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

* §  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

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