SENATE, No. 3018

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED AUGUST 25, 2011

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Mercer)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Permits municipality to establish restricted parking spaces for certain volunteer firefighters.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning volunteer firefighter parking, amending R.S.39:4-8, R.S.39:4-138, and R.S.39:4-197, and supplementing Title 39 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    R.S.39:4-8 is amended to read as follows:

     39:4-8.  a.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, no ordinance, resolution, or regulation concerning, regulating, or governing traffic or traffic conditions, adopted or enacted by any board or body having jurisdiction over highways, shall be of any force or effect unless the same is approved by the commissioner, according to law.  The commissioner shall not be required to approve any such ordinance, resolution, or regulation, unless, after investigation by the commissioner, the same shall appear to be in the interest of safety and the expedition of traffic on the public highways. The commissioner's investigation need not include more than a review of the ordinance, resolution, or regulation, and the supporting documentation submitted by a board or body having jurisdiction over highways, unless the commissioner determines that additional investigation is warranted. 

     Prior to the adoption of any municipal or county ordinance, resolution, or regulation, which places any impact on roadways in an adjoining municipality or county, the governing board or body of the municipality or county shall provide appropriate notice to the adjoining municipality or county.

     Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, any municipal or county ordinance, resolution, or regulation which places any impact on a State roadway shall require the approval of the commissioner.

     Where the commissioner's approval is required, a certified copy of the adopted ordinance, resolution, or regulation shall be transmitted by the clerk of the municipality or county, as applicable, to the commissioner within 30 days of adoption, together with: a copy of the municipal or county engineer's certification, a statement of the reasons for the municipal or county engineer's decision, detailed information as to the location of streets, intersections, and signs affected by the ordinance, resolution, or regulation, and traffic count, crash, and speed sampling data, when appropriate.  The commissioner may invalidate the provisions of the ordinance, resolution, or regulation if the commissioner finds that the provisions of the ordinance, resolution, or regulation are inconsistent with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, inconsistent with accepted engineering standards, are not based on the results of an accurate traffic and engineering survey, or place an undue traffic burden or impact on the State highway system, or affect the flow of traffic on the State highway system.

     b.    (1) A municipality may, without the approval of the commissioner, and consistent with the current standards prescribed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, establish by ordinance, resolution, or regulation, any of the provisions contained in R.S.39:4-197.

     (a)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.110)

     (b)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.110)

     (c)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.110)

     (d)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.110)

     (2)   A county may, without the approval of the commissioner, and consistent with the current standards prescribed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, establish by ordinance, resolution, or regulation, any of the provisions contained in R.S.39:4-197.

     (a)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.110)

     (b)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.110)

     (c)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.110)

     (d)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2008, c.110)

     (3)   The municipal or county engineer shall, under his seal as a licensed professional engineer, certify to the governing body of the municipality or county, as appropriate, that any designation or erections of signs or placement of pavement markings has been approved by the engineer after investigation of the circumstances, appears to the engineer to be in the interest of safety and the expedition of traffic on the public highways, and conforms to the current standards prescribed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, as adopted by the commissioner.

     The provisions of the ordinance, resolution, or regulation shall be consistent with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, consistent with accepted engineering standards, based on the results of an accurate traffic and engineering survey, and not place an undue traffic burden or impact on streets in an adjoining municipality or negatively affect the flow of traffic on the State highway system.

     Nothing in this subsection shall allow municipalities to designate any intersection with any highway under State or county jurisdiction as a stop or yield intersection or counties to designate any intersection with any highway under State or municipal jurisdiction as a stop or yield intersection.

     c.     Subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-138, in the case of any street under municipal or county jurisdiction, a municipality or county may, without the approval of the commissioner, and consistent with the current standards prescribed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, by ordinance, resolution, or regulation:

     (1)   prohibit or restrict general parking;

     (2)   designate restricted parking under section 1 of P.L.1977, c.309 (C.39:4-197.6);

     (3)   designate time limit parking;

     (4)   install parking meters;

     (5)   designate loading and unloading zones and taxi stands;

     (6)   approve street closings for periods up to 48 continuous hours;

     (7) designate restricted parking under section 1 of P.L.1977, c.202 (C.39:4-197.5);

     (8)   establish angle parking; [and]

