BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       AB 902


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          902 (Bloom and Chiu)


          As Amended  March 26, 2015


          Majority vote


           --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee      |Votes|Ayes                   |Noes                   |
          |               |     |                       |                       |
          |---------------+-----+-----------------------+-----------------------|
          |Transportation |15-0 |Frazier, Achadjian,    |                       |
          |               |     |Baker, Bloom, Campos,  |                       |
          |               |     |Chu, Daly, Dodd,       |                       |
          |               |     |Eduardo Garcia, Gomez, |                       |
          |               |     |Kim, Linder, Medina,   |                       |
          |               |     |Melendez, O'Donnell    |                       |
          |               |     |                       |                       |
          |               |     |                       |                       |
           --------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          


          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  








                                                                       AB 902


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            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 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  








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          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 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 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. 




          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
          Anya Lawler / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093  FN: 0000191