
shall only issue such subpoena if the conduct comprising such offense
would, if occurring in this state, constitute a misdemeanor or felony in
this state; and

(3) may, if lawfully obtained pursuant to this clause and clause (A)
of this subparagraph and otherwise admissible, be used in such criminal
action or proceeding.

(b) If the commissioner or chair establishes a demonstration 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, within a highway construction or maintenance work area
located on a controlled-access highway or on the thruway in violation of
paragraph two of subdivision (d) or subdivision (f), or when other speed
limits are in effect in violation of subdivision (b) or (g) or paragraph
one of subdivision (d), of section eleven hundred eighty of this
article, such vehicle was traveling at a speed of more than ten miles
per hour above the posted speed limit in effect within such highway
construction or maintenance work area, and such violation is evidenced
by information obtained from a photo speed 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
(b), (d), (f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article.

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

1. "chair" shall mean the chair of the New York state thruway
authority;

2. "commissioner" shall mean the commissioner of transportation;

3. "controlled-access highway" shall mean a controlled-access highway
as defined by section one hundred nine of this chapter under the
commissioner's jurisdiction which has been functionally classified by
the department of transportation as principal arterial - interstate or
principal arterial - other freeway/expressway on official functional
classification maps approved by the federal highway administration
pursuant to part 470.105 of title 23 of the code of federal regulations,
as amended from time to time;

4. "manual on uniform traffic control devices" or "MUTCD" shall mean
the manual and specifications for a uniform system of traffic control
devices maintained by the commissioner of transportation pursuant to
section sixteen hundred eighty of this chapter;

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

6. "photo speed violation monitoring system" shall mean a vehicle
sensor installed to work in conjunction with a speed measuring device
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 a highway construction or
maintenance work area located on a controlled-access highway or on the
thruway in violation of subdivision (b), (d), (f) or (g) of section
eleven hundred eighty of this article in accordance with the provisions
of this section;

7. "thruway authority" shall mean the New York state thruway
authority, a body corporate and politic constituting a public
corporation created and constituted pursuant to title nine of article
two of the public authorities law; and

8. "thruway" shall mean generally a divided highway under the
jurisdiction of the thruway authority for mixed traffic with access
limited as the authority may determine and generally with grade
separations at intersections.

(d) A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by a technician employed by
the commissioner or chair as applicable, or a facsimile thereof, based
upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs, videotape or other
recorded images produced by a photo speed 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 include at least two date and time
stamped images of the rear of the motor vehicle that include the same
stationary object near the motor vehicle and shall be available for
inspection reasonably in advance of and at any proceeding to adjudicate
the liability for such violation pursuant to this section.

(e) An owner liable for a violation of subdivision (b), (d), (f) or
(g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article pursuant to a
demonstration program established pursuant to this section shall be
liable for monetary penalties not to exceed fifty dollars for a first
violation, seventy-five dollars for a second violation both of which
were committed within a period of eighteen months, and one hundred
dollars for a third or subsequent violation all of which were committed
within a period of eighteen months; provided, however, that an
additional penalty not in excess of twenty-five dollars for each
violation may be imposed for the failure to respond to a notice of
liability within the prescribed time period.

(f) An imposition of liability under the demonstration program
established 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
(b), (d), (f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article
pursuant to this section, within fourteen business days if such owner is
a resident of this state and within forty-five business days if such
owner is a non-resident. 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
(b), (d), (f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty 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, the identification number of
the camera which recorded the violation or other document locator
number, at least two date and time stamped images of the rear of the
motor vehicle that include the same stationary object near the motor
vehicle, and the certificate charging the liability.

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 prominent warning to advise the person 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
commissioner or chair as applicable, or by any other entity authorized
by the commissioner or chair to prepare and mail such notice of
liability.

(h) Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners of this section
shall be by a traffic violations bureau established pursuant to section
three hundred seventy of the general municipal law where the violation
occurred or, if there be none, by the court having jurisdiction over
traffic infractions where the violation occurred, except that if a city
has established an administrative tribunal to hear and determine
complaints of traffic infractions constituting parking, standing or
stopping violations such city may, by local law, authorize such
adjudication by such tribunal.

(i) If an owner receives a notice of liability pursuant to this
section for any time period during which the vehicle or the number plate
or plates of 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 subdivision (b), (d), (f) or (g) of section
eleven hundred eighty of this article pursuant to this section that the
vehicle or the number plate or plates of such 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 or number plate or
plates of such vehicle be sent by first class mail to the traffic
violations bureau, court having jurisdiction or parking violations
bureau.

