§ 3345.1. Enforcement of failure to stop for school bus with flashing red lights.
(a) General rule.--A school entity may install and operate a side stop signal arm enforcement system for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of section 3345 (relating to meeting or overtaking school bus) as reported under section 3345(a.1).
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), this section shall apply to a driver of a motor vehicle meeting or overtaking a school bus stopped on a highway or trafficway when the red signal lights on the school bus are flashing and the side stop signal arms are activated as described in section 3345.
(2) Nothing in this section shall supersede the provisions of:
(i) Section 3105(h) (relating to drivers of emergency vehicles).
(ii) Section 3345 (c) or (d).
(c) Liability.--For each violation of section 3345 enforced under this section, the driver of the motor vehicle shall be liable as follows:
(1) The penalty for the violation shall be as provided in sections 1535(a) (relating to schedule of convictions and points) and 3345.
(d) Certificate as evidence.--A certificate, or a facsimile of a certificate, based upon inspection of recorded images produced by a side stop signal arm enforcement system and sworn to or affirmed by a police officer shall be prima facie evidence of the facts contained in it. The school entity or the contracted company that provides pupil transportation must include written documentation that the side stop signal arm enforcement system was operating correctly at the time of the alleged violation. A recorded image evidencing a violation of section 3345 shall be admissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding to adjudicate the liability for the violation.
(1) (i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, equipment deployed as part of a side stop signal arm enforcement system as provided under this section must be incapable of automated or user-controlled remote surveillance by means of recorded video images.
(ii) Recorded images collected as part of the side stop signal arm enforcement system may only record violations of section 3345 and may not be used for any other surveillance purposes.
(iii) Restrictions under this paragraph shall not be deemed to preclude a court of competent jurisdiction from issuing an order directing that the information be provided to law enforcement officials if the information is reasonably described and is requested solely in connection with a criminal law enforcement action.
(2) (i) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, information prepared under this section and information relating to violations of section 3345 enforced under this section which is kept by the police department of the police officer having the authority to exercise police power in the area where the violation occurred, its authorized agents or employees, including recorded images, written records, reports or facsimiles, names, addresses and the number of violations under this section, shall be for the exclusive use of the department of the police officer having the authority to exercise police power in the area where the violation occurred, its authorized agents or employees and law enforcement officials for the purpose of discharging their duties under this section.
(ii) The information shall not be deemed a public record under the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law.
(iii) The information may be discoverable by court order or otherwise and may be offered in evidence in any action or proceeding which is directly related to a violation of section 3345 enforced under this section or any other violation in connection with a criminal law enforcement action.
(3) Images obtained through the use of a side stop signal arm enforcement system shall be destroyed within one year of final disposition of the recorded event. The vendor of a side stop signal arm enforcement system shall notify the school entity by written notice in accordance with this section that the records have been destroyed.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, registered vehicle owner information obtained as a result of the operation of a side stop signal arm enforcement system shall not be the property of the manufacturer or vendor of the system and may not be used for any purpose other than prescribed in this section.
(1) It shall be a defense to a prosecution using a side stop signal arm enforcement system for a violation under section 3345 that the person named in the citation was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation. The person shall be required to submit evidence to the court that the person was not the driver at the time of the alleged violation.
(2) The person named in the citation shall not be required to identify the actual driver of the vehicle at the time the violation occurred.
(1) A school entity may enter into an agreement with a private vendor or manufacturer to provide a side stop signal arm enforcement system on each bus within its fleet, whether owned, contracted or leased, up to and including the installation, operation and maintenance of the systems.
(2) Except as otherwise provided, an agreement under this section shall take effect in a school entity by vote of the local board of school directors. The meeting to consider approval of a side stop signal arm enforcement system shall be properly noticed under 65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).
(h) Duty of manufacturer or vendor.--A manufacturer or vendor of side stop signal arm enforcement systems shall submit the following information to the school entity:
(1) A copy of the recorded image showing the vehicle.
