[Second Reprint]

ASSEMBLY, No. 2592

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MARCH 22, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN S. WISNIEWSKI

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman  CRAIG J. COUGHLIN

District 19 (Middlesex)

Assemblyman  VINCENT PRIETO

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Chiappone, Senators Vitale, Goodwin, Beach, Greenstein, Ruiz, Stack, Assemblymen Giblin and Chivukula

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Sara’s Law;” requires Motor Vehicle Commission to establish next-of-kin program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Transportation Committee on September 13, 2010, with amendments.

  


An Act concerning motor vehicle safety, designated as Sara’s Law, supplementing Title 39 of the Revised Statutes, and amending P.L.1980, c.47

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  a.  The Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall develop an Internet 1[next-of-kin program] emergency contact information registry program.  Under the program, the chief administrator shall establish and maintain an automated Statewide Internet registry to be known as the “Next-of-Kin Registry,” which shall be capable of storing emergency contact information to be accessible by law enforcement officials for the purposes established in section 2 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1. Under the program, the holder of any New Jersey State 1validated permit, probationary 2[,]2 or basic1 driver’s license 2,2 or 2[1a1]2 non-driver identification card 1[shall have the opportunity to] may1 voluntarily submit, via the Internet, the name and telephone number of 2[three] two2 emergency contacts to the 1“Next-of-Kin Registry,” accessible through the1 Motor Vehicle 1[Commission] Commission’s website1

     b.    In implementing this program, the chief administrator shall establish a process whereby the holder of any 1validated permit, probationary or basic1 driver’s license 1,1 or non-driver identification card may electronically sign onto the Motor Vehicle Commission web site using 1[their] the holder’s validated permit, probationary or basic1 driver’s license number or non-driver identification card number.  The 1permit holder,1 licensee 1,1 or card holder may then submit the name and telephone number of up to 2[three] two2 emergency contacts 1to be stored1 in  the 1[commission’s official web site] “Next-of-Kin Registry”1.  A 1permit holder,1 licensee 1,1 or 1non-driver identification1 card holder who submits the name and telephone number of an emergency contact shall have the opportunity to revise or update the emergency contact information at any time. 

     c.     1[The chief administrator shall be responsible for establishing and maintaining a standardized and automated Statewide registry capable of storing and distributing emergency contact information to law enforcement officials.  The chief administrator shall strive to ensure that the information contained in the Internet registry is updated as appropriate in a timely and efficient manner. 

     d.]1   Information in the 1[registry] “Next-of-Kin Registry”1 shall be 1[accessible only by] available for the exclusive use of1 law enforcement officials 1,1 and employees of the commission 1[that] who1 are designated by the chief administrator 1, for the purposes of discharging their duties pursuant to P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1.  Any emergency contact information submitted to the commission shall not be considered a public record pursuant to P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) 1[or] ,1 P.L.2001, c.404 (C.47:1A-5 et al.) 1, or the common law concerning access to public records and shall not be discoverable as a public record by any person, entity, or governmental agency, except upon a subpoena issued by a grand jury or a court order in a criminal matter1.

      1[e.] d.1  2The chief administrator and employees of the commission who are designated by the chief administrator, for the purposes of discharging their duties pursuant to P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall not be liable to any person for civil damages, or subject to criminal prosecution resulting from or caused by: (1) any disruption or failure in Internet service caused by any accident, malfunction, act of sabotage or God, or any other condition or circumstance that the commission has not, directly or indirectly, caused and which results in, or prevents, the holder of any New Jersey State validated permit, probationary or basic driver’s license, or non-driver identification card from accessing, or inputting information into, the “Next-of-Kin Registry” or which results in, or prevents, the chief administrator and designated commission employees and law enforcement officers from accessing, establishing, or maintaining the “Next-of-Kin Registry”; (2) any misuse of, or the failure or omission to input accurate information, or the inputting of inaccurate or outdated information into the “Next-of-Kin Registry” by any holder of any New Jersey State validated permit, probationary or basic driver’s license, or non-driver identification card; or (3) the inability of any law enforcement officer to make contact, in good faith, with any designated emergency contact person.  This limitation of liability is inapplicable if such failure resulted from a malicious purpose or a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.

