California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1964


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

February 12, 2016


An act to amend Sections 5205.5 and 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1964, as introduced, Bloom. High-occupancy vehicle lanes: vehicle exceptions.

Existing federal law authorizes, until September 30, 2019, a state to allow low emission and energy-efficient vehicles, as specified, to use lanes designated for high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs). Existing federal law also authorizes, until September 30, 2025, a state to allow alternative fuel vehicles, as defined, and new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles, as defined, to use HOV lanes.

Existing state law authorizes the Department of Transportation to designate certain lanes for the exclusive use of HOVs. Existing law also authorizes super ultra-low emission vehicles, ultra-low emission vehicles, partial zero-emission vehicles, or transitional zero-emission vehicles, as specified, that display a valid identifier issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to use these HOV lanes until January 1, 2019, or until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first. A violation of provisions relating to HOV lane use by vehicles without those identifiers is a crime.

This bill would extend the operation of the provisions allowing specified vehicles to use HOV lanes until January 1, 2029, or until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first.

By extending a crime under these provisions, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 5205.5 of the Vehicle Code is amended
2to read:

3

5205.5.  

(a) For purposes of implementing Section 21655.9,
4the department shall make available for issuance, for a fee
5determined by the department to be sufficient to reimburse the
6department for the actual costs incurred pursuant to this section,
7distinctive decals, labels, and other identifiers that clearly
8distinguish the following vehicles from other vehicles:

9(1) A vehicle that meets California’s super ultra-low emission
10vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal
11inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative emission
12standard, as defined in Part 88 (commencing with Section
1388.101-94) of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

14(2) A vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model year or
15earlier and meets California’s ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV)
16standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard.

17(3) A vehicle that meets California’s enhanced advanced
18technology partial zero-emission vehicle (enhanced AT PZEV)
19standard or transitional zero-emission vehicle (TZEV) standard.

20(b) The department shall include a summary of the provisions
21of this section on each motor vehicle registration renewal notice,
22or on a separate insert, if space is available and the summary can
23be included without incurring additional printing or postage costs.

24(c) The Department of Transportation shall remove individual
25HOV lanes, or portions of those lanes, during periods of peak
P3    1congestion from the access provisions provided in subdivision (a),
2following a finding by the Department of Transportation as follows:

3(1) The lane, or portion thereof, exceeds a level of service C,
4as discussed in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the Government
5Code.

6(2) The operation or projected operation of the vehicles
7described in subdivision (a) in these lanes, or portions thereof, will
8significantly increase congestion.

9(3) The finding shall also demonstrate the infeasibility of
10alleviating the congestion by other means, including, but not
11limited to, reducing the use of the lane by noneligible vehicles or
12further increasing vehicle occupancy.

13(d) The State Air Resources Board shall publish and maintain
14a listing of all vehicles eligible for participation in the programs
15described in this section. The board shall provide that listing to
16the department.

17(e) (1) For purposes of subdivision (a), the Department of the
18California Highway Patrol and the department, in consultation
19with the Department of Transportation, shall design and specify
20the placement of the decal, label, or other identifier on the vehicle.
21Each decal, label, or other identifier issued for a vehicle shall
22display a unique number, which shall be printed on, or affixed to,
23the vehicle registration.

24(2) Decals, labels, or other identifiers designed pursuant to this
25subdivision for a vehicle described in paragraph (3) of subdivision
26(a) shall be distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other
27identifiers that are designed for vehicles described in paragraphs
28(1) and (2) of subdivision (a).

29(f) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), for purposes of
30paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), the department shall issue no
31more than 85,000 distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers that
32clearly distinguish a vehicle specified in paragraph (3) of
33subdivision (a).

34(2) The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier
35for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:

36(A) The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (3) of
37subdivision (a).

38(B) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which
39a decal, label, or other identifier described in paragraph (1) was
40previously issued and that vehicle for which the decal, label, or
P4    1other identifier was previously issued is determined by the
2department, on the basis of satisfactory proof submitted by the
3owner to the department, to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a total
4loss salvage vehicle.

5(C) The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or other
6identifier pursuant to this paragraph within six months of the date
7on which the vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier
8was previously issued is declared to be a nonrepairable vehicle or
9a total loss salvage vehicle.

