Amended in Assembly August 31, 2015

Amended in Assembly August 17, 2015

Amended in Assembly July 16, 2015

Amended in Senate June 2, 2015

Amended in Senate May 5, 2015

Amended in Senate April 6, 2015

Senate BillNo. 541


Introduced by Senator Hill

February 26, 2015


An act to amend Sections 5102, 5317.5, 5352, 5359, and 5387 of, to add Sections 1046 and 5417.5 to, and to add and repeal Sections 918.1 and 918.2 of, the Public Utilities Code, and to amend Section 14602.9 of the Vehicle Code, relating to transportation.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 541, as amended, Hill. Public Utilities Commission: for-hire transportation carriers: enforcement.

(1) The California Constitution establishes the Public Utilities Commission, with jurisdiction over the transportation of passengers and property by transportation companies, to the extent not preempted by federal law. The Household Goods Carriers Act and the Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act contain statements of the purposes of those acts and the use of the public highways pursuant to those acts.

This bill would specify activities to be undertaken by the commission to achieve these purposes. The bill would require the commission to assess its capabilities to carry out the specified activities and to report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2017, which report would be required to contain an analysis of current capabilities and deficiencies, and recommendations to overcome any deficiencies identified.

(2) A passenger stage corporation, as defined, which operates between fixed termini or over a regular route, is a common carrier subject to regulation by the commission pursuant to the Public Utilities Act. The Public Utilities Act, with certain exceptions, requires that a passenger stage corporation obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity from the commission to operate on any public highway in the state and requires it to display an identifying symbol issued by the commission. The Public Utilities Act makes any public utility that violates the Public Utilities Act, or that fails to comply with any part of any order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission guilty of a crime and makes it a misdemeanor for a person or corporation to hold out to the public that the person or corporation is in operation as a passenger stage corporation without having a valid certificate issued by the commission. The Public Utilities Act authorizes the commission to impose various fines and penalties for any violation of the act or an order, decision, rule, direction, demand, or requirement of the commission. The Public Utilities Act provides that the Department of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has the primary responsibility for regulating the safety of operation of passenger stage corporations and requires the commission to cooperate with the CHP to ensure safe operation of these carriers.

A charter-party carrier of passengers, as defined, is subject to the jurisdiction and control of the commission under the Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act. The Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act requires a charter-party carrier of passengers to (A) obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity or a permit issued by the commission, (B) operate within the state on a prearranged basis, as defined, (C) comply with specified vehicle identification requirements, and (D) comply with accident liability protection requirements. The Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act additionally prohibits a charter-party carrier of passengers from advertising its services, or in any manner representing its services, as being a taxicab or taxi service. The Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act makes violation of these requirements a crime. The Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act authorizes the commission to impose fines and penalties for violations of the act.

This bill would authorize peace officers, as defined, to enforce and assist in the enforcement of criminal violations of the Public Utilities Act, with respect to passenger stage corporations, and the Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act, with respect to charter-party carriers of passengers. The bill would require the commission to coordinate enforcement of those acts with peace officers through educational outreach and establishing lines of communicationbegin delete that ensureend deletebegin insert soend insert that the commission is notified if an action is commenced so that the commission may take appropriate action to enforce the fine and penalty provisions of the acts. The bill would require the commission to ensure that the Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act is enforced and obeyed and that violations are promptly prosecuted and that penalty moneys due to the state are recovered and collected. The bill would authorize the Attorney General, a district attorney, or a city attorney to institute and prosecute actions or proceedings for the violation of the Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act.

(3) The Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act authorizes a CHP officer to impound a bus of a charter-party carrier of passengers for 30 days if the officer determines that (A) the driver was operating the bus when the carrier did not have a permit or certificate issued by the commission or the carrier’s permit or certificate was suspended, or (B) the driver was operating the bus without having a current and valid driver’s license of the proper class, a passenger vehicle endorsement, or the required certificate. A provision of the Vehicle Code also authorizes a CHP officer to impound a bus of a charter-party carrier of passengers for 30 days if the officer makes any of the determinations described above.