   e.2  For the purposes of 1[this act] P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill)1, “emergency contact person” or “emergency contact” means a person, eighteen years of age or older, 1[who] whom1 the holder of any New Jersey State 1validated permit, probationary or basic1 driver’s license 1,1 or non-driver identification card 1has1 designated to be contacted by law enforcement personnel when the 1permit holder,1 licensee 1,1 or 1non-driver identification1 card holder is rendered unable to communicate due to a motor vehicle accident resulting in the serious bodily injury, death, or incapacitation of the 1permit holder,1 licensee 1,1 or 1non-driver identification1 card holder.  An “emergency contact person” or “emergency contact” may or may not be the next-of-kin of the 1permit holder,1 licensee 1,1  or 1non-driver identification1 card holder; except that if the 1permit holder,1 licensee 1,1  or card holder is under the age of eighteen and is not emancipated, the emergency contact person shall be the parent or guardian of that 1permit holder,1 licensee 1,1 or card holder. 

 

     2.  (New section) 2a.2  When a motor vehicle accident results in the serious bodily injury, death, or incapacitation of a driver or any passenger, the law enforcement officer investigating the motor vehicle accident shall attempt to locate an emergency contact person by accessing the 1[emergency contact database] “Next-of-Kin Registry,”1 established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.    ,c.     (C.             ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill.).  1[That] The1 law enforcement officer shall, when practicable, expeditiously notify the emergency contact of 1[any] each1 person involved in the motor vehicle accident and inform the emergency contact of the hospital or other location at which the driver or passenger may be receiving medical treatment.

     2b.  No law enforcement officer or law enforcement employee shall be liable to any person for civil damages, or subject to criminal prosecution resulting from or caused by: (1) any disruption or failure in Internet service caused by any accident, malfunction, act of sabotage or God, or any other condition or circumstance that the commission has not, directly or indirectly, caused and which results in, or prevents, the holder of any New Jersey State validated permit, probationary or basic driver’s license, or non-driver identification card from accessing, or inputting information into, the “Next-of-Kin Registry” or which results in, or prevents, the chief administrator and designated commission employees and law enforcement officers from accessing, establishing, or maintaining the “Next-of-Kin Registry”; (2) any misuse of, or the failure or omission to input accurate information, or the inputting of inaccurate or out-dated information into the “Next-of-Kin Registry” by any holder of any New Jersey State validated permit, probationary or basic driver’s license, or non-driver identification card; or (3) the inability of any law enforcement officer to make contact, in good faith, with any designated emergency contact person.  This limitation of liability is inapplicable if such failure resulted from a malicious purpose or a wanton and willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.2


     3.  Section 2 of P.L.1980, c.47 (C.39:3-29.3) is amended to read as follows: 

     2.  The 1[Division of Motor Vehicles] New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission1 shall issue an identification card to any resident of the State who is [17] 14 years of age or older and who is not the holder of a valid 1[learner's]1 permit or 1[a valid] basic1 driver's license.  The identification card shall attest to the true name, correct age, and other identifying data as certified by the applicant for such identification card. Every application for an identification card shall be signed and verified by the applicant and shall be 1accompanied by the written consent of at least one parent or the person's legal guardian if the person is under 17 years of age and shall be1 supported by such documentary evidence of the age and identity, or blindness, disability, or handicap, of such person as the 1[division] chief administrator1 may require.  In addition to requiring an applicant for an identification card to submit satisfactory proof of identity and age, the 1[director] chief administrator1 also shall require the applicant to provide, as a condition for obtaining the card, satisfactory proof that the applicant's presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.  If the 1[director] chief administrator1 has reasonable cause to suspect that any document presented by an applicant as proof of identity, age or legal residency is altered, false or otherwise invalid, the 1[director] chief administrator1 shall refuse to grant the identification card until such time as the document may be verified by the issuing agency to the 1[director's] chief administrator’s1 satisfaction.

(cf:  P.L.2001, c.391, s.14)

 

     4.    The chief administrator may adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), any rules or regulations necessary for the implementation of this act.    

 

     5.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the 2[thirteenth] nineteenth2 month after enactment, but the chief administrator may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the timely implementation of this act.