AN ACT TO INCREASE STATE TROOPERS IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY, TO INCREASE MAGISTRATES IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY, TO REVISE CERTAIN PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO STOP FOR A SCHOOL BUS AND TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF VEHICLE REGISTRATION AS PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF RESPONSIBILITY, AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS.
Appropriates $821,089 in recurring funds and $660,000 in nonrecurring funds from the General Fund to the State Highway Patrol for 2022-23 to fund 12 full-time Trooper positions for District H5 of Troop H. Effective July 1, 2022.
Increases the minimum number of magistrates required by GS 7A-133 for Mecklenburg County from 26.5 to 28.5. Appropriates $142,150 in recurring funds for 2022-23 and $6,056 in nonrecurring funds for 2022-23 from the General Fund to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to hire the two additional magistrates required by the act in Mecklenburg County. Effective July 1, 2022.
Amends GS 20-217, which requires motor vehicles to stop for properly marked school buses when stopped in certain described instances, increasing the minimum fines as follows: for violation of the statute from $500 to $1,000; for willful violation of the statute and also striking any person from $1,250 to $2,250; and for willful violation of the statute and also striking a person that results in their death from $2,500 to $3,500. Enacts a new subsection, establishing that it is prima facie evidence that the vehicle was operated by the person in whose name the vehicle was registered at the time of the violation whenever evidence is presented in any court or administrative hearing of the fact that a vehicle was operated in violation of the statute. Provides a similar provision with regard to operation by a renter of a rented vehicle. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2022.
Requires that $10 million in recurring funds from the funds appropriated from the General Fund for 2022-23 to the Department of Transportation (Department) to be used by the Department to record and store video from the Department's highway cameras.
Amends GS 132-1.1 to prohibit highway camera video records stored by the Department from being disclosed except as provided in new GS 132-1.7B.
Enacts new GS 132-1.7B, providing as follows. Sets out and defines terms, including defining highway camera as a Department of Transportation (Department) video or digital camera, located on highway right-of-way, for the purpose of monitoring vehicle traffic. Specifies that recordings under this statute are not public records.
Allows a person to request disclosure of a recording through a written request to the Department that includes the name of the person making the request, date and approximate time of the activity, or otherwise identify the activity with reasonable particularity sufficient to identify the recording. Allows disclosure of a recording to only: (1) a person whose image or voice is in the recording; (2) a personal representative of an adult person whose image or voice is in the recording, if the adult person has consented to the disclosure; (3) a personal representative of a minor or of an adult person under lawful guardianship whose image or voice is in the recording; (4) a personal representative of a deceased person whose image or voice is in the recording; (5) a personal representative of an adult person who is incapacitated and unable to provide consent to disclosure. Requires disclosing only the portions of the recording that are relevant to the person's request. Prohibits a person receiving disclosure from recording or copying the recording. Requires the Department to make the disclosure or deny the request as promptly as possible. Sets out six factors the Department is to consider when deciding whether to grant or deny the request. Sets out the procedure under which the person seeking disclosure may apply to the appropriate superior court for a review of the denial of disclosure when disclosure has been denied or disclosure has not been made more than three business days after the request. Sets out conditions under which the court may order disclosure. Sets out individuals that must be notified and given an opportunity to be heard at the hearing.
Provides that recordings are to be released only pursuant to court order. Allows any person requesting release of a recording to file an action in the appropriate superior court for an order releasing the recording. Requires the request to state the date and approximate time of the activity captured in the recording or otherwise identify the activity with reasonable particularity sufficient to identify the recording to which the action refers. Sets out factors the court is to consider in determining whether to order the release of all or a portion of the recording. Limits the release to only those portions of the recording that are relevant to the person's request and allows placing conditions or restrictions on the release. Sets out individuals that must be notified and given an opportunity to be heard at the hearing.
Requires the Department to disclose or release a recording to a district attorney (1) for review of potential criminal charges, (2) to comply with discovery requirements in a criminal prosecution, (3) for use in criminal proceedings in district court, or (4) for any other law enforcement purpose and allows disclosure or release of a recording for suspect identification or apprehension or to locate a missing or abducted person.
Provides that the Department is not required to retain any recording subject to this statute for more than 30 days, unless a court of competent jurisdiction orders otherwise.
Provides that no civil liability arises from compliance with the statute, so long as the acts or omissions are made in good faith.
Allows the Department to charge a fee for making a copy of a recording for release, not to exceed the actual cost. Prohibits the court from awarding attorneys' fees.
Prohibits using recordings subject to the statute for fines or private investigation. Provides that no elected official may review recordings subject to this statute, unless they meet the statute's disclosure criteria; excludes a county sheriff or district attorney if review of the recordings is within the scope of a criminal investigation.
Effective July 1, 2022.
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