BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






           SENATE TRANSPORTATION & HOUSING COMMITTEE       BILL NO: AB 707
          SENATOR MARK DESAULNIER, CHAIRMAN              AUTHOR:  Ting
                                                         VERSION: 5/1/13
          Analysis by:  Erin Riches                      FISCAL:  yes
          Hearing date:  June 25, 2013



          SUBJECT:

          Vehicles:  pedestrian signage

          DESCRIPTION:

          This bill deletes conditions that must be met before a local  
          agency may post "SENIOR" pedestrian warning signs.

          ANALYSIS:

          Existing law:

           Establishes a prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour  
            when passing a senior center or facility that is next to a  
            street other than a state highway and where standard "SENIOR"  
            pedestrian warning signs are posted.

           Provides that a local agency is not required to post a  
            standard "SENIOR" pedestrian warning sign until:

             o    The local agency has received private donations  
               sufficient to cover the cost of posting the sign; and

             o    The local agency makes a determination that there is  
               need for the sign.

           Authorizes a local agency to utilize any other funds available  
            to pay for posting standard 
          "SENIOR" pedestrian warning signs if it chooses to post a  
            "SENIOR" pedestrian warning sign.  

           Establishes a Pedestrian Safety Account in the State  
            Transportation Fund to fund grants to be awarded by the state  
            Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for pedestrian safety  
            projects.

           This bill  :




          AB 707 (TING)                                          Page 2

                                                                       



           Authorizes a local agency to post a standard "SENIOR"  
            pedestrian warning sign when it makes a determination that  
            there is need for the sign, but does not require that private  
            donations pay for the cost of posting the sign.

           Authorizes a local agency to request Pedestrian Safety Account  
            grant funding, or any other grant funding for which it is  
            eligible, to pay for the sign.

           Authorizes a local agency to use grant funding, or any other  
            funds available including private donations, to post standard  
            "SENIOR" pedestrian warning signs.
          
          COMMENTS:

           1.Purpose  .  The author notes that existing law, which does not  
            require a local agency to post "SENIOR" pedestrian warning  
            signs until private sources can cover the costs, has made it  
            difficult for senior facilities to obtain these signs.  The  
            sponsor states that "senior slow zones" are not widely used  
            because of questions about how local governments might fund  
            the required signage.  This bill would simplify the process of  
            obtaining the signs and help protect seniors by making drivers  
            aware of areas that may have large numbers of senior  
            pedestrians.

           2.Senior pedestrian safety  .  The California Office of Traffic  
            Safety indicates that pedestrian fatalities for individuals  
            age 65 years and older increased 14.6 percent from 2008 to  
            2009, and 4.6 percent from 2009 to 2010.  The National Highway  
            Traffic Safety Administration states that individuals 65 years  
            and older accounted for 19 percent of all pedestrian  
            fatalities and 8 percent of pedestrian injuries in 2009.  In  
            2009, the fatality rate for senior pedestrians was 1.96 per  
            100,000 population - higher than the rate for all other age  
            groups.

           3.Questionable funding source  .  This bill authorizes local  
            agencies to seek grant funding specifically from the  
            California Pedestrian Safety Account.  This account, which was  
            created by AB 2522 (Shelley), Chapter 833, Statutes of 2000,  
            has received minimal or no funding during its existence.  The  
            author expresses hope that when the account is eventually  
            funded, it can provide grants for this purpose.    





          AB 707 (TING)                                          Page 3

                                                                       


          Assembly Votes:
               Floor:    69-0
               Appr: 13-4
               Trans:    16-0

          POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
          Wednesday,                                             June 19,  
          2013.)

               SUPPORT:  California Alliance for Retired Americans  
          (co-sponsor)
                         California Walks (co-sponsor)
                         California State Retirees

               OPPOSED:  None received.