This bill would authorize a peace officer, as defined, to impound a bus or limousine, as defined, of a charter-party carrier of passengers, except as specified, for 30 days in those circumstances. The bill would revise the Vehicle Code to authorize a peace officer, identically defined, to impound a bus or limousine of a charter-party carrier of passengers, except as specified, for 30 days in those circumstances and authorize a peace officer to impound a bus or limousine belonging to a passenger stage corporation for 30 days if the officer determines (A) the driver was operating the bus or limousine when the passenger stage corporation did not have a required certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the commission, (B) the driver was operating the bus or limousine when the operating rights or certificate of public convenience and necessity of a passenger stage corporation was suspended, canceled, or revoked, or (C) the driver was operating the bus or limousine without having a current and valid driver’s license of the proper class.

(4) A household goods carrier, as defined, which transports household goods and personal effects over any public highway in the state for compensation, is subject to regulation by the commission pursuant to the Household Goods Carriers Act. The Household Goods Carriers Act requires that a household goods carrier obtain a permit from the commission to transport household goods entirely within the state and obtain a valid operating authority issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to transport household goods and personal effects from this state to another or from another state to this state. The Household Goods Carriers Act additionally requires a household goods carrier to comply with specified vehicle identification requirements and comply with accident liability protection requirements. The Household Goods Carriers Act makes a violation of the requirements of the act a misdemeanor, authorizes the commission to impose fines and penalties for violations of the act, and requires the commission to ensure that the act is enforced and obeyed, that violations are promptly prosecuted and that penalty moneys due to the state are recovered and collected.

This bill would authorize peace officers, as defined, to enforce and assist in the enforcement of criminal violations of the Household Goods Carriers Act. The bill would require the commission to coordinate enforcement of the Household Goods Carriers Act with peace officers through educational outreach and establishing lines of communicationbegin delete that ensure that the commission is notifiedend deletebegin insert so that peace officers can notify the commissionend insert if an action is commenced so that the commission may take appropriate action to enforce the fine and penalty provisions of the Household Goods Carriers Act.

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

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

P4    1

SECTION 1.  

(a) The Transportation Enforcement Branch of
2the Safety and Enforcement Division of the state’s Public Utilities
3Commission has regulatory oversight of various for-hire
4transportation carriers, including limousines, airport shuttles,
5charter buses, and moving companies. The Transportation
6Enforcement Branch administers licensing, enforces state law, and
P5    1manages consumer complaints to ensure the reliable and safe
2transport of passengers and goods within the state.

3(b) The California State Auditor’s Report 2013-130 concluded
4 that the Transportation Enforcement Branch does not adequately
5ensure that passenger carriers operate safely. Among the numerous
6problems cited by the California State Auditor are that the branch
7does not have formal policies for dealing with complaints against
8carriers, it does not resolve complaints in a timely manner, it does
9not have adequate investigatory techniques, and it fails to properly
10account for fees paid by carriers. In addition, the California State
11Auditor concluded that without major improvements to its
12management processes, the branch has little ability to resolve its
13deficiencies.

14(c) While the commission is undertaking an internal process to
15implement the California State Auditor’s recommendations, it is
16in the public interest for the Legislature to further ensure that the
17Transportation Enforcement Branch improves its performance to
18ensure passenger safety.

19

SEC. 2.  

Section 918.1 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to
20read:

21

918.1.  

(a) The commission shall assess its capabilities to carry
22out the activities specified in subdivision (b) of Section 5102 and
23shall report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2017. The
24report shall contain an analysis of current capabilities and
25deficiencies, and recommendations to overcome any deficiencies
26identified.

27(b) The report shall be submitted in compliance with Section
289795 of the Government Code.

29(c) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this
30section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of
31that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted
32 before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.

33

SEC. 3.  

Section 918.2 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to
34read:

35

918.2.  

(a) The commission shall assess its capabilities to carry
36out the activities specified in subdivision (b) of Section 5352 and
37shall report to the Legislature no later than January 1, 2017. The
38report shall contain an analysis of current capabilities and
39deficiencies, and recommendations to overcome any deficiencies
40identified.

P6    1(b) The report shall be submitted in compliance with Section
29795 of the Government Code.

3(c) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this
4section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of
5that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted
6before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.

