ASSEMBLY, No. 2165





      Assembly Bill No. 2165 of 1996 provides that all the fines collected from persons convicted of violating certain seat belt laws be deposited in the Office of Highway Traffic Safety Child Passenger Restraint System Assistance Fund, administered by the State Treasurer. The fund shall be used by the Office of Highway Traffic Safety to purchase child passenger restraint systems for distribution to organizations that have established lending programs.

      For a period of 24 months following the effective date, and under certain circumstances, the bill provides immunity from civil actions for those who establish an approved lending program. The Director of the Office of Highway Traffic Safety is required to report to the Legislature within 21 months following the bill's effective date on its impact on lending programs.

      The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) states that the bill would divert money already paid to the State, counties, and municipalities for violation of Title 39 into the special Office of Highway Safety Child Passenger Restraint System Assistance Fund. There would be no additional revenue generated as a result of the bill.

      The AOC further states that assuming 100 percent of those matters subject to the bill's provisions are disposed, about $115,000 would be made available for the purchase of child passenger restraint systems each year. Of this amount, $86,250 would be diverted from local entities, and $28,750 would be diverted from the State to the fund. The AOC notes that it would incur an estimated one-time cost of $14,000 to re-program its Automated Traffic System computer program to account for the distribution of the revenues to the new fund.

      No estimate has been provided of the cost to the Office of Highway Traffic Safety for administering this program.

      The Office of Legislative Services concurs.


This fiscal note has been prepared pursuant to P.L.1980, c.67.