Traffic Enforcement; Red Light Violations; Photo Enforcement
Authorizes the department of transportation to contract with a private vendor to assist with implementation of a photo red light imaging system to deter motorists who disregard red lights. Requires vendor to provide the State and counties with photographs of red light violators.
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2003
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to photo traffic enforcement.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the photo speed imaging detector system implemented in January, 2002, which was created by Act 234, Session Laws of Hawaii 1998, as amended, was part of an overall strategy of incorporating photographic technology into the State's traffic enforcement system. As a result of public opposition to using photographic technology to deter speeding motorists, the legislature repealed Act 234, as amended, in its entirety.
However, the identification of speeders was only one part of the traffic enforcement demonstration project. The legislature finds that the other significant portion of the project, using cameras to identify and deter motorists who disregard red lights, was never implemented despite its potential to greatly improve traffic and pedestrian safety in the State.
The legislature finds that the photo red light imaging system is a worthwhile project that will increase safety for both motorists and pedestrians in the State, and that it should not have been repealed by the same legislation that terminated the photo speed imaging program.
The legislature further finds that the photo red light imaging program should be reinstated so that it is not permanently terminated without ever being utilized in the State.
In addition, due to legal issues raised in connection with the photo speed imaging program, the State and the counties will be responsible for issuing the citations so that residents' social security numbers are not dispersed to private parties. Moreover, unlike the photo speed imaging system, the photo red light imaging system is able to photograph the driver of a vehicle, thereby obviating the need for a legal presumption that the registered owner is also the driver of the vehicle and providing hard evidence to be used by the State in prosecuting violators.
The legislature finds that since enactment of Act 234 in 1998, traffic offenses have remained intolerable, particularly the offense of running red lights. This violation endangers the lives of residents and compounds the already hazardous conditions for both pedestrians and motorists on Hawaii's roads and highways. News items are increasingly common that describe hit-and-run drivers who have run over small children or the elderly, both inside and outside crosswalks, who may not be able to react quickly enough to someone speeding through an intersection after the light has already turned red.
The legislature further finds that the photo red light imaging system has demonstrated its reliability and effectiveness in other jurisdictions. The system --which is completely automated-- is appropriate for Hawaii's increasingly deteriorating traffic conditions, and is capable of safely and efficiently diffusing dangerous traffic control problems while at the same time freeing up police officers to handle more pressing problems.
Under the photo red light imaging system, a camera is positioned at an intersection where red light violations are common. Rather than placing an officer at the intersection full-time, the red light camera serves as a twenty-four hour deterrent to running a red light. Buried vehicle sensors are connected to traffic signals and to a self-contained camera system that is mounted on a nearby pole. When a vehicle enters the intersection against a red light, the camera takes a telephoto color picture of the car and its driver as it rolls over the stop bar, capturing the license plate as evidence. A second wide-angle photograph takes in the entire intersection, including other traffic and the driver of the offending vehicle.
A sign may be posted at the intersection indicating that it is a photo-monitored intersection; however, the camera can be moved to different poles or intersections that are equipped to hold the camera, so that motorists do not know when they are being photographed. The private company that supplies the photo red light imaging system also processes pictures and provides all appropriate information to state agencies to prosecute offenders.
The legislature finds that the photo red light imaging system has numerous benefits. Not only will streets be safer after implementation of the system, but police officers are freed from time-consuming traffic stops and have more time to make priority calls. A violator is less likely to contest tickets since the color photograph of the violation in progress and the violator, with appropriate information imprinted, can be used as evidence in court. Few cases are contested in other jurisdictions using this system, and police officers make fewer court appearances, resulting in cost savings to the State.
The legislature finds that the implementation of the photo red light imaging system will result in an increase in driver awareness, leading to a reduction in red light violations, and an overall reduction in crashes and injuries. A reduction in crashes and injuries in turn will result in lower costs for auto insurance, workers' compensation, and public assistance. Moreover, with use of the photo red light imaging system, traffic laws will be enforced without discrimination, and safety and efficiency will be increased by reducing the number of personnel required for traffic accident clean-up, investigation, and court testimony. Importantly, the photo red light imaging system is nearly foolproof and will not result in an erroneously issued citation.