7(d) The commission may combine the information required to
8be reported by this section with the report prepared pursuant to
9Section 918.1.

10

SEC. 4.  

Section 1046 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to
11read:

12

1046.  

(a) For purposes of this section, the following terms
13have the following meanings:

14(1) “Bus” means a vehicle designed, used, or maintained for
15carrying more than 10 persons, including the driver, which is used
16to transport persons for compensation or profit.

17(2) “Limousine” means any sedan or sport utility vehicle, of
18either standard or extended length, with a seating capacity of not
19more than 10 passengers including the driver, used in the
20transportation of passengers for hire on a prearranged basis within
21this state, and includes a modified limousine as defined in Section
221042.1.

23(3) “Peace officer” means a person who is designated as a peace
24officer pursuant to Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830)
25of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.

26(b) A peace officer may, with respect to a passenger stage
27corporation, enforce and assist in the enforcement of Sections 2110
28and 2112, resulting from a violation of Section 1031, 1041, or
29 1045, or more than one of those sections. A peace officer may
30additionally enforce and assist in the enforcement of Sections
311034.5 and 2119. In any case in which an arrest authorized by this
32subdivision is made for an offense declared to be a misdemeanor,
33and the person arrested does not demand to be taken before a
34magistrate, the arresting peace officer may, instead of taking such
35person before a magistrate, follow the procedure prescribed by
36Chapter 5C (commencing with Section 853.5) of Title 3 of Part 2
37of the Penal Code. The provisions of that chapter shall thereafter
38apply with reference to any proceeding based upon the issuance
39of a citation pursuant to this authority.

P7    1(c) A peace officer may impound a bus or limousine operated
2by a passenger stage corporation pursuant to Section 14602.9 of
3the Vehicle Code if the peace officer determines that any of the
4following violations occurred while the driver was operating the
5vehicle:

6(1) The driver was operating the bus or limousine when the
7passenger stage corporation did not have a certificate of public
8convenience and necessity issued by the commission as required
9pursuant to this article.

10(2) The driver was operating the bus or limousine when the
11operating rights or certificate of public convenience and necessity
12of a passenger stage corporation was suspended, canceled, or
13revoked pursuant to Section 1033.5, 1033.7, or 1045.

14(3) The driver was operating the bus or limousine without having
15a current and valid driver’s license of the proper class.

16(d) The commission shall coordinate enforcement of this section
17with those peace officers likely to be involved in enforcing this
18section, including undertaking both of the following:

19(1) Educational outreach tobegin delete ensure that those peace officers are
20aware ofend delete
begin insert promote awareness among those peace officers aboutend insert
21 the requirements of Sections 1031, 1034.5, 1041, 1045, 2110,
222112, and 2119.

23(2) Establishing lines of communicationbegin delete to ensureend deletebegin insert soend insert that the
24commission is notified if an action is commenced to enforce the
25requirements of those sections specified in subdivision (b), so that
26the commission may take appropriate action to enforce the fine
27and penalty provisions of Chapter 11 (commencing with Section
282100).

29(e) The Legislature finds and declares that this section is
30intended to facilitate and enhance the commission’s performance
31of its functions pursuant to Section 2101 and not diminish the
32commission’s authority or responsibility pursuant to that section.

33(f) This section does not authorize the impoundment of privately
34owned personal vehicles that are not common carriers nor the
35impoundment of vehicles used in transportation for compensation
36by charter-party carriers of passengers that are not required to carry
37individual permits.

38

SEC. 5.  

Section 5102 of the Public Utilities Code is amended
39to read:

P8    1

5102.  

(a) The use of the public highways for the transportation
2of used household goods and personal effects for compensation is
3a business affected with a public interest. It is the purpose of this
4chapter to preserve for the public the full benefit and use of public
5highways consistent with the needs of commerce without
6unnecessary congestion or wear and tear upon those highways; to
7secure to the people just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates
8for transportation by carriers operating upon the highways; to
9secure full and unrestricted flow of traffic by motor carriers over
10the highways that will adequately meet reasonable public demands
11by providing for the regulation of rates of all carriers so that
12adequate and dependable service by all necessary carriers shall be
13maintained and the full use of the highways preserved to the public;
14and to promote fair dealing and ethical conduct in the rendition of
15services involving or incident to the transportation of household
16goods and personal effects.