     (9)   reinstate or add parking on any street ; and

     (10) designate restricted parking under section 4 of P.L.    , c.   (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

     d.    A municipality or county may, without the approval of the commissioner, and consistent with the current standards prescribed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, by ordinance, resolution, or regulation, regarding any street under its jurisdiction, install or place an in-street pedestrian crossing right-of-way sign at a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.  The installation shall be subject to guidelines issued by the commissioner after consultation with the Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety in the Department of Law and Public Safety. The guidelines shall be aimed at ensuring safety to both pedestrians and motorists including, but not limited to, the proper method of sign installation, dimensions, composition of material, proper placement points and maintenance.  A claim against the State or a municipality or county for damage or injury under this subsection for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality or county is deemed to have conformed to the guidelines required hereunder.

     e.     A municipality or county may, without the approval of the commissioner, and consistent with the current standards prescribed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, by ordinance, resolution, or regulation in any street under its jurisdiction, designate stops, stations, or stands for omnibuses.  The designation shall be subject to guidelines issued by the commissioner.  The guidelines shall be aimed at ensuring safety to both pedestrians and motorists including, but not limited to, the proper method of sign installation, dimensions, composition of material, proper placement points, and maintenance.  A claim against the State or a municipality or county for damage or injury under this subsection for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality or county is deemed to have conformed to the guidelines required hereunder.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.110, s.1)

     2.    R.S.39:4-138 is amended to read as follows:

     39:4-138.  Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a traffic or police officer or traffic sign or signal, no operator of a vehicle shall stand or park the vehicle in any of the following places:

     a.     Within an intersection;

     b.    On a crosswalk;

     c.     Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within at least 20 feet of a point on the curb immediately opposite the end of a safety zone; 

     d.    In front of a public or private driveway;

     e.     (1) Within 25 feet of the nearest crosswalk or side line of a street or intersecting highway, except at alleys and as provided in section 2 of P.L.2009, c.257 (C.39:4-138.6); or

     (2)   Within 10 feet of the nearest crosswalk or side line of a street or intersecting highway, if a curb extension or bulbout has been constructed at that crosswalk;

     f.     On a sidewalk;

     g.     In any appropriately marked "No Parking" space established pursuant to the duly promulgated regulations of the Commissioner of Transportation;

     h.     Within 50 feet of a "stop" sign except as provided in section 2 of P.L.2009, c.257 (C.39:4-138.6);

     i.      Within 10 feet of a fire hydrant;

     j.     Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing;

     k.    Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within 75 feet of said entrance, when properly signposted;

     l.      Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic, when properly signposted;

     m.    On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street;

     n.     Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway, or within a highway tunnel or underpass, or on the immediate approaches thereto except where space for parking is provided;

     o.    In any space on public or private property appropriately marked for vehicles for the physically handicapped pursuant to P.L.1977, c.202 (C.39:4-197.5), P.L.1975, c.217 (C.52:27D-119 et seq.) or any other applicable law unless the vehicle is authorized by law to be parked therein and a handicapped person is either the driver or a passenger in that vehicle. State, county or municipal law enforcement officers or parking enforcement authority officers shall enforce the parking restrictions on spaces appropriately marked for vehicles for the physically handicapped on both public and private property.

     p.    In any space appropriately marked for volunteer firefighters’ vehicles pursuant to section 4 of P.L.    , c.   (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) unless the vehicle is authorized by law to be parked therein.  State, county, or municipal law enforcement officers or parking enforcement authority officers shall enforce the parking restrictions on spaces appropriately marked for volunteer firefighters’ vehicles.

     No person shall move a vehicle not lawfully under his control into any such prohibited area or away from a curb such distance as is unlawful.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.257, s.1)

 

     3.    R.S.39:4-197 is amended to read as follows:

     39:4-197. Except as otherwise provided in R.S.39:4-8, no municipality shall pass an ordinance or resolution on a matter covered by or which alters or in any way nullifies the provisions of this chapter or any supplement to this chapter; except that a municipality may pass, without the approval of the commissioner, and consistent with the current standards prescribed by the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways, ordinances or resolutions, or by ordinances or resolutions may authorize the adoption of regulations by the board, body, or official having control of traffic in the public streets, regulating special conditions existent in the municipality on the subjects and within the limitations following:

