BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 902


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          Date of Hearing:  April 20, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION


                                 Jim Frazier, Chair


          AB 902  
          (Bloom) - As Amended March 26, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Traffic violations:  diversion programs


          SUMMARY:  Removes the age limitation on the use of locally  
          adopted diversion programs for Vehicle Code infractions not  
          involving a motor vehicle, allowing such programs to be offered  
          to adults. 


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Prohibits a local authority from allowing a person who is  
            alleged to have committed a traffic offense to participate in  
            a driver awareness or education program or any other diversion  
            program as an alternative to the procedure required to be  
            followed under the Vehicle Code for alleged violations of the  
            Vehicle Code.


          2)Exempts from the above prohibition diversion programs for  
            minors who commit infractions not involving a motor vehicle  
            and for which no fee is charged.


          3)Specifies the penalties for violations of the Vehicle Code or  








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            an ordinance or resolution adopted under the Vehicle Code,  
            including the imposition of fines, fees, and forfeitures, and  
            imprisonment. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:  None


          COMMENTS:  Under current law, local authorities can establish  
          diversion programs for minors who are charged with moving  
          violations not involving a motor vehicle (e.g., running a stop  
          sign on a bicycle).  These programs typically involve waiving or  
          reducing the applicable fine and instead providing education to  
          violators on bicycle and traffic laws, as well as best practices  
          for safe bicycling.  Many local governments and police  
          departments have expressed interest over the years in  
          establishing diversion programs for all bicyclists, regardless  
          of age, only to find that current law stands in the way. 


          This bill would remove the limitation that these diversion  
          programs only be used for minors. According to the author,  
          "Ticketed cyclists should be allowed to attend a 'bicycle  
          traffic school' class and have their fine reduced, which would  
          turn a purely monetary penalty into a valuable educational  
          opportunity, especially for people who would be unlikely to  
          attend a bicycle safety class on their own volition.  These  
          programs would also enable bicycling advocates and educators to  
          work directly with local police departments to help clear up  
          common misconceptions about bicycle law and provide guidance on  
          what types of violations should be targeted to have the biggest  
          positive impact on safety."


          A recent report from the Governor's Highway Safety Association  
          (GHSA) on bicycle safety found that bicyclist fatalities  
          increased 16% nationwide between 2010 and 2012.  California had  
          the highest number of fatalities of any state during that time  
          period at 338.  The report additionally noted that in the past  








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          37 years, adult bicycle fatalities have increased from 21% of  
          the total number of fatalities to 84%.  Among other  
          recommendations for reducing bicyclist/motor vehicle collisions  
          and the resulting injuries and fatalities, the report recommends  
          "education of bicyclists and motorists about lawful and  
          otherwise appropriate behavior regarding motorist/bicycle  
          interactions."  Diversion programs would provide an opportunity  
          for this type of education. 


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California Bicycle Coalition (Sponsor)


          California Police Chiefs Association




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:Anya Lawler / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093












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