17(b) To achieve the purposes of subdivision (a) the commission
18shall do all of the following:

19(1) Prioritize the timely processing of applications and hold
20“application workshops” for potential applicants around the state.

21(2) Enable electronic filing of applications, reports, and fee
22payments.

23(3) Dedicate staff to answering telephone calls, mailings, and
24 electronic inquiries from carriers.

25(4) Prioritize the timely processing of consumer complaints.

26(5) Implement electronic case tracking of complaints and their
27disposition.

28(6) Implement a process for appropriate and timely enforcement
29against illegally operating carriers, including by performing
30staff-driven investigations and performing enforcement through
31sting operations and other forms of presence in the field.

32(7) Maintain relationships with, and implement outreach and
33education programs to, local law enforcement, district attorneys,
34andbegin delete airports.end deletebegin insert airports, and coordinate with law enforcement
35agencies pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 1046, subdivision
36(d) of Section 5317.5, and subdivision (d) of Section 5417.5.end insert

37(8) Meet with carrier trade associations at least annually.

38(9) Implement a consolidated case tracking system that integrates
39each of the transportation program core functions and data
P9    1collection, administrative compliance details, complaints, and
2investigations.

3

SEC. 6.  

Section 5317.5 of the Public Utilities Code is amended
4to read:

5

5317.5.  

(a) The commission shall ensure that this chapter is
6enforced and obeyed, and that violations thereof are promptly
7prosecuted and that penalty moneys due to the state are recovered
8and collected, and to this end it may sue in the name of the people
9of the State of California. Upon the request of the commission,
10the Attorney General or the district attorney of the proper county
11or city and county may aid in any investigation, hearing, or trial
12had under this chapter.

13(b) For purposes of this section, “peace officer” means a person
14designated as a peace officer pursuant to Chapter 4.5 (commencing
15with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.

16(c) A peace officer may enforce and assist in the enforcement
17of Sections 5311 and 5312, resulting from a violation of Section
185132, 5133, 5140, or 5286, or more than one of those sections. A
19peace officer may additionally enforce and assist in the enforcement
20of Sections 5311.3 and 5314.5. In any case in which an arrest
21authorized by this subdivision is made for an offense declared to
22be a misdemeanor, and the person arrested does not demand to be
23taken before a magistrate, the arresting peace officer may, instead
24of taking such person before a magistrate, follow the procedure
25prescribed by Chapter 5C (commencing with Section 853.5) of
26Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code. The provisions of that chapter
27shall thereafter apply with reference to any proceeding based upon
28the issuance of a citation pursuant to this authority.

29(d) The commission shall coordinate enforcement of this section
30with those peace officers likely to be involved in enforcing this
31section, including undertaking both of the following:

32(1) Educational outreach tobegin delete ensure that those peace officers are
33aware ofend delete
begin insert promote awareness among those peace officers aboutend insert
34 the requirements of Sections 5132, 5133, 5140, 5286, 5311, 5311.3,
355312, and 5314.5.

36(2) Establishing lines of communicationbegin delete to ensureend deletebegin insert soend insert that the
37commission is notified if an action is commenced to enforce the
38requirements of those sections specified in subdivision (c), so that
39the commission may take appropriate action to enforce the fine
40and penalty provisions of this article.

P10   1(e) The Attorney General, a district attorney of the proper county
2or city and county, or a city attorney may institute and prosecute
3actions or proceedings for the violation of any law committed in
4connection with, or arising from, a transaction involving the
5transportation of household goods and personal effects.

6

SEC. 7.  

Section 5352 of the Public Utilities Code is amended
7to read:

8

5352.  

(a) The use of the public highways for the transportation
9of passengers for compensation is a business affected with a public
10interest. It is the purpose of this chapter to preserve for the public
11full benefit and use of public highways consistent with the needs
12of commerce without unnecessary congestion or wear and tear
13upon the highways; to secure to the people adequate and
14dependable transportation by carriers operating upon the highways;
15to secure full and unrestricted flow of traffic by motor carriers
16over the highways which will adequately meet reasonable public
17demands by providing for the regulation of all transportation
18agencies with respect to accident indemnity so that adequate and
19dependable service by all necessary transportation agencies shall
20be maintained and the full use of the highways preserved to the
21public; and to promote carrier and public safety through its safety
22enforcement regulations.