     (1)   Ordinance:

     a.     Altering speed limitations as provided in R.S.39:4-98;

     b.    Limiting use of streets to certain class of vehicles, except that nothing in this paragraph shall permit a municipality to pass an ordinance or resolution limiting use of streets by commercial motor vehicles without the approval of the commissioner;

     c.     Designating one-way streets;

     d.    Regulating the stopping or starting of street cars at special places, such as railroad stations, public squares or in front of certain public buildings;

     e.     Regulating the passage or stopping of traffic at certain congested street corners or other designated points, including the establishment of multi-way stop controls;

     f.     Regulating the parking of vehicles on streets and portions thereof, including angle parking as provided in R.S.39:4-135;

     g.     Regulating the parking of vehicles upon land owned or leased and maintained by the municipality, a parking authority or the board of education of a school district, including any lands devoted to the public parking of vehicles, the entrances thereto and exits therefrom;

     h.     Regulating the entrances to and exits from parking yards and parking places which are open to the public or to which the public is invited, except that this shall not apply to entrances or exits to and from State highways;

     i.      Designating streets or roads upon which buses and trucks over four tons gross weight may be required not to exceed specially fixed limits based on engineering and traffic investigation and to use a lower gear in descending steep declivities having a grade in excess of 5% fixing such special speed limits and providing for the use of such a gear thereon; and

     j.     Designating any intersection as a stop intersection and erecting appropriate signs, on streets under municipal jurisdiction if that intersection is located within 500 feet of a school, or of a playground or youth recreational facility and the street on which the stop sign will be erected is contiguous to that school, playground, or youth recreational facility. The municipal engineer shall certify to the following in regard to the designated site in which a stop intersection is being designated: (i) that both intersecting streets are under municipal jurisdiction; (ii) that the intersection is within 500 feet of a school, playground, or youth recreational facility as defined herein; and (iii) that the intersection is on a street contiguous to a school, playground, or youth recreational facility.  A claim against a municipality for damage or injury under this subparagraph for a wrongful act or omission shall be dismissed if the municipality is deemed to have conformed to the provisions contained in this subparagraph.

     (2)   Ordinance or resolution:

     a.     Designating through streets, as provided in article 17 of this chapter (R.S.39:4-140 et seq.); and

     b.    Designating and providing for the maintenance as "no passing" zones of portions of highway where overtaking and passing or driving to the left of the roadway is deemed especially hazardous.

     (3)   Ordinance, resolution, or regulation:

     a.     Designating stops, stations, or stands for omnibuses and taxis;

     b.    Designating curb loading zones; [and]

     c.     Designating restricted parking spaces for use by persons who have been issued special vehicle identification cards by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1949, c.280 (C.39:4-204 et seq.) and section 1 of P.L.1977, c.202 (C.39:4-197.5). Any person parking a motor vehicle in a restricted parking space without a special vehicle identification card shall be liable to a fine of $250 for the first offense and, for subsequent offenses, a fine of at least $250 and up to 90 days' community service on such terms and in such form as the court shall deem appropriate, or any combination thereof ; and

     d.    Designating restricted parking spaces for use by persons who have been issued a volunteer firefighter permit pursuant to the provisions of section 4 of P.L.    , c.   (C.       ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).  Any person parking a motor vehicle in a restricted volunteer firefighter parking space without a volunteer firefighter permit shall be liable to a fine of $100 for the first offense and a fine of $250 for subsequent offenses.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.110, s.2)

 

     4.    (New section) a.  Any municipality which has a duly organized volunteer fire company may, by ordinance, resolution, or regulation, establish a restricted volunteer firefighter parking space in front of a residence occupied by a volunteer firefighter if a permit has been issued for a vehicle owned or leased and operated by the volunteer firefighter pursuant to subsection b. of this section, provided such parking is not otherwise prohibited and the permitting thereof would not interfere with the normal flow of traffic.

     b.    Any municipality enacting an ordinance, resolution, or regulation, pursuant to this section shall provide for the issuance of permits to volunteer firefighters which identify a specific motor vehicle and the location wherein it may be parked.  Such permits shall only be issued to persons who can provide proof to the satisfaction of the governing body that they own or lease and operate the motor vehicle and that they reside at the location specified thereon.  The permit shall be 5 1/2 inches by 8 1/2 inches in size, shall bear an appropriate certification of authenticity, and shall be displayed prominently within the vehicle when it is parked so as to be seen from the middle of the street.  Only a motor vehicle for which a valid permit has been issued and which has the permit properly displayed shall be parked in the restricted volunteer firefighter parking space indicated on the permit. 

 

     5.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would permit a municipality that has a volunteer fire department to adopt an ordinance, resolution, or regulation, permitting the establishment of restricted parking spaces in front of volunteer firefighters’ homes.  By allowing a volunteer firefighter additional parking space, it is the sponsor’s intent to remove barriers which might slow the firefighter’s ability to respond to emergencies.  The designation of restricted volunteer firefighter parking spaces would only be permitted if it would not interfere with the normal flow of traffic.

     A municipality that designates such parking spaces would issue permits to volunteer firefighters.  The permits would identify the specific motor vehicle and the location where the vehicle may be parked.  The permit would need to be displayed prominently within the vehicle when it is parked so as to be seen from the middle of the street.