(j) 1. Where the adjudication of liability imposed upon owners
pursuant to this section is by a traffic violations bureau or a court
having jurisdiction, 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 (b), (d),
(f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article pursuant to
this section, provided that he or she sends to the traffic violations
bureau or 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 bureau or 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 (b), (d), (f) or
(g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article pursuant to this
section and shall be sent a notice of liability pursuant to subdivision
(g) of this section.

2. (i) In a city which, by local law, has authorized the adjudication
of liability imposed upon owners by this section by a parking violations
bureau, 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 (b), (d), (f) or (g) of
section eleven hundred eighty of this article, provided that:

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

(B) within thirty-seven days after receiving notice from the 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 the
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 the
bureau pursuant to regulations that may be promulgated for such purpose.

(ii) Failure to comply with clause (B) of subparagraph (i) of this
paragraph shall render the owner liable for the penalty prescribed in
this section.

(iii) 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 such violation 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 (b), (d),
(f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty 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 operated such
vehicle in violation of subdivision (b), (d), (f) or (g) of section
eleven hundred eighty of this article. 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 operated such vehicle in violation of subdivision (b), (d), (f)
or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article.

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

(m) If the commissioner or chair adopts a demonstration program
pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section the commissioner or chair,
as applicable, shall conduct a study and submit a report on or before
May first, two thousand twenty-four and a report on or before May first,
two thousand twenty-six on the results of the use of photo devices to
the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of
the assembly. The commissioner or chair shall also make such reports
available on their public-facing websites, provided that they may
provide aggregate data from paragraph one of this subdivision if the
commissioner or chair finds that publishing specific location data would
jeopardize public safety. Such report shall include:

1. the locations where and dates when photo speed violation monitoring
systems were used;

2. the aggregate number, type and severity of crashes, fatalities,
injuries and property damage reported within all highway construction or
maintenance work areas on controlled-access highways or on the thruway,
to the extent the information is maintained by the commissioner, chair
or the department of motor vehicles of this state;

3. the aggregate number, type and severity of crashes, fatalities,
injuries and property damage reported within highway construction or
maintenance work areas where photo speed violation monitoring systems
were used, to the extent the information is maintained by the
commissioner, chair or the department of motor vehicles of this state;

4. the number of violations recorded within all highway construction
or maintenance work areas on controlled-access highways or on the
thruway, in the aggregate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to the
extent the information is maintained by the commissioner, chair or the
department of motor vehicles of this state;

5. the number of violations recorded within each highway construction
or maintenance work area where a photo speed violation monitoring system
is used, in the aggregate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis;

6. to the extent the information is maintained by the commissioner,
chair or the department of motor vehicles of this state, the number of
violations recorded within all highway construction or maintenance work
areas on controlled-access highways or on the thruway that were:

(i) more than ten but not more than twenty miles per hour over the
posted speed limit;

(ii) more than twenty but not more than thirty miles per hour over the
posted speed limit;

(iii) more than thirty but not more than forty miles per hour over the
posted speed limit; and

(iv) more than forty miles per hour over the posted speed limit;

7. the number of violations recorded within each highway construction
or maintenance work area where a photo speed violation monitoring system
is used that were:

(i) more than ten but not more than twenty miles per hour over the
posted speed limit;

(ii) more than twenty but not more than thirty miles per hour over the
posted speed limit;

(iii) more than thirty but not more than forty miles per hour over the
posted speed limit; and

(iv) more than forty miles per hour over the posted speed limit;

8. the total number of notices of liability issued for violations
recorded by such systems;

9. the number of fines and total amount of fines paid after the first
notice of liability issued for violations recorded by such systems, to
the extent the information is maintained by the commissioner, chair or
the department of motor vehicles of this state;

10. the number of violations adjudicated and the results of such
adjudications including breakdowns of dispositions made for violations
recorded by such systems, to the extent the information is maintained by
the commissioner, chair or the department of motor vehicles of this
state;

11. the total amount of revenue realized by the state or thruway
authority in connection with the program;

12. the expenses incurred by the state or the thruway authority in
connection with the program;

13. an itemized list of expenditures made by the state and the thruway
authority on work zone safety projects undertaken in accordance with
subdivisions eleven and twelve of section eighteen hundred three of this
chapter; and

14. the quality of the adjudication process and its results, to the
extent the information is maintained by the commissioner, chair or the
department of motor vehicles of this state.

(n) It shall be a defense to any prosecution for a violation of
subdivision (b), (d), (f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of
this article pursuant to this section that such photo speed violation
monitoring system was malfunctioning at the time of the alleged
violation.

* NB Repealed October 6, 2026