During the first year of the photo red light imaging project, the contractor, in conjunction with the department of transportation, shall educate the public about the program and shall issue only warning citations; beginning with the second year of the project, binding citations shall be issued. By phasing in the program, the public will have ample time to adjust their driving habits to comply with the new law.
The purposes of this Act are to:
(1) Authorize the department of transportation to establish a demonstration project in selected areas on state or county highways to provide for the implementation of a photo red light imaging system to improve traffic enforcement; and
(2) Allow the department of transportation to contract with appropriate providers of this system pursuant to the public procurement laws while:
(A) Exempting such contracts from civil service, compensation, and collective bargaining laws;
(B) Permitting the contractor to have access to information as set forth in this Act; and
(C) Allowing the contractor to issue citations or summonses by mail.
SECTION 2. Definitions. As used in this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:
"Contractor" means a private person or entity that has entered into a contract with a county or the State pursuant to this Act.
"County" means the council, the mayor, or other person having the authority to enter into a contract pursuant to this Act on behalf of the county of Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, or the city and county of Honolulu.
"County highway" has the same meaning as used in section 265A-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
"Department" means the department of transportation.
"Director" means the director of transportation.
"Motor vehicle" has the same meaning as defined in section 291C-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
"Photo red light imaging" means a device used for traffic enforcement consisting substantially of a vehicle sensor installed to work in conjunction with a traffic-control signal and a video, conventional, or digital camera that automatically produces photographic identification of a vehicle which disregards a steady red signal in violation of section 291C-32(a)(3), Hawaii Revised Statutes.
"Traffic-control signal" has the same meaning as defined in section 291C-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
SECTION 3. Traffic enforcement demonstration project. (a) Subject to this Act, the department may establish a demonstration project in selected areas of the State to provide for the implementation of photo red light imaging systems to improve traffic enforcement as provided in this Act. The demonstration project shall be limited to state or county highways and shall document the effectiveness of these systems. The contractor, in conjunction with the department, shall provide a public information campaign for at least one year to inform local drivers about the use of these systems before any citation or summons may be issued.
SECTION 4. Photo red light imaging system. (a) Subject to this Act, the department may establish a photo red light imaging system imposing monetary liability on the operator of a motor vehicle for failure to comply with traffic-control signal laws in accordance with this Act. The department, in consultation with county police, may provide for the installation and operation of photo red light imaging systems at no more than twenty-five intersections in any one county at any one time.
(b) Proof of a traffic-control signal violation shall be evidenced by information obtained from the photo red light imaging system authorized pursuant to this Act. A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by the contractor or the contractor's agent or employee, or a facsimile thereof, based upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs, videotape, or other recorded images produced by the system, shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained therein. Any photographs, microphotographs, videotape, or other recorded images evidencing a violation shall be available for inspection in any proceeding to adjudicate the liability for that violation.
(c) A contractor shall forward information to the department and the appropriate county police department for issuance of a citation or summons pursuant to this Act on the basis of the photo red light imaging system if signs indicating that the photo red light imaging system is in use are posted at all intersections at which the system may be used; provided that before any citation is issued, only warning notices shall be issued for one year.
SECTION 5. Designation of appropriate locations. (a) Each county may recommend locations on state or county highways in that county that are appropriate for the installation of photo red light imaging systems.
(b) Signs and other official traffic-control devices that designate a photo red light imaging system shall be placed and maintained to advise drivers of the existence and operation of that system.
SECTION 6. Summons or citation; information provided by contractor. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, whenever any motor vehicle is determined by means of the photo red light imaging system to have disregarded a steady red signal in violation of section 291C-32(a)(3), Hawaii Revised Statutes, the contractor shall forward all appropriate information, including a copy of the imprinted photograph, microphotograph, or videotape, to the department and to the police department for the county in which the violation occurred. The department and each county police department shall collaborate to determine the best method for issuing citations based on information received from the contractor. The contractor shall be available to testify as to the authenticity of the information provided pursuant to this section.
