Date of enactment: December 20, 1995
1995 Assembly Bill 61 Date of publication*: January 5, 1996
* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes 1993-94: Effective date of acts. "Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication as designated" by the secretary of state [the date of publication may not be more than 10 working days after the date of enactment].
1995 WISCONSIN ACT 121
An Act to create 346.195 and 346.22 (3m) of the statutes; relating to: imposing liability upon the owner of a vehicle failing to yield the right-of-way to an authorized emergency vehicle and providing a penalty.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
121,1 Section 1. 346.195 of the statutes is created to read:
346.195 Owner's liability for vehicle failing to yield the right-of-way to an authorized emergency vehicle. (1) The owner of a vehicle involved in a violation of s. 346.19 (1) for failing to yield the right-of-way to an authorized emergency vehicle shall be liable for the violation as provided in this section.
(2) The operator of an authorized emergency vehicle who observes a violation of s. 346.19 (1) for failing to yield the right-of-way to an authorized emergency vehicle may prepare a written report indicating that a violation has occurred. If possible, the report shall contain the following information:
(a) The time and the approximate location at which the violation occurred.
(b) The license number and color of the vehicle involved in the violation.
(c) Identification of the vehicle as an automobile, station wagon, motor truck, motor bus, motorcycle or other type of vehicle.
(3) Within 24 hours after observing the violation, the operator of the authorized emergency vehicle may deliver the report to a traffic officer of the county or municipality in which the violation occurred. A report that does not contain all the information in sub. (2) shall, nevertheless, be delivered and shall be maintained by the county or municipality for statistical purposes.
(4) (a) Within 48 hours after receiving a report containing all the information in sub. (2) and after investigating the violation, the traffic officer may prepare a uniform traffic citation under s. 345.11 and may personally serve it upon the owner of the vehicle.
(b) If with reasonable diligence the owner cannot be served under par. (a), service may be made by leaving a copy of the citation at the owner's usual place of abode within this state in the presence of a competent member of the family at least 14 years of age, who shall be informed of the contents thereof.
(c) If with reasonable diligence the owner cannot be served under par. (a) or (b) or if the owner lives outside of the jurisdiction of the issuing authority, service may be made by certified mail addressed to the owner's last-known address.
(5) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), it shall be no defense to a violation of this section that the owner was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation.
(b) The following are defenses to a violation of this section:
1. That a report that the vehicle was stolen was given to a traffic officer before the violation occurred or within a reasonable time after the violation occurred.
2. That the owner of the vehicle provides a traffic officer with the name and address of the person operating the vehicle at the time of the violation and the person so named admits operating the vehicle at the time of the violation. In such case, the person operating the vehicle and not the owner shall be charged under this section.
3. That the vehicle is owned by a lessor of vehicles and at the time of the violation the vehicle was in the possession of a lessee, and the lessor provides a traffic officer with the information required under s. 343.46 (3). In such case, the lessee and not the lessor shall be charged under this section.
4. That the vehicle is owned by a dealer, as defined in s. 340.01 (11) (intro.) but including the persons specified in s. 340.01 (11) (a) to (d), and at the time of the violation the vehicle was being operated by any person on a trial run, and the dealer provides a traffic officer with the name, address and operator's license number of the person operating the vehicle. In such case, the person operating the vehicle, and not the dealer, shall be charged under this section.
121,2 Section 2. 346.22 (3m) of the statutes is created to read:
346.22 (3m) A vehicle owner or other person found liable under s. 346.195 may be required to forfeit not less than $30 nor more than $300. Imposition of liability under s. 346.195 shall not result in suspension or revocation of a person's operating license under s. 343.30, and shall not result in demerit points being recorded on a person's driving record under s. 343.32 (2) (a).
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