BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2233
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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 2233 (Maze)
          As Introduced February 20, 2008
          Majority vote 

           TRANSPORTATION      9-1         APPROPRIATIONS      11-5        
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|DeSaulnier, Carter,       |Ayes:|Leno, Caballero,          |
          |     |Furutani, Galgiani,       |     |DeSaulnier, Furutani,     |
          |     |Horton, Karnette,         |     |Huffman, Karnette,        |
          |     |Portantino, Ruskin,       |     |Krekorian, Lieu, Ma,      |
          |     |Solorio                   |     |Nava, Solorio             |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Garrick                   |Nays:|Walters, Emmerson, La     |
          |     |                          |     |Malfa, Nakanishi, Sharon  |
          |     |                          |     |Runner                    |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :  Prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle while  
          holding a live animal in their arms or lap.  

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Prohibits a person from driving a vehicle when it is loaded as  
            to obstruct the view of the driver to the front or sides of  
            the vehicle or as to interfere with the driver's control over  
            the driving mechanism of the vehicle.  

          2)Prohibits a person from driving any motor vehicle with any  
            object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or  
            applied on the windshield or side or rear windows.  

          3)Prohibits a person driving a motor vehicle on a highway from  
            transporting any animal in the back of that vehicle in a space  
            intended for any load, unless the space is enclosed or has a  
            side or tail racks at a height of at least 46 inches extending  
            vertically from the floor.  This is required to prevent the  
            animal from being discharged.  The animal can be cross  
            tethered to the vehicle or protected by a secured container or  
            cage in a manner that will prevent the animal from being  
            thrown, falling, or jumping from the vehicle.  









                                                                  AB 2233
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          4)Provides that a person, who carries in a vehicle any domestic  
            animal in a cruel and inhumane manner or knowingly and  
            willfully authorizes it to be subjected to unnecessary  
            torture, suffering, or cruelty of any kind, is guilty of a  
            misdemeanor.  

           FISCAL EFFECT :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, there are no costs associated with this bill.  This  
          bill would generate minor revenue to cities and counties through  
          penalties imposed for violations.  Minor revenue to the General  
          Fund and various special funds would also result from the  
          California Highway Patrol enforcement of the new moving  
          violation.  

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "despite the fact that  
          current law prohibits a person from driving a vehicle when it is  
          loaded in a way as to obstruct the view of the driver, it is  
          silent on the specifics of driving with a pet."  The author adds  
          that often times "a pet can climb on the driver's lap and  
          interfere with driving or fall down by the gas or brake pedals,  
          causing an accident."  

          Although official statistics specifying an animal's involvement  
          as a contributing factor to driver distraction is unknown,  
          numerous studies have attempted to highlight the issue.  A  
          recent American Automobile Association study ranked pets and  
          loose objects as the third worst in-car distraction, worse than  
          cell phone usage, eating, and drinking.  

          According to information by the Department of Motor Vehicles  
          (DMV), "one out of four accidents," or about 4,300 accidents a  
          day, are caused by driver distraction.  DMV literature further  
          cautions against traveling with an animal and suggests that  
          "pets can be unpredictable and should be properly secured in a  
          pet carrier or a portable kennel before moving your vehicle."  

          Aside from the driver distraction that an unrestrained pet can  
          cause as it roams throughout the car, it can also become a  
          deadly projectile in the event of a sudden stop or crash.  For  
          example, an unsecured, 25-pound dog in a 40 miles per hour crash  
          becomes a 1,000-pound mass flying object inside the vehicle that  
          could produce serious injury or death to vehicle passengers.  

          With 69.1 million households in the United States owning a pet  








                                                                  AB 2233
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          and 84% of those families traveling with their pet in their  
          automobiles, the author suggests that the message is clear,  
          "people who fail to secure their pet safely in cars not only  
          jeopardize the animal's life, but also their own and other  
          people's."   
           
          Although this bill prohibits a person from driving a motor  
          vehicle while holding a live animal in their arms or lap, it  
          does not prescribe how an animal is to be restrained and allows  
          owner discretion to determine how to do so.  

          Currently, most pet stores carry vehicle restraining devices  
          that consist of a harness worn around the shoulders and chest of  
          an animal.  Often times a restraint system has a simple hook and  
          release that slips onto a car seat belt for ease of use.  Most  
          restraint systems can be purchased for under $25.  

          Proponents such as PetPAC contend that for "The safety of the  
          dog and driver, dogs need to be secured somewhere else in the  
          vehicle other than the driver's lap."  


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Alejandro Esparza / TRANS. / (916)  
          319-2093 



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