(2) The license plate number and state of issuance of the motor vehicle.
(3) The date, time and place of the alleged violation.
(i) Compensation to manufacturer or vendor.--The compensation paid to the manufacturer or vendor of the side stop signal arm enforcement system may not be based on the number of citations issued. The compensation paid to the manufacturer or vendor of the equipment shall be based upon the value of the equipment and services provided or rendered in support of the side stop signal arm enforcement system.
(j) Department approval.--
(1) No side stop signal arm enforcement system may be used without the approval of the department, which shall have the authority to promulgate regulations for the certification and use of such systems.
(2) Any system installed prior to the effective date of this paragraph shall obtain department approval within six months of the effective date of the temporary regulations promulgated under paragraph (3).
(3) In order to facilitate the prompt implementation of this section, regulations promulgated by the department under this section during the two years following the effective date of this section shall be deemed temporary regulations, which shall expire no later than three years following the effective date of this section or upon promulgation of final regulations. The temporary regulations shall not be subject to:
(i) Sections 201, 202, 203, 204 and 205 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.769, No.240), referred to as the Commonwealth Documents Law.
(ii) The act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the Regulatory Review Act.
(iii) Section 204(b) of the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act.
(k) School Bus Safety Grant Program.--The School Bus Safety Grant Program Account is established as a restricted account in the General Fund. Money in the account is appropriated on a continuing basis to the department for grants under this subsection. The surcharge established under section 3345(j) shall be deposited into the account and shall be used by the department to implement the School Bus Safety Grant Program, which is established to promote and increase school bus safety, education and training throughout this Commonwealth. The department shall award school bus safety grants on a competitive basis. The department may pay any actual administrative costs arising from the administration of this section out of the fines deposited into the account. Independent school bus contractors and school entities are eligible for the grant. The department shall develop a uniform application process and regulations to administer the grant program.
(l) Contracted companies.--
(1) No contracted company that provides pupil transportation shall be liable if a side stop signal arm enforcement system is vandalized or otherwise malfunctions.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a contracted company that provides pupil transportation to take a bus out of service due to a nonfunctioning side stop signal arm enforcement system, except that a contracted company shall allow the manufacturer or vendor of the side stop signal arm enforcement system access to the bus when the bus is not in service at a time mutually agreeable to the contractor and vendor.
(3) Independent school bus contractors shall not be held responsible for costs associated with the side stop signal arm enforcement system, including, but not limited to, installation, maintenance, repair, replacement or removal of the system.
(m) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Local board of school directors." A board of directors or other governing authority of a school entity.
"Manufacturer" or "vendor." A company that creates, owns or has a license or permission to sell, lease or distribute a side stop signal arm enforcement system.
"Pupil transportation." The transport of resident pupils of a school district to and from preprimary, primary or secondary schools and students to or from public, private or parochial schools. The term does not include transportation for field trips.
"School entity." A school district, area vocational-technical school, intermediate unit, charter school, regional charter school or cyber charter school.
"Side stop signal arm enforcement system" or "system." A camera system with two or more camera sensors and computers that produce recorded video and two or more film or digital photographic still images of a motor vehicle being used or operated in a manner that violates section 3345.
"Side stop signal arms." As described in section 4552(b.1) (relating to general requirements for school buses).
(Oct. 24, 2018, P.L.1154, No.159)
2018 Amendment. Act 159 added section 3345.1. Section 3 of Act 159 provided that the addition of subsec. (j) shall take effect immediately and six months as to the rest of the section.
References in Text. Section 27 of Act 16 of 2019 provided that a reference in statute or regulation to "area vocational-technical school" shall be deemed a reference to "area career and technical school," and a reference in statute or regulation to "vocational curriculums" shall be deemed a reference to "career and technical curriculums."
Cross References. Section 3345.1 is referred to in section 3345 of this title.