SECTION 7. Liability for rental or U-drive vehicle. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if the registered owner of record is the lessor of a rental or U-drive motor vehicle, as defined in section 286-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, pursuant to a written lease agreement, the lessee at the time of the violation shall be responsible for the summons or citation; provided that:
(1) The lessor shall be responsible for the summons or citation if the lessor does not provide the court, having jurisdiction over the summons or citation, with the name and address of the lessee within thirty days after a notice containing the date, time, and location of the violation and the license number of the vehicle is sent to the lessor; and
(2) The administrative judge of the court having jurisdiction over the summons or citation may waive the requirement of providing the name and address of the lessee and impose on the lessor an administrative fee of $50 per citation.
SECTION 8. Penalty. The penalties for all consequences of a violation for disregarding a steady red signal initiated by the use of a photo red light imaging system shall be as provided in section 291C-161, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
SECTION 9. Request for proposals; prequalification of applicants; prohibition. (a) The department shall develop a request for proposals to purchase, lease, rent, use, install, maintain, and operate photo red light imaging systems in any county as provided in this Act. The request for proposals and all aspects of the contract shall be subject to chapter 103D, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
(b) Qualification of applicants under this section shall be determined by the department before the commencement of the selection process; provided that any contract entered into under this Act, at a minimum, shall be negotiated with a contractor that has the qualifications and experience necessary to carry out and expedite the terms of the contract and the ability to comply with applicable laws and court orders.
(c) A bidder or prospective bidder shall not have any contract with any member or employee of or consultant to any governmental entity responsible for awarding any contract under this Act from the time a request for proposals is issued until the time a contract is awarded, except if that contract is in writing or in a meeting for which notice was given as prescribed by law.
SECTION 10. Authority to contract; duration of contract; approval as to form; contract term, renewal, and termination; exemptions. (a) The department, in consultation with county police, may contract with one or more contractors to purchase, lease, rent, use, install, maintain, and operate photo red light imaging systems as provided in this Act.
(b) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the contractor shall provide the following services and activities to implement the photo red light imaging systems:
(1) Equipment installation;
(2) Data processing, including custom software development and integration;
(3) Staffing and training of law enforcement personnel and other persons as necessary to provide for effective traffic enforcement;
(4) Required support services for use of video cameras, conventional cameras, or digital cameras;
(5) Image evaluation;
(6) License plate identification and verification;
(7) Violation and statistical data collection, analysis, and reporting;
(8) Twenty-four-hour support services, consulting, technical assistance, and internet access;
(9) Community awareness and public relations services; and
(10) Any other services, activities, or equipment deemed necessary or desirable by the department or a state court to implement this Act.
(c) Each contract shall specify such matters as are deemed relevant by the State and the contractor, and shall be approved as to form and content by the attorney general; provided that the contract:
(1) Shall not specify any condition for the issuance of a citation or summons other than as provided by this Act or other applicable state law;
(2) Shall prohibit the contractor, or the contractor's agents or employees, from engaging in any activities prescribed for police officers pursuant to chapter 52D or section 291C-164, Hawaii Revised Statutes, or any other provision of law relating to law enforcement or the use of force, except as otherwise provided in this Act;
(3) Shall specify that personal and confidential information used for the project shall become the property of the State at the end of the contract, that all data shall be returned to the State, and that the contractor may use information obtained from the State or a county only as is necessary to carry out the provisions of the contract and the purposes of this Act;
(4) Shall make the data accessible to the contractor, as set forth in subsection (b)(7); and
(5) Shall provide appropriate security for the data system and equipment.
(d) No contract shall extend or be renewed beyond May 1, 2006, unless the director determines that the contract offers demonstrable benefits to the State.
