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Substitute House Bill No. 6449

Public Act No. 11-255

AN ACT CONCERNING THE SAFETY OF PERSONS ENTERING OR EXITING A SCHOOL BUS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 14-279 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):

(a) The operator of any vehicle, motor vehicle, or authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, shall immediately bring such vehicle to a stop not less than ten feet from the front when approaching and not less than ten feet from the rear when overtaking or following any registered school bus on any highway or private road or in any parking area or on any school property when such bus is displaying flashing red signal lights, except at the specific direction of a traffic officer. Vehicles so stopped for a school bus shall not proceed until such bus no longer displays flashing red signal lights. At the intersection of two or more highways vehicular turns toward a school bus receiving or discharging passengers are prohibited. The operator of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway.

(b) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be fined [not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred] four hundred fifty dollars for the first offense and for each subsequent offense, not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days or both.

(c) Upon receipt of a written report from any school bus operator or an evidence file from a live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system, as defined in section 2 of this act, specifying the license plate number, color and type of any vehicle observed by such operator or recorded by a camera affixed to such school bus violating any provision of subsection (a) of this section and the date, approximate time and location of such violation, a police officer shall issue a written warning or a summons to the owner of any such vehicle. A photographic or digital still or video image that clearly shows the license plate number of a vehicle violating any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be sufficient proof of the identity of such vehicle for purposes of subsection (b) of section 14-107.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) As used in subsection (c) of section 14-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, this section and section 3 of this act, "live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system" or "monitoring system" means a system with one or more camera sensors and computers that produce live digital and recorded video images of motor vehicles being operated in violation of section 14-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act. Such monitoring system shall produce a live visual image that is viewable remotely and a recorded image of the license plate number of a motor vehicle violating said section 14-279. Such recorded image shall indicate the date, time and location of the violation.

(b) A municipality or local or regional board of education may install, operate and maintain live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring systems, or may enter into an agreement with a private vendor for the installation, operation and maintenance of such monitoring systems. Such agreement shall provide for the compensation to the vendor for the expense of the monitoring services and cost of equipment provided by the vendor and for the reimbursement of the vendor for the expenses of installing, operating and maintaining the monitoring system. Such agreement shall provide that the vendor shall, on an annual basis, submit a report to such municipality or local or regional board of education that includes, but is not limited to: (1) The total number of citations issued as a result of a violation detected and recorded by the monitoring system, and (2) the total amount of funds collected. The municipality or local or regional board of education shall, within thirty days, submit such report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to transportation. A municipality or local or regional board of education serving a municipality that has entered into an agreement with a private vendor for the installation, operation and maintenance of a live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system shall use amounts remitted to such municipality in accordance with subsection (e) of section 51-56a of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in respect to the violation of section 14-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, to reimburse the private vendor for the expenses for installing, operating and maintaining the monitoring system.

(c) A warning sign shall be posted on all school buses in which a monitoring system is installed and operational indicating the use of such system.

(d) A monitoring system shall be installed so as to record images of the license plate number of a motor vehicle only, and shall not record images of the occupants of such motor vehicle or of any other persons or vehicles in the vicinity at the time the images are recorded.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2011) (a) Whenever a violation of section 14-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, is detected and recorded by a live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system, a state or municipal police officer shall review the evidence file which shall include two or more digital photographs, recorded video or other recorded images and a signed affidavit of a person who witnessed such violation live. If, after such review, such officer determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of said section 14-279 has occurred, such officer shall authorize the issuance of a summons for such alleged violation. If such officer authorizes the issuance of a summons for such alleged violation, the law enforcement agency shall, not later than ten days after the alleged violation, mail a summons to the registered owner of the motor vehicle together with a copy of two or more digital photographs, recorded video or other recorded images and a signed affidavit of a person who witnessed such violation live.

(b) As provided in subsection (b) of section 14-107 of the general statutes, proof of the registration number of the motor vehicle therein concerned shall be prima facie evidence that the owner was the operator thereof, except that, in the case of a leased or rented motor vehicle, such proof shall be prima facie evidence that the lessee was the operator thereof.

