CHAPTER 89

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 249

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO TRAFFIC LAWS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend § 4101, Title 21, Delaware Code by inserting as new § 4101(d) the following:

"(d) Liability for failure of owner to comply with traffic light signals.

(1) The Department of Public Safety and/or the governing body of any city or any county, may provide by regulation or ordinance for the establishment of a program imposing monetary liability on the owner of a motor vehicle for failure to comply with traffic light signals in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. This subsection allows the Department of Transportation, and/or the governing body of any city or county, to install and operate traffic light signal violation monitoring systems; provided, however, that in the event the installation other than by the Department of Transportation on State maintained streets or roads, the Department of Transportation must first approve such installation.

(2) The owner of the vehicle shall be liable for a monetary penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection if such vehicle is found, as evidenced by information obtained from a traffic light signal violation monitoring system, to have failed to comply with a traffic light signal. Enforcement, arrest, bail, appeal, procedures for payment of penalties and distribution of penalty payments collected shall be governed in the same manner as any parking or other non-moving violation under Chapter 7 of Title 21 and such penalties shall be subject to the voluntary assessment provisions of 21 Del. C. § 709.

(3) Proof of a violation of this subsection shall be evidenced by information obtained from a traffic light signal violation monitoring system authorized pursuant to this subsection. A certificate, sworn to or affirmed by a technician employed by a governmental body authorized to impose penalties pursuant to this subsection, or a facsimile thereof, based upon inspection of photographs, microphotographs, videotape, or other recorded images produced by a traffic light signal 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 be available for inspection in any proceeding to adjudicate the liability for such violation pursuant to regulation, ordinance or other law adopted pursuant to this subsection.

(4) The owner of any vehicle found to be in violation of this subsection (d) shall be held prima facie responsible for such violation in the same manner as provided for under 21 Del. C. § 7003.

(5) For purposes of this subsection (d) only, 'owner' means the registered owner of such vehicle on record with the Division of Motor vehicles, provided, however, that in the event that the owner is a vehicle leasing company licensed to do business in this state; the 'owner' for purposed of this subsection shall mean the person shown on the records of the Division of Motor Vehicles to be the lessee of such vehicle. Vehicle rental companies are excluded from the definition of 'owner' for purposes of this subsection (d) only. For purposes of this subsection, 'traffic light signal violation monitoring system' means a vehicle sensor installed to work in conjunction with a traffic light that 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 violation of this subsection.

(6) Imposition of a penalty pursuant to this subsection shall not be deemed a conviction of the owner 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. No monetary penalty imposed under this subsection shall exceed fifty dollars but court costs and assessments for the Victim's Compensation Fund and the Videophone Fund may be imposed in addition to the maximum monetary penalty.

(7) A summons for a violation of this subsection may be executed by mailing by first-class mail a copy thereof to the address of the owner of the vehicle as shown on the records of the Division of Motor Vehicles."

Section 2. Amend §4101, Title 21, of the Delaware Code by inserting as new 4101(e) the following:

"(e) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section, if the motor vehicle which is found by the traffic light signal violation monitoring system to have failed to comply with a traffic light signal is commercially licensed, then the owner of that vehicle shall be sent notice of the date, time and location of the violation with two photographs thereof. Within ten days of the receipt of said notice, the owner of the vehicle shall provide the law enforcement agency which has issued the summons with the name and address of the driver of the vehicle at the date, time and location of the violation and within the same time period, shall provide the driver of the vehicle with the photographs of the violation. After receipt by the law enforcement agency which has issued the summons of the name and address of the driver of the vehicle at the time of the violation, the driver of the vehicle shall be prima facie responsible for such violation in the same manner as provided for under 21 ad. C, §7003 and shall be subject to the provisions of this section. Failure of the owner of the vehicle found to be in violation of subsection (d) to provide the name and address of the driver at the time of the violation within the period prescribed shall cause the owner to be held responsible as set forth in subsection (d)(4)."

Approved June 26, 1997