BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                              Senator Jim Beall, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:          SB 404            Hearing Date:    5/5/2015
          |Author:   |De León                                               |
          |Version:  |2/25/2015                                             |
          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:      |No              |
          |Consultant|Randy Chinn                                           |
          |:         |                                                      |

          SUBJECT:  Vehicles:  traffic officers

            DIGEST:  This bill deletes the requirement that law enforcement  
          vehicles be painted, but continues the requirement that those  
          vehicles be a distinctive color.

          A relatively new way to change the appearance of vehicles is to  
          wrap them in colored or printed vinyl.  These films are attached  
          with an adhesive and have a life of several years.  Commercial  
          vehicles and buses can often be seen with messages, art, or  
          logos that cover the vehicle from end to end.  This same  
          technique can also be used to change the color of vehicles.

          Existing law requires that motor vehicles used for the primary  
          purpose of traffic law enforcement be painted in distinctive  
          colors, as determined by the Commissioner of the California  
          Highway Patrol.

          This bill deletes the reference to "painted" and instead  
          requires those vehicles to simply be a distinctive color.


          The author believes that wrapping a vehicle can be less  
          expensive than painting.  By amending the vehicle code to  
          eliminate the requirement that law enforcement vehicles be  
          painted, while still retaining the requirement that they be of a  


          SB 404 (De León)                                   Page 2 of ?
          distinctive color, the author seeks to create the flexibility  
          for law enforcement departments to reduce the cost of creating  
          their distinctive looks by using vinyl wraps or any other  
          technology that achieves the same effect, a technology-neutral  

          Supporters note that some automakers have started to ship  
          vehicles to law enforcement agencies using the vinyl wraps.   
          However, some law enforcement agencies have incurred the extra  
          expense to paint the vehicle because of California's law  
          requiring paint.  Under this bill, such painting would be  

          According to the author, the cost to wrap a car is $305-$840;  
          the cost to paint is $700-$900.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Appropriation:  No    Fiscal Com.:  No    Local:  

            POSITIONS:  (Communicated to the committee before noon on  
                          April 29, 2015.)

          California Police Chiefs Association
          California State Sheriffs' Association


          None received


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