23(b) To achieve the purposes of subdivision (a) the commission
24shall do all of the following:

25(1) Prioritize the timely processing of applications and hold
26“application workshops” for potential applicants around the state.

27(2) Enable electronic filing of applications, reports, and fee
28payments.

29(3) Dedicate staff to answering telephone calls, mailings, and
30electronic inquiries from carriers.

31(4) Prioritize the timely processing of consumer complaints.

32(5) Implement electronic case tracking of complaints and their
33disposition.

34(6) Implement a process for appropriate and timely enforcement
35against illegally operating carriers, including by performing
36staff-driven investigations and performing enforcement through
37sting operations and other forms of presence in the field.

38(7) Maintain relationships with, and implement outreach and
39education programs to, local law enforcement, district attorneys,
40andbegin delete airports.end deletebegin insert airports, and coordinate with law enforcement
P11   1 agencies pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 1046, subdivision
2(d) of Section 5317.5, and subdivision (d) of Section 5417.5.end insert

3(8) Meet with carrier trade associations at least annually.

4(9) Implement a consolidated case tracking system that integrates
5each of the transportation program core functions and data
6collection, administrative compliance details, complaints, and
7investigations.

8

SEC. 8.  

Section 5359 of the Public Utilities Code is amended
9to read:

10

5359.  

(a) “Motor vehicle” means a vehicle which is
11self-propelled.

12(b) “Bus” means a vehicle designed, used, or maintained for
13carrying more than 10 persons, including the driver, which is used
14to transport persons for compensation or profit.

15(c) “Limousine” means any sedan or sport utility vehicle, of
16either standard or extended length, with a seating capacity of not
17more than 10 passengers including the driver, used in the
18transportation of passengers for hire on a prearranged basis within
19this state, and includes a modified limousine as defined in
20 subdivision (d) of Section 1042.

21

SEC. 9.  

Section 5387 of the Public Utilities Code is amended
22to read:

23

5387.  

(a) It is unlawful for the owner of a charter-party carrier
24of passengers to permit the operation of a vehicle upon a public
25highway for compensation without (1) having obtained from the
26commission a certificate or permit pursuant to this chapter, (2)
27having complied with the vehicle identification requirements of
28Section 5385 or 5385.5, and (3) having complied with the accident
29liability protection requirements of Section 5391.

30(b) A person who drives a bus for a charter-party carrier without
31having a current and valid driver’s license of the proper class, a
32passenger vehicle endorsement, or the required certificate shall be
33suspended from driving a bus of any kind, including, but not
34limited to, a bus, schoolbus, school pupil activity bus, or transit
35bus, with passengers for a period of five years pursuant to Section
3613369 of the Vehicle Code.

37(c) (1) A charter-party carrier shall have its authority to operate
38as a charter-party carrier permanently revoked by the commission
39or be permanently barred from receiving a permit or certificate
40from the commission if it commits any of the following acts:

P12   1(A) Operates a bus without having been issued a permit or
2certificate from the commission.

3(B) Operates a bus with a permit that was suspended by the
4commission pursuant to Section 5378.5.

5(C) Commits three or more liability insurance violations within
6a two-year period for which it has been cited.

7(D) Operates a bus with a permit that was suspended by the
8commission during a period that the charter-party carrier’s liability
9insurance lapsed for which it has been cited.

10(E) Knowingly employs a busdriver who does not have a current
11and valid driver’s license of the proper class, a passenger vehicle
12endorsement, or the required certificate to drive a bus.

13(F) Has one or more buses improperly registered with the
14Department of Motor Vehicles.

15(2) The commission shall not issue a new permit or certificate
16to operate as a charter-party carrier if any officer, director, or owner
17of that charter-party carrier was an officer, director, or owner of
18a charter-party carrier that had its authority to operate as a
19charter-party carrier permanently revoked by the commission or
20that was permanently barred from receiving a permit or certificate
21from the commission pursuant to this subdivision.

