Amended in Senate June 30, 2016

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

(Coauthor: Assembly Member Linder)

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.begin insert Existing law requires the Department of Transportation to remove individual HOV lanes, or portions of those lanes, during peak periods of congestion from access by vehicles displaying the identifiers if the department makes specified findings.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 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 thebegin delete 3rdend deletebegin insert 4thend insert 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 leastbegin delete 8.6%end deletebegin insert 9.2%end insert 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.begin insert The bill would recast provisions relating to access to HOV lanes by vehicles displaying those identifiers to require the Department of Transportation to remove HOV lanes or portions of those lanes from access by vehicles displaying identifiers upon the request of, and with the concurrence of, the regional transportation planning agency whose jurisdiction includes the HOV lanes if the department makes specified findings, as prescribed.end insert

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 meets the state’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. 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 meets the state’s ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV)
18standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard. A
19decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph
20is valid until January 1, 2019.

21(3) (A) A vehicle that meets the state’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, 2021. A decal, label, and other identifier
P4    1issued pursuant to this paragraph on or after January 1, 2019, is
2valid until January 1 of thebegin delete thirdend deletebegin insert fourthend insert year after the year of
3issuance.

4(b) The department shall include a summary of the provisions
5of this section on each motor vehicle registration renewal notice,
6or on a separate insert, if space is available and the summary can
7be included without incurring additional printing or postage costs.

8(c) The Department of Transportation shall remove individual
9HOV lanes, or portions of those lanes,begin delete during periods of peak
10congestionend delete
from the access provisions provided in subdivision (a),
11begin insert upon the request of, and with the concurrence of, the regional
12transportation planning agency whose jurisdiction includes the
13HOV lanes,end insert
following a finding by the Department of
14Transportation as follows:

15(1) The lane, or portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service
16C, as discussed in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the
17Government Code.

18(2) The operation or projected operationbegin insert within the next 12
19monthsend insert
of the vehicles described in subdivision (a) in these lanes,
20or portions of the lanes,begin delete will significantly increase congestion.end delete
21
begin insert significantly contributes to, or is projected to significantly
22contribute to, congestion of those lanes.end insert

23(3) begin deleteThe finding shall also demonstrate the infeasibility of
24alleviating the congestion by other means, including, but not
25limited to,end delete
begin insert Alleviating the congestion byend insert reducing the use of the
26lane by noneligible vehiclesbegin insert through increased enforcementend insert or
27further increasing vehiclebegin delete occupancy.end deletebegin insert occupancy is either infeasible
28in the immediate future or is forecast to result in increased
29congestion in the corridor overall.end insert

30(d) The State Air Resources Board shall publish and maintain
31a listing of all vehicles eligible for participation in the programs
32described in this section. The board shall provide that listing to
33the department.

34(e) (1) For purposes of subdivision (a), the Department of the
35California Highway Patrol and the department, in consultation
36with the Department of Transportation, shall design and specify
37the placement of the decal, label, or other identifier on the vehicle.
38Each decal, label, or other identifier issued for a vehicle shall
39display a unique number, which shall be printed on, or affixed to,
40the vehicle registration.

P5    1(2) Decals, labels, or other identifiers designed pursuant to this
2subdivision for a vehicle described in paragraph (3) of subdivision
3(a) shall be distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other
4identifiers that are designed for vehicles described in paragraphs
5(1) and (2) of subdivision (a).

6(3) Decals, labels, or other identifiers issued pursuant to
7paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) before January 1, 2019, shall be
8 distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other identifiers issued
9on or after January 1, 2019.

10(f) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the department
11shall no longer issue decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant
12to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) if the sale of new vehicles
13described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) reaches at leastbegin delete 8.6end delete
14begin insert 9.2end insert percent of the total new car market share for two consecutive
15years, calculated cumulatively for each of the two years, upon
16being notified by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to
17paragraph (2). The department shall not reinstate the issuance of
18decals, labels, or other identifiers if there is a subsequent decrease
19in the sale of the new vehicles resulting in less thanbegin delete 8.6end deletebegin insert 9.2end insert percent
20of the total new car market share in a later year.

21(2) The State Air Resources Board shall notify the department,
22the Department of Transportation, and the Secretary of State if the
23sale of new vehicles described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a)
24reaches at leastbegin delete 8.6end deletebegin insert 9.2end insert percent of the total new car market share
25for two consecutive years, calculated cumulatively for each of the
26two years.

