2021 New York Laws
VAT - Vehicle and Traffic
Title 7 - Rules of the Road
Article 30 - Speed Restrictions
1180-D - Owner Liability for Failure of Operator to Comply With Certain Posted Maximum Speed Limits.

* § 1180-d. Owner  liability  for  failure  of operator to comply with
certain posted maximum speed limits. (a) 1.  Notwithstanding  any  other
provision  of law, the city of Buffalo 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 school speed zone within the city (i) when a school
speed limit is in effect as  provided  in  paragraphs  one  and  two  of
subdivision (c) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article or (ii)
when  other  speed  limits are in effect as provided in subdivision (b),
(d), (f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article  during
the following times: (A) on school days during school hours and one hour
before  and  one  hour  after  the  school  day, and (B) a period during
student activities at the school and up to  thirty  minutes  immediately
before   and  up  to  thirty  minutes  immediately  after  such  student
activities. Such demonstration program shall empower the city to install
photo speed violation monitoring systems  within  no  more  than  twenty
school  speed  zones within the city at any one time and to operate such
systems within such zones (iii) when a school speed limit is  in  effect
as  provided  in  paragraphs  one  and two of subdivision (c) of section
eleven hundred eighty of this article or (iv) when  other  speed  limits
are in effect as provided in subdivision (b), (d), (f) or (g) of section
eleven hundred eighty of this article during the following times: (A) on
school  days  during school hours and one hour before and one hour after
the school day, and (B) a period during student activities at the school
and up to thirty minutes immediately before and  up  to  thirty  minutes
immediately  after  such student activities. In selecting a school speed
zone in which to install and operate a photo speed violation  monitoring
system,  the  city shall consider criteria including, but not limited to
the speed data, crash history, and the roadway  geometry  applicable  to
such school speed zone.
  2.  No  photo  speed  violation  monitoring  system shall be used in a
school speed zone 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
four  of  this  subdivision.  The city shall install signs giving notice
that a photo speed violation monitoring system is in use to  be  mounted
on  advance  warning  signs  notifying  motor  vehicle operators of such
upcoming school speed zone and/or on speed limit signs applicable within
such school speed zone, in conformance with standards established in the
MUTCD.
  3. 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 city 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.
  4.  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
city 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.
  5. (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 city shows that it 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 city 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 city 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 city of Buffalo 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 school speed zone in violation of subdivision (c) or during the times authorized pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section in violation of subdivision (b), (d), (f) or (g) 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 school speed zone, 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), (c), (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. "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; 2. "owner" shall have the meaning provided in article two-B of this chapter; 3. "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 school speed zone in violation of subdivision (b), (c), (d), (f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article in accordance with the provisions of this section; and 4. "school speed zone" shall mean a distance not to exceed one thousand three hundred twenty feet on a highway passing a school building, entrance or exit of a school abutting on the highway.

(d) A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by a technician employed by the city of Buffalo, 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), (c), (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 in accordance with a schedule of fines and penalties to be promulgated by the parking violations bureau of the city of Buffalo. The liability of the owner pursuant to this section shall not exceed fifty dollars for each violation; provided, however, that such parking violations bureau 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 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), (c), (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), (c), (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 city of Buffalo, or by any other entity authorized by the city to prepare and mail such notice of liability.

(h) Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners of this section shall be by the city of Buffalo parking violations bureau.

(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), (c), (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 city of Buffalo parking violations bureau or by any other entity authorized by the city to prepare and mail such notice of liability.

(j) Adjudication of the liability imposed upon owners of this section shall be by the city of Buffalo parking violations bureau.

(k) 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 subdivision (b), (c), (d), (f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article pursuant to this section, 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 division 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 division 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 division 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 owner 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 (i) of this section.

(l) 1. If the owner liable for a violation of subdivision (c) or (d) 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), (c), (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 of such operator operated such vehicle in violation of subdivision (b), (c), (d), (f) or (g) of section eleven hundred eighty of this article.

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

(n) If the city adopts a demonstration program pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section it shall conduct a study and submit a report on the results of the use of photo devices to the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly. 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 school speed zones within the city, to the extent the information is maintained by the department of motor vehicles of this state; 3. the aggregate number, type and severity of crashes, fatalities, injuries and property damage reported within school speed zones where photo speed violation monitoring systems were used, to the extent the information is maintained by the department of motor vehicles of this state; 4. the number of violations recorded within all school speed zones within the city, in the aggregate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis; 5. the number of violations recorded within each school speed zone where a photo speed violation monitoring system is used, in the aggregate on a daily, weekly and monthly basis; 6. the number of violations recorded within all school speed zones within the city 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 school speed zone 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; 10. the number of violations adjudicated and the results of such adjudications including breakdowns of dispositions made for violations recorded by such systems; 11. the total amount of revenue realized by the city in connection with the program; 12. the expenses incurred by the city in connection with the program; and 13. the quality of the adjudication process and its results.

(o) It shall be a defense to any prosecution for a violation of subdivision (b), (c), (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 September 6, 2024

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