(e) The director, upon demonstration that a breach of contract has occurred and that after the passage of a reasonable period of time the breach has not been cured, and without penalty to the department or any county, may cancel a contract at any time after giving three-months' prior written notice.
(f) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any contracts entered into by the department with a contractor pursuant to this section shall not be subject to chapters 76 and 89, or section 46-33, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
SECTION 11. Police matters. County police are authorized to provide oversight and all police services required for the traffic enforcement demonstration project; provided that to the extent necessary to implement this Act, the powers of police officers for the enforcement of section 291C-32(a)(3), Hawaii Revised Statutes, are conferred upon the director of transportation and such of the officers, employees, agents and representatives of the department as may be designated by the director to exercise such powers. For the purposes of this section, the term "agents and representatives" includes persons performing services under contracts with the department pursuant to this Act.
SECTION 12. Photo enforcement revolving fund. (a) There is established a photo enforcement revolving fund to be administered by the department of transportation. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the department may expend funds from this revolving fund; provided that no expenditure shall be made from and no obligation shall be incurred against the revolving fund in excess of the amount standing to the credit of the fund.
(b) All payments to the State resulting from citations and summons authorized by this Act shall be deposited into the photo enforcement revolving fund; provided that any interest earned shall be deposited into the general fund.
(c) The department shall use the photo enforcement revolving fund to pay contractors and to purchase county police oversight and services necessary for implementation of the traffic enforcement demonstration project.
(d) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the department may also use up to twenty per cent of the photo enforcement revolving fund to pay for any non-recurring state and county expenses and any temporary state positions needed to implement the traffic enforcement demonstration project and administer the revolving fund.
(e) The department shall deposit that portion of the revolving fund not needed for purposes of this section into the general fund.
SECTION 13. Fines for unauthorized disclosure. Any officer, employee, or agent of a contractor who intentionally discloses or provides a copy of personal and confidential information obtained from the State or a county to any person or agency with actual knowledge that disclosure is prohibited by the contractual or statutory provisions set forth in this Act, shall be fined not more than $500,000; provided that the fine shall not preclude the application of penalties or fines otherwise provided for by law.
SECTION 14. Powers and duties not delegable to contractor. A contract entered into under this Act does not authorize, allow, or imply a delegation of authority to the contractor to assume any of the powers delegated to law enforcement personnel by statute except as provided in this Act.
SECTION 15. Liability and sovereign immunity. (a) The contractor shall assume all liability arising under a contract entered into pursuant to this Act.
(b) Neither the sovereign immunity of the State nor the sovereign immunity applicable to a county shall extend to the contractor. Neither the contractor nor the insurer of the contractor may plead the defense of sovereign immunity in any action arising out of the performance of the contract or any other application with respect to the implementation of the demonstration project under this Act.
SECTION 16. Insurance. (a) The contractor shall indemnify the State and each county, including their officials and agents, against any and all liability. Proof of satisfactory insurance is required in an amount to be determined by the attorney general. The attorney general shall determine the amount and manner of the indemnification.
(b) Subject to subsection (a), the contractor shall provide an adequate plan of insurance as determined by the attorney general. In determining the adequacy of the plan, the attorney general shall determine whether the insurance is adequate to:
(1) Fully indemnify each county and the State from actions by third parties against the contractor, the county, or the State as a result of the contract;
(2) Assure the contractor's ability to fulfill its contract with each county in all respects and to assure that the contractor is not limited in this ability due to financial liability that results from judgments;
(3) Protect each county and the State against claims arising as the result of any occurrence during the term of the contract on an occurrence basis; and
(4) Satisfy other requirements specified by the State and each county.
SECTION 17. Rules. The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as may be necessary to implement this Act.