27(3) The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier
28for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:

29(A) The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (3) of
30subdivision (a).

31(B) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which
32a decal, label, or other identifier was previously issued and that
33vehicle for which the decal, label, or other identifier was previously
34issued is determined by the department, on the basis of satisfactory
35proof submitted by the owner to the department, to be a
36nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle.

37(C) The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or other
38identifier pursuant to this paragraph within six months of the date
39on which the vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier
P6    1was previously issued is declared to be a nonrepairable vehicle or
2a total loss salvage vehicle.

3(g) If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as
4the Bay Area Toll Authority, grants toll-free and reduced-rate
5passage on toll bridges under its jurisdiction to a vehicle pursuant
6to Section 30102.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, it shall also
7grant the same toll-free and reduced-rate passage to a vehicle
8displaying a valid identifier issued by the department pursuant to
9paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a).

10(h) (1) Notwithstanding Section 21655.9, and except as
11provided in paragraph (2), a vehicle described in subdivision (a)
12that displays a valid decal, label, or identifier issued pursuant to
13this section shall be granted a toll-free or reduced-rate passage in
14high-occupancy toll lanes as described in Section 149.7 of the
15Streets and Highways Code unless prohibited by federal law.

16(2) (A) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
17imposed for passage on a toll road or toll highway, that is not a
18high-occupancy toll lane as described in Section 149.7 of the
19Streets and Highways Code.

20(B) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
21charged for crossing a state-owned bridge.

22(i) If the Director of Transportation determines that federal law
23does not authorize the state to allow vehicles that are identified by
24distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers on vehicles described
25in subdivision (a) to use highway lanes or highway access ramps
26for high-occupancy vehicles regardless of vehicle occupancy, the
27Director of Transportation shall submit a notice of that
28determination to the Secretary of State.

29(j) This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal
30authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United
31States Code expires, or the date the Secretary of State receives the
32notice described in subdivision (i), whichever occurs first.

33(k) If this section becomes inoperative pursuant to subdivision
34(j), a driver of a vehicle with an otherwise valid decal, label, or
35other identifier issued pursuant to this section shall not be cited
36for a violation of Section 21655.5 within 60 days of the date that
37this section becomes inoperative.

38

SEC. 2.  

Section 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
39read:

P7    1

21655.9.  

(a) (1) Whenever the Department of Transportation
2or a local authority authorizes or permits exclusive or preferential
3use of highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy
4vehicles pursuant to Section 21655.5, the use of those lanes or
5ramps shall also be extended to vehicles that are issued distinctive
6decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5
7regardless of vehicle occupancy or ownership.

8(2) A local authority during periods of peak congestion shall
9suspend for a lane the access privileges extended pursuant to
10paragraph (1) for those vehicles issued distinctive decals, labels,
11or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5, if a periodic review
12of lane performance by that local authority discloses both of the
13following factors regarding the lane:

14(A) The lane, or a portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service
15C, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the
16Government Code.

17(B) The operation or projected operation of vehicles in the lane,
18or a portion of the lane, will significantly increase congestion.

19(b) A person shall not drive a vehicle described in subdivision
20(a) of Section 5205.5 with a single occupant upon a high-occupancy
21vehicle lane pursuant to this section unless the valid decal, label,
22or other identifier issued pursuant to Section 5205.5 is properly
23displayed on the vehicle, and the vehicle registration described in
24Section 5205.5 is with the vehicle.

25(c) A person shall not operate or own a vehicle displaying a
26decal, label, or other identifier, as described in Section 5205.5, if
27that decal, label, or identifier was not issued for that vehicle
28pursuant to Section 5205.5. A violation of this subdivision is a
29misdemeanor.

30(d) If the provisions in Section 5205.5 authorizing the
31department to issue decals, labels, or other identifiers to hybrid
32and alternative fuel vehicles become inoperative, vehicles
33displaying those decals, labels, or other identifiers shall not access
34high-occupancy vehicle lanes without meeting the occupancy
35requirements otherwise applicable to those lanes.

36(e) This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal
37authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United
38States Code expires, or the date the Secretary of State receives the
39notice described in subdivision (i) of Section 5205.5, whichever
40occurs first.

P8    1

SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
2Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
3the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
4district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
5infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
6for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
7the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
8the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
9Constitution.



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