Amended in Assembly April 11, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 28, 2016

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 amended, 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. Existing law authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue those identifiers until January 1, 2019, or until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first.begin insert Existing law prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing more than 85,000 identifiers that clearly distinguish a partial or transitional zero-emission vehicle, as specified.end insert

This bill would extend the operation of the provisions allowing specified vehicles to use HOV lanes until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first. The billbegin delete would end the authority of the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue those identifiers for specified vehicles on January 1, 2018, andend delete would provide thatbegin delete thoseend delete identifiers issuedbegin delete before January 1, 2018,end deletebegin insert for specified vehiclesend insert are valid until January 1, 2019. The bill would authorize thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert Department of Motor Vehiclesend insert to issue other identifiers until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first.begin delete Theend delete

begin insertTheend insert bill would provide thatbegin delete those otherend delete identifiers issuedbegin insert for partial or transitional zero-emission vehiclesend insert on or after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2019, would be valid until January 1, 2021. The bill would provide thatbegin delete those otherend delete identifiers issuedbegin insert for those vehicles on orend insert after January 1, 2019, would be valid until January 1 of the 3rd year after the year of issuance.begin delete Theend deletebegin insert The bill would remove the limit of 85,000 identifiers for those vehicles, and would instead prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing identifiers if the sale of new vehicles of that category reaches at least 8.6% of the total new car market share for 2 consecutive years, upon notification by the State Air Resources Board, as specified.end insert

begin insertTheend insert bill would make conforming changes allowing vehicles displayingbegin delete those otherend deletebegin insert specifiedend insert identifiers to use HOV lanes.

By extending the operation of an existing crime, 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:

P3    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 reasonable costs incurred pursuant to this
7section, distinctive decals, labels, and other identifiers that clearly
8distinguish the following vehicles from other vehicles:

9(1)  begin deleteUntil January 1, 2018, a end delete begin insertA end insertvehicle that meets California’s
10super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust
11emissions and the federal inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV)
12evaporative emission standard, as defined in Part 88 (commencing
13with Section 88.101-94) of Title 40 of the Code of Federal
14Regulations. A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant
15to this paragraph is valid until January 1, 2019.

16(2) begin deleteUntil January 1, 2018, a end deletebegin insertA end insertvehicle that was produced during
17the 2004 model year or earlier and meets California’s ultra-low
18emission vehicle (ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the
19federal ILEV standard. A decal, label, and other identifier issued
20pursuant to this paragraph is valid until January 1, 2019.

21(3) (A) A vehicle that meets California’s enhanced advanced
22technology partial zero-emission vehicle (enhanced AT PZEV)
23standard or transitional zero-emission vehicle (TZEV) standard.
24A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph
25before January 1, 2018, is valid until January 1, 2019.

26(B) A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this
27paragraph on or after January 1, 2018, and before January 1, 2019,
28is valid until January 1,begin delete 2022.end deletebegin insert 2021.end insert A decal, label, and other
29identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph on or after January 1,
302019, is valid until January 1 of the third year after the year of
31issuance.

32(b) The department shall include a summary of the provisions
33of this section on each motor vehicle registration renewal notice,
34or on a separate insert, if space is available and the summary can
35be included without incurring additional printing or postage costs.

36(c) The Department of Transportation shall remove individual
37HOV lanes, or portions of those lanes, during periods of peak
P4    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(3) Decals, labels, or other identifiers issued pursuant to
30paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) before January 1, 2019, shall be
31 distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other identifiers issued
32on or after January 1, 2019.

begin insert

33
(f) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the department
34shall no longer issue decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant
35to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) if the sale of new vehicles
36described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) reaches at least 8.6
37percent of the total new car market share for two consecutive
38years, calculated cumulatively for each of the two years, upon
39being notified by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to
40paragraph (2). The department shall not reinstate the issuance of
P5    1decals, labels, or other identifiers if there is a subsequent decrease
2in the sale of the new vehicles resulting in less than 8.6 percent of
3the total new car market share in a later year.

end insert
begin insert

4
(2) The State Air Resources Board shall notify the department,
5the Department of Transportation, and the Secretary of State if
6the sale of new vehicles described in paragraph (3) of subdivision
7(a) reaches at least 8.6 percent of the total new car market share
8for two consecutive years, calculated cumulatively for each of the
9two years.

end insert
begin delete

10(f)

end delete

11begin insert(3)end insert The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier
12for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:

begin delete

13(1)

end delete

14begin insert(A)end insert The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (3) of
15subdivision (a).

begin delete

16(2)

end delete

17begin insert(B)end insert The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which
18a decal, label, or other identifier was previously issued and that
19vehicle for which the decal, label, or other identifier was previously
20issued is determined by the department, on the basis of satisfactory
21proof submitted by the owner to the department, to be a
22nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle.

begin delete

23(3)

end delete

24begin insert(C)end insert The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or other
25identifier pursuant to this paragraph within six months of the date
26on which the vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier
27was previously issued is declared to be a nonrepairable vehicle or
28a total loss salvage vehicle.

