SENATE, No. 2695

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 7, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JAMES BEACH

District 6 (Camden)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Increases penalties for failing to secure a child in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat while operating a motor vehicle.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the use of child passenger restraint systems and amending and supplementing P.L.1983, c.128.

 

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

 

     1.    Section 3 of P.L.1983, c.128 (C.39:3-76.2c) is amended to read as follows:

     3.    The [Division of Motor Vehicles] Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety shall print such materials as to adequately inform the public about the types of child passenger restraint systems meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.  These materials may be made available to car dealers, parent groups, hospitals and the general public.

(cf:  P.L.1983, c.128, s. 3)

 

     2.    Section 4 of P.L.1983, c.128 (C.39:3-76.2d) is amended to read as follows:

     4.    a.  Any person guilty of violating any of the provisions of this act shall be [fined not less than $10.00 and not more than $25.00] subject to the following penalties:

     (1)   For a first offense a fine of $100;

     (2)   For a second or subsequent offense a fine of not less than $250 or more than $500.

     [The court shall suspend any fine imposed for failure to use a child restraint system if the defendant demonstrates that he possesses a child restraint system that complies with the federal standard applicable when it was manufactured and is using it according to the manufacturer's instructions.]  For a first offense, the court shall waive a fine to be imposed for failure to use a child passenger restraint system if the defendant demonstrates that the defendant is in possession of a child passenger restraint system.

   b.    Of the moneys collected from each fine imposed pursuant to the provisions of subsection a. of this section, $25 shall be deposited in the Division of Highway Traffic Safety Child Passenger Restraint System Assistance Fund established under the provisions of section 3 of P.L.     , c.    (C.         ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

(cf:  P.L.1983, c.128, s.4)

 

     3.    (New section)  There is established a nonlapsing revolving fund, to be known as the Division of Highway Traffic Safety Child Passenger Restraint System Assistance Fund, to be administered by the State Treasurer.  All moneys deposited in the fund pursuant to
the provisions of subsection b. of section 4 of P.L.1983, c.128 (C.39:3‑76.2d) shall be used exclusively by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety to purchase child passenger restraint systems for distribution to persons and organizations that establish and maintain child passenger restraint system lending programs.  Any interest earned on moneys in the fund shall be credited to the fund.  The Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B‑1 et seq.), shall promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this section.

 

     4.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month after enactment, but such anticipatory administrative action may be taken in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of the act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill increases the penalties for motor vehicle operators who fail to secure a child under the age of eight years and weighing less than 80 pounds in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in a rear seat in accordance with current law.

     The penalty now is a fine of between $10 and $25.  The bill increases the penalty for a first offense to a fine of $100 and provides that for a first offense, the court is to waive the fine to be imposed if the defendant demonstrates that he or she is in possession of a child passenger restraint system. The fine for second and subsequent offenses would be no less than $250 nor more than $500.

     The bill establishes a Division of Highway Traffic Safety Child Passenger Restraint System Assistance Fund to be administered by the State Treasurer.  From the moneys collected from each fine, $25 is to be deposited into the fund and used exclusively by the Division  of Highway Traffic Safety to purchase child passenger restraint systems for distribution to persons and organizations that establish and maintain child passenger restraint system lending programs.