INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Brownley

                        FEBRUARY 16, 2011

   An act to amend Section 375 of, and to add and repeal Section
25353.1 of, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


   AB 607, Brownley. Vehicles: public transit buses: illuminated
   Existing law authorizes a bus operated by a publicly owned transit
system on regularly scheduled service to be equipped with
illuminated signs that display information directly related to public
service and include, among other things, destination signs,
route-number signs, run-number signs, public service announcement
signs, or a combination of those signs, visible from any direction of
the vehicle, that emit any light color, other than the color red
emitted from forward-facing signs, pursuant to specified conditions.
   This bill would authorize, until January 1, 2017, a pilot program
that would allow up to 25 buses operated by the City of Santa Monica'
s publicly owned transit system for the first 2 years of the pilot
program, and up to 30 buses thereafter, to be equipped with
illuminated signs that display advertising subject to certain
conditions, including a display area of not greater than 4,464 square
inches. The bill would require the City of Santa Monica to submit a
specified report to the Legislature and the Department of the
California Highway Patrol by July 1, 2016, on the incidence of
adverse impacts, if any.
   The bill would make legislative findings and declarations,
including making findings and declarations concerning the need for
special legislation.


  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the
   (a) Existing law authorizes a public transit bus to be equipped
with illuminated signs that contain specific information, but does it
not authorize illuminated signs that display content related to
   (b) Due to worsening economic conditions and the erosion of local
tax bases, cities, counties, and public transit agencies across the
state are struggling to close transit operating budget deficits while
continuing to provide vital transit service to their communities.
   (c) Public transit agencies have long been allowed to utilize
static signs placed on the sides of buses to display advertising,
which, in turn, has been one innovative way for transit agencies to
generate income above and beyond the farebox and tax subsidies.
   (d) The utilization of advertising with illuminated signs placed
on the sides of public transit buses has recently been proven an
effective means of boosting transit agency advertising revenue
nationally, as dynamic, illuminated signs attract more advertisers
utilizing fewer signs. This signage is now utilized by the transit
systems in New York and Chicago, and other cities across the nation
are considering implementing this option.
   (e) Therefore, the use of illuminated signs to display advertising
on California public transit buses should be explored.
   (f) Even though the use of illuminated signs to display
advertising is already in use by public transit systems in large
metropolitan areas across the country, and there are no data showing
an adverse impact on driver perception or roadway or pedestrian
safety, concerns about the potential impact of advertising
proliferation in California on roadway and pedestrian safety
necessitates that a program should be initiated in which a willing
local government agency equips its public transit fleet with
illuminated advertising signs, for a defined period of time, and the
incident of adverse roadway and pedestrian safety impacts related to
the advertising displays is tracked, analyzed, and reported to the
Legislature. This demonstration program would assist in determining
whether it is appropriate to delete the sunset date and extend the
use of illuminated advertising signs to other transit systems across
the state.
  SEC. 2.  Section 375 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
   375.  "Lighting equipment" is any of the following lamps or
   (a) A headlamp, auxiliary driving, passing, or fog lamp, fog
taillamp, taillamp, stoplamp, supplemental stoplamp, license plate
lamp, clearance lamp, side marker lamp, signal lamp or device,
supplemental signal lamp, deceleration signal device, cornering lamp,
running lamp, red, blue, amber, or white warning lamp, flashing red
schoolbus lamp, side-mounted turn signal lamp, and schoolbus side
   (b) An operating unit or canceling mechanism for turn signal lamps
or for the simultaneous flashing of turn signal lamps as vehicular
hazard signals, and an advance stoplamp switch.
   (c) A flasher mechanism for turn signals, red schoolbus lamps,
warning lamps, the simultaneous flashing of turn signal lamps as
vehicular hazard signals, and the headlamp flashing systems for
emergency vehicles.
   (d) Any equipment regulating the light emitted from a lamp or
device or the light sources therein.
   (e) A reflector, including reflectors for use on bicycles, and
reflectors used for required warning devices.
   (f) An illuminating device that emits radiation predominantly in
the infrared or ultraviolet regions of the spectrum, whether or not
these emissions are visible to the unaided eye.
   (g) An illuminated sign installed on a bus that utilizes an
electronic display to convey the route designation, route number, run
number, public service announcement, or any combination of this
information, or an illuminated sign utilized pursuant to Section
  SEC. 3.  Section 25353.1 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
   25353.1.  (a) Notwithstanding Sections 25400 and 25950, a bus
operated by the City of Santa Monica's publicly owned transit system,
on regularly scheduled service, in addition to the illuminated signs
described in section 25353, may also be equipped with illuminated
signs that display advertising and that emit any light color, if all
of the following conditions are met:
   (1) Each illuminated sign displaying advertising shall emit
diffused nonglaring light.
   (2) Each illuminated sign displaying advertising shall be limited
in size to a display area of not greater than 4,464 square inches.
   (3) Each illuminated sign displaying advertising shall not
resemble nor be installed in a position that interferes with the
visibility or effectiveness of a required lamp, reflector, or other
device upon the vehicle.
   (4) Each illuminated sign displaying advertising shall only be
placed on one or both sides of the vehicle, and shall not be placed
in a forward-facing or rear-facing position, and no more than one
such sign shall be placed on either side of any single vehicle.
   (5) The mixing of individually colored light emitting diode
elements, including red, is allowed in each illuminated sign
displaying advertising as long as the emitted color formed by the
combination of light emitting diode elements is not red.
   (b) (1) An illuminated sign displaying advertising may be operated
as a dynamic message sign in a paging or streaming mode. However,
the electronic message sign display shall remain static while a bus
is operating on a freeway as defined in Section 257 of the Streets
and Highways Code.
   (2) The following definitions shall govern the construction of
paragraph (1):
   (A) "Paging," meaning character elements or other information
presented for a period of time and then disappearing all at once
before the same or new elements are presented, is permitted if the
display time of each message is between 2.7 and 10 seconds. Blanking
times between each message shall be between 0.5 and 25 seconds.
   (B) "Streaming," meaning character elements or other information
moving smoothly and continuously across the display, is permitted if
the character movement time, from one end of the display to the
other, is at least 2.7 seconds, and the movement time of the entire
message does not exceed 10 seconds.
   (c) By July 1, 2016, the City of Santa Monica shall submit to the
Legislature and to the department a report on the incidence of
adverse impacts on roadway and pedestrian safety due to the
utilization of illuminated signs on transit buses displaying
advertising pursuant to this section, if any. The report shall be the
product of a collaborative effort by Santa Monica law enforcement
and transit officials, other local law enforcement officials in whose
jurisdictions Santa Monica transit vehicles operate, and the
   (d) The City of Santa Monica's publicly owned transit system may,
pursuant to subdivision (a), operate up to 25 buses with illuminated
signs displaying advertising for two years, after which time the city
may increase the number of buses with the signs to up to 30.
   (e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2017, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2017, deletes or extends
that date.
  SEC. 4.  The Legislature finds and declares that this act, which is
applicable only to the City of Santa Monica, is necessary because
the city is facing an operating revenue deficit in its public transit
system and is evaluating several strategies designed to enhance
revenue over the next several years, including the use of electronic
illuminated signage that displays advertising on local transit buses,
which is not authorized under state law. It is, therefore, declared
that a statute of general applicability cannot be enacted within the
meaning of subdivision (b) of Section 16 of Article IV of the
California Constitution. Therefore, this special statute is