29(g) If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as
30the Bay Area Toll Authority, grants toll-free and reduced-rate
31passage on toll bridges under its jurisdiction to a vehicle pursuant
32to Section 30102.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, it shall also
33grant the same toll-free and reduced-rate passage to a vehicle
34displaying a valid identifier issued by the department pursuant to
35paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a).

36(h) (1) Notwithstanding Section 21655.9, and except as
37provided in paragraph (2), a vehicle described in subdivision (a)
38that displays a valid decal, label, or identifier issued pursuant to
39this section shall be granted a toll-free or reduced-rate passage in
P6    1high-occupancy toll lanes as described in Section 149.7 of the
2Streets and Highways Code unless prohibited by federal law.

3(2) (A) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
4imposed for passage on a toll road or toll highway, that is not a
5high-occupancy toll lane as described in Section 149.7 of the
6Streets and Highways Code.

7(B) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
8charged for crossing a state-owned bridge.

9(i) If the Director of Transportation determines that federal law
10does not authorize the state to allow vehicles that are identified by
11distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers on vehicles described
12in subdivision (a) to use highway lanes or highway access ramps
13for high-occupancy vehicles regardless of vehicle occupancy, the
14Director of Transportation shall submit a notice of that
15determination to the Secretary of State.

16(j) This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal
17authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United
18States Code expires, or the date the Secretary of State receives the
19notice described in subdivision (i), whichever occurs first.

20(k) If this section becomes inoperative pursuant to subdivision
21(j), a driver of a vehicle with an otherwise valid decal, label, or
22other identifier issued pursuant to this section shall not be cited
23for a violation of Section 21655.5 within 60 days of the date that
24this section becomes inoperative.

25

SEC. 2.  

Section 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
26read:

27

21655.9.  

(a) (1) Whenever the Department of Transportation
28or a local authority authorizes or permits exclusive or preferential
29use of highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy
30vehicles pursuant to Section 21655.5, the use of those lanes or
31ramps shall also be extended to vehicles that are issued distinctive
32decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5
33regardless of vehicle occupancy or ownership.

34(2) A local authority during periods of peak congestion shall
35suspend for a lane the access privileges extended pursuant to
36paragraph (1) for those vehicles issued distinctive decals, labels,
37or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5, if a periodic review
38of lane performance by that local authority discloses both of the
39following factors regarding the lane:

P7    1(A) The lane, or a portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service
2C, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the
3Government Code.

4(B) The operation or projected operation of vehicles in the lane,
5or a portion of the lane, will significantly increase congestion.

6(b) A person shall not drive a vehicle described in subdivision
7(a) of Section 5205.5 with a single occupant upon a high-occupancy
8vehicle lane pursuant to this section unless the valid decal, label,
9or other identifier issued pursuant to Section 5205.5 is properly
10displayed on the vehicle, and the vehicle registration described in
11Section 5205.5 is with the vehicle.

12(c) A person shall not operate or own a vehicle displaying a
13decal, label, or other identifier, as described in Section 5205.5, if
14that decal, label, or identifier was not issued for that vehicle
15pursuant to Section 5205.5. A violation of this subdivision is a
16misdemeanor.

17(d) If the provisions in Section 5205.5 authorizing the
18department to issue decals, labels, or other identifiers to hybrid
19and alternative fuel vehicles become inoperative, vehicles
20displaying those decals, labels, or other identifiers shall not access
21high-occupancy vehicle lanes without meeting the occupancy
22requirements otherwise applicable to those lanes.

23(e) This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal
24authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United
25States Code expires, or the date the Secretary of State receives the
26notice described in subdivision (i) of Section 5205.5, whichever
27occurs first.

28

SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
29Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
30the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
31district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
32infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
33for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
34the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
35the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
36Constitution.



O

    97