Amended in Assembly May 5, 2016

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

begin insert

(Coauthor: Assembly Member Linder)

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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. 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.

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 bill would provide that identifiers issued for specified vehicles are valid until January 1, 2019. The bill would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue other identifiers until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first.

The bill would provide that identifiers issued for partial or transitional zero-emission vehicles on or after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2019, would be valid until January 1, 2021. The bill would provide that identifiers issued for those vehicles on or after January 1, 2019, would be valid until January 1 of the 3rd year after the year of issuance. 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.

The bill would make conforming changes allowing vehicles displaying specified 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) A vehicle that meetsbegin delete California’send deletebegin insert the state’send insert super ultra-low
10emission vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the
11federal inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative
12emission standard, as defined in Part 88 (commencing with Section
1388.101-94) of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. A decal,
14label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph is valid
15until January 1, 2019.

16(2) A vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model year or
17earlier and meetsbegin delete California’send deletebegin insert the state’send insert ultra-low emission vehicle
18(ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV
19standard. A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to
20this paragraph is valid until January 1, 2019.

21(3) (A) A vehicle that meetsbegin delete California’send deletebegin insert the state’send insert enhanced
22advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicle (enhanced AT
23PZEV) standard or transitional zero-emission vehicle (TZEV)
24standard. A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to
25this paragraph before January 1, 2018, is valid until January 1,
262019.

27(B) A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this
28paragraph on or after January 1, 2018, and before January 1, 2019,
29is valid until January 1, 2021. A decal, label, and other identifier
30issued pursuant to this paragraph on or after January 1, 2019, is
31valid until January 1 of the third year after the year of issuance.

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 portionbegin delete thereof,end deletebegin insert of the lane,end insert exceeds a level of
4service C, as discussed in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the
5Government Code.

6(2) The operation or projected operation of the vehicles
7described in subdivision (a) in these lanes, or portionsbegin delete thereof,end deletebegin insert of
8the lanes,end insert
will significantly 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.

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 years,
38calculated cumulatively for each of the two years, upon being
39notified by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to paragraph
40(2). The department shall not reinstate the issuance of decals,
P5    1labels, or other identifiers if there is a subsequent decrease in the
2sale of the new vehicles resulting in less than 8.6 percent of the
3total new car market share in a later year.

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

10(3) The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier
11for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:

12(A) The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (3) of
13subdivision (a).

14(B) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which
15a decal, label, or other identifier was previously issued and that
16vehicle for which the decal, label, or other identifier was previously
17issued is determined by the department, on the basis of satisfactory
18proof submitted by the owner to the department, to be a
19nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle.

20(C) The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or other
21identifier pursuant to this paragraph within six months of the date
22on which the vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier
23was previously issued is declared to be a nonrepairable vehicle or
24a total loss salvage vehicle.

25(g) If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as
26the Bay Area Toll Authority, grants toll-free and reduced-rate
27passage on toll bridges under its jurisdiction to a vehicle pursuant
28to Section 30102.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, it shall also
29grant the same toll-free and reduced-rate passage to a vehicle
30displaying a valid identifier issued by the department pursuant to
31paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a).

32(h) (1) Notwithstanding Section 21655.9, and except as
33provided in paragraph (2), a vehicle described in subdivision (a)
34that displays a valid decal, label, or identifier issued pursuant to
35this section shall be granted a toll-free or reduced-rate passage in
36high-occupancy toll lanes as described in Section 149.7 of the
37Streets and Highways Code unless prohibited by federal law.

38(2) (A) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
39imposed for passage on a toll road or toll highway, that is not a
P6    1high-occupancy toll lane as described in Section 149.7 of the
2Streets and Highways Code.

3(B) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
4charged for crossing a state-owned bridge.

5(i) If the Director of Transportation determines that federal law
6does not authorize the state to allow vehicles that are identified by
7distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers on vehicles described
8in subdivision (a) to use highway lanes or highway access ramps
9for high-occupancy vehicles regardless of vehicle occupancy, the
10Director of Transportation shall submit a notice of that
11determination to the Secretary of State.

12(j) This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal
13authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United
14States Code expires, or the date the Secretary of State receives the
15notice described in subdivision (i), whichever occurs first.

16(k) If this section becomes inoperative pursuant to subdivision
17(j), a driver of a vehicle with an otherwise valid decal, label, or
18other identifier issued pursuant to this section shall not be cited
19for a violation of Section 21655.5 within 60 days of the date that
20this section becomes inoperative.

21

SEC. 2.  

Section 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
22read:

23

21655.9.  

(a) (1) Whenever the Department of Transportation
24or a local authority authorizes or permits exclusive or preferential
25use of highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy
26vehicles pursuant to Section 21655.5, the use of those lanes or
27ramps shall also be extended to vehicles that are issued distinctive
28decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5
29regardless of vehicle occupancy or ownership.

30(2) A local authority during periods of peak congestion shall
31suspend for a lane the access privileges extended pursuant to
32paragraph (1) for those vehicles issued distinctive decals, labels,
33or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5, if a periodic review
34of lane performance by that local authority discloses both of the
35following factors regarding the lane:

36(A) The lane, or a portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service
37C, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the
38Government Code.

39(B) The operation or projected operation of vehicles in the lane,
40or a portion of the lane, will significantly increase congestion.

P7    1(b) A person shall not drive a vehicle described in subdivision
2(a) of Section 5205.5 with a single occupant upon a high-occupancy
3vehicle lane pursuant to this section unless the valid decal, label,
4or other identifier issued pursuant to Section 5205.5 is properly
5displayed on the vehicle, and the vehicle registration described in
6Section 5205.5 is with the vehicle.

7(c) A person shall not operate or own a vehicle displaying a
8decal, label, or other identifier, as described in Section 5205.5, if
9that decal, label, or identifier was not issued for that vehicle
10pursuant to Section 5205.5. A violation of this subdivision is a
11misdemeanor.

12(d) If the provisions in Section 5205.5 authorizing the
13department to issue decals, labels, or other identifiers to hybrid
14and alternative fuel vehicles become inoperative, vehicles
15displaying those decals, labels, or other identifiers shall not access
16high-occupancy vehicle lanes without meeting the occupancy
17requirements otherwise applicable to those lanes.

18(e) This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal
19authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United
20States Code expires, or the date the Secretary of State receives the
21notice described in subdivision (i) of Section 5205.5, whichever
22occurs first.

23

SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
24Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
25the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
26district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
27infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
28for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
29the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
30the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
31Constitution.



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