TO ESTABLISH A PILOT PROGRAM TO IMPROVE PUBLIC SAFETY BY AUTHORIZING THE USE OF ELECTRONIC SPEED MEASURING SYSTEMS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO DETECT SPEED LIMIT VIOLATIONS IN HIGHWAY WORK AND SCHOOL ZONES, TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS FOR THE APPROVAL, USE, AND CALIBRATION OF ELECTRONIC SPEED MEASURING SYSTEMS, TO ESTABLISH A CIVIL PENALTY FOR SPEED VIOLATIONS IN WORK AND SCHOOL ZONES THAT ARE DETECTED BY THOSE SYSTEMS, TO CREATE A NEW SPECIAL FUND WITHIN THE STATE CIVIL PENALTY AND FORFEITURE FUND, TO PROVIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE PENALTIES INTO THE DESIGNATED SPECIAL FUND, AND TO DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF HIGHWAY FUNDS TRANSFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION FOR DRIVERS EDUCATION.
Enacts new GS 20-141.7 to provide for enforcement of speed limits in designated work zones and school speed zones on public highways through the use of fixed or mobile electronic speed-measuring systems (cameras). Secretary of Transportation is to designate up to 15 work zones and 15 school zones at one time for enforcement. Requires that notice be given of the presence of cameras. Violation of the speed limit captured by a camera is subject to a civil penalty of $125 if within a school zone and $250 if within a highway work zone, with no insurance or driver’s license points. Owner of vehicle is to be mailed notice of violation; owner is liable for payment unless the owner provides identity of other driver. Requires the Division of Motor Vehicles to set hearing procedure for owners to contest responsibility, with appeal to district court for trial de novo.
Requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to set standards for speed-measuring systems and for their calibration and periodic testing. Cameras are required to show tag number, date and location of violation, and vehicle speed. Provides that photographs are admissible as prima facie evidence of violation.
Enacts new GS 115C-457.4 to establish a Civil Penalties Litigation Fund within the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund, with 75% of civil penalties under new GS 20-141.7 to go to that new Litigation Fund and 25% to go to State Public School Fund. Amounts paid into the Litigation Fund are to be allocated to individual school systems, on a per pupil basis, to be used exclusively for technology. Provides that the purpose of payment to the Litigation Fund is to satisfy the August 2008 judgment in NC School Boards Association v. Moore ($749 million judgment entered on remand to superior court following North Carolina Supreme Court decision on July 1, 2005, at 359 NC 474). Provisions in GS 115C-457.2 on agency’s retention of costs of collecting penalty do not apply to fines under new GS 20-141.7 until judgment is satisfied.
Provides that payments to the Public School Fund under the act are to be used exclusively for the Drivers Education Program and authorizes DOT to pay costs of speed-measuring systems from funds it otherwise would have transferred to the Department of Public Instruction for driver’s education. Allows DOT funds to be used to establish new positions with approval of the Joint Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations.
Requires the Secretary of Transportation to evaluate and report to specified General Assembly committees on the speed-measuring systems program, with recommendations for any changes, annually by May 1st beginning in 2012.
Effective October 1, 2011, and expires October 1, 2026.