10(g) If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as
11the Bay Area Toll Authority, grants toll-free and reduced-rate
12passage on toll bridges under its jurisdiction to a vehicle pursuant
13to Section 30102.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, it shall also
14grant the same toll-free and reduced-rate passage to a vehicle
15displaying an identifier issued by the department pursuant to
16paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a).

17(h) (1) Notwithstanding Section 21655.9, and except as
18provided in paragraph (2), a vehicle described in subdivision (a)
19that displays a decal, label, or identifier issued pursuant to this
20section shall be granted a toll-free or reduced-rate passage in
21high-occupancy toll lanes as described in Section 149.7 of the
22Streets and Highways Code unless prohibited by federal law.

23(2) (A) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
24imposed for passage on a toll road or toll highway, that is not a
25high-occupancy toll lane as described in Section 149.7 of the
26Streets and Highways Code.

27(B) On or before March 1, 2014, paragraph (1) does not apply
28to the imposition of a toll imposed for passage in lanes designated
29for tolls pursuant to the federally supported value pricing and
30transit development demonstration program operated pursuant to
31Section 149.9 of the Streets and Highways Code for State Highway
32Route 10 or 110.

33(C) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
34charged for crossing a state-owned bridge.

35(i) If the Director of Transportation determines that federal law
36does not authorize the state to allow vehicles that are identified by
37distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers on vehicles described
38in subdivision (a) to use highway lanes or highway access ramps
39for high-occupancy vehicles regardless of vehicle occupancy, the
P5    1Director of Transportation shall submit a notice of that
2determination to the Secretary of State.

3(j) This section shall become inoperative on January 1,begin delete 2019,end delete
4begin insert 2029,end insert or the date the federal authorization pursuant to Section 166
5of Title 23 of the United States Code expires, or the date the
6Secretary of State receives the notice described in subdivision (i),
7whichever occurs first, and, as of January 1,begin delete 2019,end deletebegin insert 2029,end insert is
8repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes operative on
9or before January 1,begin delete 2019,end deletebegin insert 2029,end insert deletes or extends the dates on
10which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

11

SEC. 2.  

Section 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
12read:

13

21655.9.  

(a) (1) Whenever the Department of Transportation
14or a local authority authorizes or permits exclusive or preferential
15use of highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy
16vehicles pursuant to Section 21655.5, the use of those lanes or
17ramps shall also be extended to vehicles that are issued distinctive
18decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5
19regardless of vehicle occupancy or ownership.

20(2) A local authority during periods of peak congestion shall
21suspend for a lane the access privileges extended pursuant to
22paragraph (1) for those vehicles issued distinctive decals, labels,
23or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5, if a periodic review
24of lane performance by that local authority discloses both of the
25following factors regarding the lane:

26(A) The lane, or a portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service
27C, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the
28Government Code.

29(B) The operation or projected operation of vehicles in the lane,
30or a portion of the lane, will significantly increase congestion.

31(b) A person shall not drive a vehicle described in subdivision
32(a) of Section 5205.5 with a single occupant upon a high-occupancy
33vehicle lane pursuant to this section unless the decal, label, or other
34identifier issued pursuant to Section 5205.5 is properly displayed
35on the vehicle, and the vehicle registration described in Section
365205.5 is with the vehicle.

37(c) A person shall not operate or own a vehicle displaying a
38decal, label, or other identifier, as described in Section 5205.5, if
39that decal, label, or identifier was not issued for that vehicle
P6    1pursuant to Section 5205.5. A violation of this subdivision is a
2misdemeanor.

3(d) If the provisions in Section 5205.5 authorizing the
4department to issue decals, labels, or other identifiers to hybrid
5and alternative fuel vehicles are repealed, vehicles displaying those
6decals, labels, or other identifiers shall not access high-occupancy
7vehicle lanes without meeting the occupancy requirements
8otherwise applicable to those lanes.

9(e) This section shall become inoperative on January 1,begin delete 2019,end delete
10begin insert 2029,end insert or the date the federal authorization pursuant to Section 166
11of Title 23 of the United States Code expires, or the date the
12Secretary of State receives the notice described in subdivision (i)
13of Section 5205.5, whichever occurs first, and, as of January 1,
14begin delete 2019,end deletebegin insert 2029,end insert is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that becomes
15operative on or before January 1,begin delete 2019,end deletebegin insert 2029,end insert deletes or extends
16the dates on which it becomes inoperative and is repealed.

17

SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
18Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
19the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
20district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
21infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
22for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
23the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
24the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
25Constitution.



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