(c) Any person who is alleged to have committed a violation of section 14-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and receives a summons pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall follow the procedures set forth in section 51-164n of the general statutes.

(d) A recorded image produced by a monitoring system shall be sufficient evidence of a violation of section 14-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and shall be admitted without further authentication.

(e) All defenses shall be available to any person who is alleged to have committed a violation of section 14-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, that is detected and recorded by a monitoring system, including, but not limited to, that (1) the violation was necessary to allow the passage of an emergency vehicle, (2) the violation was necessary to avoid injuring the person or property of another, (3) the violation was incurred while participating in a funeral procession, (4) the violation was incurred during a period of time in which the motor vehicle had been reported as being stolen to an organized local police department or the state police and had not been recovered prior to the time of the violation, (5) the operator was convicted of a violation of section 14-279 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, for the same incident based upon a separate and distinct summons issued by a sworn police officer, or (6) the violation was necessary in order for the operator to comply with any other general statute or regulation concerning the operation of a motor vehicle.

(f) No recorded image produced by a monitoring system pursuant to this section may be introduced as evidence in any other civil or criminal proceedings.

(g) A recorded image produced by a monitoring system shall be destroyed (1) ninety days after the date of the alleged violation if a summons is not issued for such alleged violation pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, or (2) upon final disposition of the case to which it pertains if a summons is issued for such alleged violation pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 4. Section 51-56a of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (e) as follows (Effective July 1, 2011):

(NEW) (e) The state shall remit to the municipalities in which the violation occurred all fine amounts received in respect to the violation of section 14-279, as amended by this act, after crediting twelve per cent of such fine amounts to the Special Transportation Fund established under section 13b-68 of the general statutes, and crediting eight per cent of such fine amounts to the General Fund. Each clerk of the Superior Court or the Chief Court Administrator, or any other official of the Superior Court designated by the Chief Court Administrator, shall, on or before the thirtieth day of January, April, July and October in each year, certify to the Comptroller the amount due for the previous quarter under this subsection to each municipality served by the office of the clerk or official.

Sec. 5. Subsection (g) of section 13b-59 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2011):

(g) "Motor vehicle related fines, penalties or other charges" means all fines, penalties or other charges required by, or levied pursuant to subsection (a) of section 14-12, sections 14-12s, 14-13, 14-16, 14-17, 14-18, 14-26, 14-27 and 14-29, subsection (d) of section 14-35 and sections 14-36, 14-39, 14-43, 14-45, 14-64, 14-80, 14-81, 14-97, 14-98, 14-99, 14-101, 14-102, 14-103, 14-104, 14-105, 14-106, 14-110, 14-111, 14-112, 14-137a, 14-140, 14-145, 14-146, 14-147, 14-148, 14-149, 14-150, 14-151, 14-152, 14-161, subsection (f) of section 14-164i, 14-196, 14-197, 14-198, 14-213, 14-214, 14-215, 14-216, 14-217, 14-218a, 14-219, 14-220, 14-221, 14-222, 14-223, 14-224, 14-225, 14-226, 14-228, 14-230, 14-231, 14-232, 14-233, 14-234, 14-235, 14-236, 14-237, 14-238, 14-239, 14-240, 14-241, 14-242, 14-243, 14-244, 14-245, 14-246a, 14-247, 14-249, 14-250, 14-257, 14-260, 14-261, 14-262, 14-264, 14-267a, 14-269, subsection (g) of section 14-270, sections 14-271, 14-273, 14-274, 14-275, 14-276, 14-277, [14-279,] 14-280, 14-281, 14-282, 14-283, 14-285, 14-286, 14-295, 14-296, 14-300, 14-314, 14-329, 14-331, 14-342, 14-386, 14-386a, 14-387, 15-7, 15-8, 15-9, 15-16, 15-25 and 15-33.

Approved July 13, 2011