Date of enactment: June 7, 1996
1995 Assembly Bill 827 Date of publication*: June 20, 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 424
An Act to amend 346.49 (2) (a) and 346.49 (3); and to create 346.455 and 346.457 of the statutes; relating to: requiring motorists to stop for authorized emergency vehicles backing into a fire station, imposing vehicle owner liability and providing a penalty.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
424,1 Section 1. 346.455 of the statutes is created to read:
346.455 Vehicles to stop at fire station. (1) The operator of a motor vehicle approaching an authorized emergency vehicle shall stop not less than 30 feet from that vehicle and shall remain stopped, if all of the following apply:
(a) The authorized emergency vehicle is about to be or is being driven backwards into a driveway entrance to a fire station.
(b) The authorized emergency vehicle is giving visual signal by means of at least one flashing, oscillating or rotating red light or by a member of the fire department or fire patrol standing on the roadway in a position that is visible to approaching traffic and directing traffic to stop.
(2) The operator of a motor vehicle required to stop under sub. (1) shall remain stopped until a member of the fire department or fire patrol directs the operator to proceed or until the visual signal under sub. (1) (b) is terminated and all members of the fire department or fire patrol have left the roadway.
424,2 Section 2. 346.457 of the statutes is created to read:
346.457 Owner's liability for vehicle illegally passing fire truck. (1) The owner of a vehicle involved in a violation of s. 346.455 (1) or (2) shall be liable for the violation as provided in this subsection.
(2) A member of the fire department or fire patrol who observes a violation of s. 346.455 (1) or (2) may prepare a written report indicating that a violation has occurred. The report shall contain the following information:
(a) The time and 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 member of the fire department or fire patrol may deliver the report to a traffic officer of the political subdivision in which the violation occurred. A report which does not contain all of the information in sub. (2) may nevertheless be delivered and shall be maintained by the political subdivision for statistical purposes.
(4) (a) Within 48 hours after receiving a report containing all of the information in sub. (2) and after conducting an investigation, the traffic officer may prepare a uniform traffic citation under s. 345.11 for the violation and may personally serve it upon the owner of the vehicle.
(b) If with reasonable diligence the owner of the vehicle cannot be served under par. (a) 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 is not a defense to a violation of s. 346.455 (1) or (2) that the owner of the vehicle was not in control of the vehicle at the time of the violation.
(b) The following are defenses to a violation of s. 346.455 (1) or (2):
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 who was in control of the vehicle at the time of the violation and the person so named admits having the vehicle under his or her control at the time of the violation. In such a case, that person and not the owner shall be charged with the violation.
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 a case, the lessee and not the lessor shall be charged with the violation.
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 under the control of a person on a trial run and the dealer provides a traffic officer with the name, address and operator's license number of that person. In such a case, that person and not the dealer shall be charged with the violation.
424,3 Section 3. 346.49 (2) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
346.49 (2) (a) Unless otherwise provided in par. (b), any person violating s. 346.44, 346.45, 346.455 or 346.48 may be required to forfeit not less than $30 nor more than $300.
424,4 Section 4. 346.49 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
346.49 (3) A vehicle owner or other person found liable under s. 346.485 or 346.457 may be required to forfeit not less than $30 nor more than $300. Imposition of liability under s. 346.485 or 346.457 shall not result in suspension or revocation of a person's operating license under s. 343.30, nor shall it result in demerit points being recorded on a person's driving record under s. 343.32 (2) (a).
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