SECTION 18. Reports. The department, in consultation with county police, shall submit progress, interim, and final reports to the legislature as follows:
(1) The progress report shall document the progress made in implementing the demonstration project and any contract entered into with a private contractor. The progress report shall be submitted to the legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the regular session of 2004;
(2) The interim report shall present preliminary findings about the effectiveness of the demonstration project and may include any proposed legislation necessary to facilitate mailed traffic citations. The interim report shall be submitted to the legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the regular session of 2005; and
(3) The final report shall evaluate the effectiveness of the demonstration project, and shall include the following:
(A) The total fine revenue generated by using the photo red light imaging system;
(B) The number of citations and summonses issued as a result of the photo red light imaging system;
(C) The amount paid to the contractor providing the photo red light imaging system;
(D) The effect of the demonstration project on traffic safety;
(E) The degree of public acceptance of the project;
(F) The process of administration of the project;
(G) An evaluation of the costs and benefits of the project;
(H) A review of the effectiveness of contracts entered into under this Act and the performance of the contractor;
(I) Recommendations for design or planning changes that might reduce traffic congestion on state or county highways; and
(J) Findings and recommendations as to whether to make the project permanent, expand the use of cameras and contractors for enforcement of traffic laws, or adopt another alternative.
The final report shall also include any proposed implementing legislation as may be necessary, and shall be submitted to the legislature no later than twenty days before the convening of the regular session of 2006.
SECTION 19. Section 291C-163, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
"(a) This chapter shall not be deemed to prevent counties with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction from:
(1) Regulating or prohibiting stopping, standing, or parking except as provided in section 291C-111;
(2) Regulating traffic by means of police officers or official traffic-control devices;
(3) Regulating or prohibiting processions or assemblages on the highways;
(4) Designating particular highways or roadways for use by traffic moving in one direction;
(5) Establishing speed limits for vehicles in public parks;
(6) Designating any highway as a through highway or designating any intersection as a stop or yield intersection;
(7) Restricting the use of highways;
(8) Regulating the operation and equipment of and requiring the registration and inspection of bicycles, including the requirement of a registration fee;
(9) Regulating or prohibiting the turning of vehicles or specified types of vehicles;
(10) Altering or establishing speed limits;
(11) Requiring written accident reports;
(12) Designating no-passing zones;
(13) Prohibiting or regulating the use of controlled-access roadways by any class or kind of traffic;
(14) Prohibiting or regulating the use of heavily traveled streets by any class or kind of traffic found to be incompatible with the normal and safe movement of traffic;
(15) Establishing minimum speed limits;
(16) Designating hazardous railroad grade crossing;
(17) Designating and regulating traffic on play streets;
(18) Prohibiting pedestrians from crossing a roadway in a business district or any designated highway except in a crosswalk;
(19) Restricting pedestrian crossing at unmarked crosswalks;
(20) Regulating persons propelling push carts;
(21) Regulating persons upon skates, coasters, sleds, and other toy vehicles;
(22) Adopting and enforcing such temporary or experimental regulations as may be necessary to cover emergencies or special conditions;
(23) Adopting maximum and minimum speed limits on streets and highways within their respective jurisdictions;
(24) Adopting requirements on stopping, standing, and parking on streets and highways within their respective jurisdictions except as provided in section 291C-111;
(25) Entering into an agreement with any private contractor to implement the photo red light imaging system pursuant to Act , Session Laws of Hawaii 2003; or
(25)] (26) Adopting such other traffic regulations as are specifically authorized by this chapter."
SECTION 20. It is the intent of this Act not to jeopardize the receipt of any federal aid nor to impair the obligation of the State or any agency thereof to the holders of any bond issued by the State or by any such agency, and to the extent, and only to the extent, necessary to effectuate this intent, the governor may modify the strict provisions of this Act, but shall promptly report any such modification with reasons therefor to the legislature at its next session thereafter for review by the legislature.
SECTION 21. If any provision of this Act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this Act are severable.
SECTION 22. This Act shall apply to contracts entered into on or after the effective date of this Act. The provisions of this Act shall not be applied so as to impair any contract existing as of the effective date of this Act or to otherwise be deemed to violate either the Hawaii Constitution or Article I, section 10, of the United States Constitution.
SECTION 23. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.
SECTION 24. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 25. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.