2008 -- S 2909 SUBSTITUTE A AS AMENDED
A N A C T
RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES -- SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
Introduced By: Senator Paul E. Moura
Date Introduced: April 01, 2008
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Title 31 of the General Laws entitled "MOTOR AND OTHER
VEHICLES" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY ENFORCEMENT
31-51-1. Short title. – This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "School Bus
Safety Enforcement Act."
31-51-2. Live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring systems. -- (a)
All school departments of this state are hereby authorized to install and operate live digital video
school bus violation detection monitoring systems. Such systems shall at a minimum, be systems
which monitor and detect school bus traffic violations. For purposes of this chapter a live digital
video school bus violation detection monitoring system means a system with one or more camera
sensors and computers which produce live digital and recorded video of motor vehicles being
operated in violation of school bus traffic laws. All systems installed for used under this chapter
must, at a minimum, produce a live visual image viewable remotely, a recorded image of the
license plate, and be able to record the time, date, and location of the vehicle, and a signed
affidavit by a person who witnessed the violation via live video.
(b) The school departments may enter into an agreement with a private corporation or
other entity to provide live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring systems and to
maintain and operate such systems. Compensation to the private entity that provides such a
system and related support service shall not be based on the revenue generated by the system.
Compensation to the vendor of the system shall be based on the expense of the services and the
equipment provided by the vendor of the system. The school department may enter into an
agreement for purposes of reimbursement of expenses to the vendor for the installation, operation
and maintenance of the live digital video school bus detection and monitoring systems within its
municipality. Notwithstanding the terms and conditions contained in any such agreement,
reimbursement shall be made from ticket revenue proceeds from paid violations, as allocated
pursuant to section 31-51-5.
31-51-2.1. Installation and signage. – (a) All vehicles installed with a live digital video
school bus violation detection monitoring system shall post a warning sign indicating the use of
(b) Warning signage shall remain on each vehicle as long as a live digital video school
bus violation detection monitoring system is in operation.
31-51-3. Procedure -- Notice. -- (a) Except as expressly provided in this chapter, all
prosecutions based on evidence produced by a live digital video school bus violation detection
monitoring system shall follow the procedures established in chapter 41.1 of this title, chapter 8-
18 of the general laws and the rules promulgated by the chief magistrate of the traffic tribunal for
the hearing of civil traffic violations in the traffic tribunal. Citations may be issued by an officer
solely based on evidence obtained by use of a live digital video school bus violation detection
monitoring system. All citations issued based on evidence obtained from a live digital video
school bus violation detection monitoring system shall be issued within seven (7) days of the
violation. Notwithstanding any provisions of the general laws to the contrary, exclusive
jurisdiction to hear and decide any violation under this chapter shall be with the traffic tribunal.
(b) It shall be sufficient to commence a prosecution based on evidence obtained from a
live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system. A copy of the citation and
supporting documentation shall be mailed to the address of the registered owner kept on file by
the registry of motor vehicles pursuant to section 31-3-34 of the general laws. For purposes of
this section, the date of issuance shall be the date of mailing.
(c) The officer issuing the citation shall certify under penalties of perjury that the
evidence obtained from the live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system
was sufficient to demonstrate a violation of the motor vehicle code. Such certification shall be
sufficient in all prosecutions pursuant to this chapter to justify the entry of a default judgment
upon sufficient proof of actual notice in all cases where the citation is not answered within the
time period permitted.
(d) The citation shall contain all the information provided for on the uniform summons as
referred to in section 31-41.1-1 of the general laws and the rules of procedure promulgated by the
chief magistrate of the traffic tribunal for the traffic tribunal, as well as the date, time and location
of the violation.
(e) In addition to the information in the uniform summons, the following information
shall be attached to the citation as evidence:
(i) Copies of two (2) or more photographs, or microphotographs, videos, or other
recorded images taken as proof of the violation;
(ii) A signed statement by a trained law enforcement officer that, based on inspection of
recorded images and video, the motor vehicle was being operated in violation of section 31-20-
(iii) A statement that recorded images are evidence of a violation of this chapter; and
(iv) A statement that the person who receives a summons under this chapter may either
pay the civil penalty in accordance with the provisions of section 31-20-12, or elect to stand trial
for the alleged violation; and
(v) A signed affidavit by a person who witnessed live the motor vehicle being operated in
violation of section 31-20-12.
31-51-4. Hearings. -- Evidence from a live digital video school bus violation detection
monitoring system shall be considered substantive evidence in the prosecution of all civil traffic
violations. Evidence from a live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system
approved by the school department shall be admitted without further authentication and such
evidence may be deemed sufficient to sustain a civil traffic violation. In addition to any other
defenses as set forth herein, any and all defenses cognizable at law shall be available to the
individual who receives the citation commencing a prosecution under this chapter.
31-51-5. Driver/registered owner liability-- (a) The registered owner of the motor
vehicle shall be primarily responsible in all prosecutions brought pursuant to the provisions of
this chapter except as otherwise provided in this section.
(b) In all prosecutions of civil traffic violations based on evidence obtained from a live
digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system, the registered owner of a vehicle
which has been operated in violation of a civil traffic violation, may be liable for such violation.
The registered owner of the vehicle may assume liability for the violation by paying the fine; or
by defending the violation pursuant to the procedures in section 31-41.2-4.
(c) The revenue generated from each fine hereunder shall be allocated as follows: (1)
seventy-five percent (75%) to the vendor; (2) twelve and one-half percent (12.5%) to the state
general fund; (3) twelve and one-half percent (12.5%) to the municipality;
(d) The lessee of a leased vehicle shall be considered the owner of a motor vehicle for
purposes of this chapter.
31-51-6. Use of evidence in criminal and civil cases. -- Nothing in this chapter shall
prohibit the use of evidence produced by a live digital video school bus violation detection
monitoring system in a criminal or private civil proceeding provided that the admissibility of such
evidence shall not follow the applicable laws and rules of procedure and rules of evidence which
apply in criminal and civil cases.
31-51-7. Nature of violations. -- Notwithstanding any other provision of law:
(a) No violation for which a civil penalty is imposed under this chapter shall be
considered a moving violation, nor shall be included on the driving record of the person on whom
the liability is imposed, nor shall it be used for insurance rating purposes in providing motor
vehicle insurance coverage.
(b) Impositions of a penalty pursuant to this chapter shall not be deemed a criminal
conviction of an owner or operator;
(c) The "good driving statement" may not be used to dismiss an action brought pursuant
to this chapter.
31-51-8. Security of records. – (a) The recorded images and live video produced by a
live digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system shall not be deemed “public
records” subject to disclosure pursuant to subdivision 38-2-2(4)(i).
(b) All recorded images and live video that do not identify a violation shall be destroyed
within twenty-four (24) hours of the date the live video was recorded, unless ordered by a court of
(c) All recorded images and live video that identify a violation shall be destroyed within
one year after the citation is resolved by administrative payment, trial or other final disposition of
the citation, unless ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(d) The privacy of records produced pursuant to this chapter shall be maintained;
provided, that aggregate data not containing personal identifying information may be released.
31-51-9. Reports. – (a) The school department authorizing the installation of a live
digital video school bus violation detection monitoring system shall prepare an annual report
containing data on:
(1) the number of citations issued;
(2) the number of those violations paid;
(3) the number of those violations found after trial or hearing;
(4) the number of violations dismissed after trial or hearing;
(5) the amount of revenue obtained from the live digital video school bus violation
detection monitoring system.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.