22(d) A peace officer, as designated pursuant to Chapter 4.5
23(commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal
24Code, may impound a bus or limousine of a charter-party carrier
25of passengers for 30 days pursuant to Section 14602.9 of the
26Vehicle Code if the peace officer determines that any of the
27following violations occurred while the driver was operating the
28bus or limousine of the charter-party carrier:

29(1) The driver was operating the bus or limousine of a
30charter-party carrier of passengers when the charter-party carrier
31of passengers did not have a permit or certificate issued by the
32commission.

33(2) The driver was operating the bus or limousine of a
34charter-party carrier of passengers when the charter-party carrier
35of passengers was operating with a suspended permit or certificate
36from the commission.

37(3) The driver was operating the bus or limousine of a
38charter-party carrier of passengers without having a current and
39valid driver’s license of the proper class, a passenger vehicle
40endorsement, or the required certificate.

P13   1(e) This section does not authorize the impoundment of privately
2owned personal vehicles that are not common carriers nor the
3impoundment of vehicles used in transportation for compensation
4by charter-party carriers of passengers that are not required to carry
5individual permits.

6

SEC. 10.  

Section 5417.5 is added to the Public Utilities Code,
7to read:

8

5417.5.  

(a) The commission shall ensure that this chapter is
9enforced and obeyed, and that violations thereof are promptly
10prosecuted and that penalty moneys due to the state are recovered
11and collected, and to this end it may sue in the name of the people
12of the State of California. Upon the request of the commission,
13the Attorney General or the district attorney of the proper county
14or city and county may aid in any investigation, hearing, or trial
15under this chapter. The Attorney General, a district attorney of the
16proper county or city and county, or a city attorney may institute
17and prosecute actions or proceedings for the violation of any law
18committed in connection with, or arising from, a transaction
19involving a charter-party carrier of passengers.

20(b) For purposes of this section, “peace officer” means a person
21designated as a peace officer pursuant to Chapter 4.5 (commencing
22with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.

23(c) A peace officer may enforce and assist in the enforcement
24of Sections 5411 and 5412 resulting from a violation of Section
255371, 5379, 5385, 5385.7, or 5387, or more than one of those
26sections. A peace officer may additionally enforce and assist in
27the enforcement of Sections 5411.3 and 5414.5. In any case in
28which an arrest authorized by this subdivision is made for an
29offense declared to be a misdemeanor, and the person arrested
30does not demand to be taken before a magistrate, the arresting
31peace officer may, instead of taking such person before a
32magistrate, follow the procedure prescribed by Chapter 5C
33(commencing with Section 853.5) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal
34Code. The provisions of that chapter shall thereafter apply with
35reference to any proceeding based upon the issuance of a citation
36pursuant to this authority.

37(d) The commission shall coordinate enforcement of this section
38with those peace officers likely to be involved in enforcing this
39section, including undertaking both of the following:

P14   1(1) Educational outreach to begin delete ensure that those peace officers are
2 aware ofend delete
begin insert promote awareness among those peace officers aboutend insert
3 the requirements of Sections 5371, 5379, 5385, 5385.7, 5387,
45411, 5411.3, 5412, and 5414.5.

5(2) Establishing lines of communicationbegin delete to ensureend deletebegin insert soend insert that the
6commission is notified if an action is commenced to enforce the
7requirements of those sections specified in subdivision (c), so that
8the commission may take appropriate action to enforce the fine
9and penalty provisions of this article.

10(e) The Attorney General, a district attorney of the proper county
11or city and county, or a city attorney may institute and prosecute
12actions or proceedings for the violation of any law committed in
13connection with, or arising from, a transaction involving the
14transportation of passengers by a charter-party carrier of
15passengers.

16

SEC. 11.  

Section 14602.9 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
17read:

18

14602.9.  

(a) For purposes of this section, “peace officer” means
19a person designated as a peace officer pursuant to Chapter 4.5
20(commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal
21Code.

22(b) A peace officer may impound a bus or limousine of a
23charter-party carrier for 30 days if the officer determines that any
24of the following violations occurred while the driver was operating
25the bus or limousine of the charter-party carrier:

26(1) The driver was operating the bus or limousine of a
27charter-party carrier when the charter-party carrier did not have a
28permit or certificate issued by the Public Utilities Commission,
29pursuant to Section 5375 of the Public Utilities Code.

30(2) The driver was operating the bus or limousine of a
31charter-party carrier when the charter-party carrier was operating
32with a suspended permit or certificate from the Public Utilities
33Commission.

34(3) The driver was operating the bus or limousine of a
35charter-party carrier without having a current and valid driver’s
36license of the proper class, a passenger vehicle endorsement, or
37the required certificate.

38(c) A peace officer may impound a bus or limousine belonging
39to a passenger stage corporation for 30 days if the officer
P15   1determines any of the following violations occurred while the
2driver was operating the bus or limousine:

3(1) The driver was operating the bus or limousine when the
4passenger stage corporation did not have a certificate of public
5convenience and necessity issued by the Public Utilities
6Commission as required pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with
7Section 1031) of Chapter 5 of Part 1 of Division 1 of the Public
8Utilities Code.

9(2) The driver was operating the bus or limousine when the
10operating rights or certificate of public convenience and necessity
11of a passenger stage corporation was suspended, canceled, or
12revoked pursuant to Section 1033.5, 1033.7, or 1045 of the Public
13Utilities Code.

14(3) The driver was operating the bus or limousine without having
15a current and valid driver’s license of the proper class.

16(d) Within two working days after impoundment, the
17impounding agency shall send a notice by certified mail, return
18receipt requested, to the legal owner of the vehicle, at the address
19obtained from the department, informing the owner that the vehicle
20has been impounded. Failure to notify the legal owner within two
21working days shall prohibit the impounding agency from charging
22for more than 15 day’s impoundment when the legal owner
23redeems the impounded vehicle. The impounding agency shall
24maintain a published telephone number that provides information
2524 hours a day regarding the impoundment of vehicles and the
26rights of a registered owner to request a hearing.

27(e) The registered and legal owner of a vehicle that is removed
28and seized under subdivision (b) or (c) or his or her agent shall be
29provided the opportunity for a storage hearing to determine the
30validity of, or consider any mitigating circumstances attendant to,
31the storage, in accordance with Section 22852.

32(f) (1) The impounding agency shall release the vehicle to the
33registered owner or his or her agent prior to the end of the
34impoundment period under any of the following circumstances:

35(A) When the vehicle is a stolen vehicle.

36(B) When the vehicle is subject to bailment and is driven by an
37unlicensed employee of a business establishment, including a
38parking service or repair garage.

39(C) When, for a charter-party carrier of passengers, the driver
40of the vehicle is not the sole registered owner of the vehicle and
P16   1the vehicle is being released to another registered owner of the
2vehicle who agrees not to allow the driver to use the vehicle until
3after the end of the impoundment period and the charter-party
4carrier has been issued a valid permit from the Public Utilities
5Commission, pursuant to Section 5375 of the Public Utilities Code.

6(D) When, for a passenger stage corporation, the driver of the
7vehicle is not the sole registered owner of the vehicle and the
8vehicle is being released to another registered owner of the vehicle
9who agrees not to allow the driver to use the vehicle until after the
10end of the impoundment period and the passenger stage corporation
11has been issued a valid certificate of public convenience and
12necessity by the Public Utilities Commission, pursuant to Article
132 (commencing with Section 1031) of Chapter 5 of Part 1 of
14Division 1 of the Public Utilities Code.

15(2) A vehicle shall not be released pursuant to this subdivision
16without presentation of the registered owner’s or agent’s currently
17valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle and proof of current
18vehicle registration, or upon order of a court.

19(g) The registered owner or his or her agent is responsible for
20all towing and storage charges related to the impoundment, and
21any administrative charges authorized under Section 22850.5.

22(h) A vehicle removed and seized under subdivision (b) or (c)
23shall be released to the legal owner of the vehicle or the legal
24owner’s agent prior to the end of the impoundment period if all of
25the following conditions are met:

26(1) The legal owner is a motor vehicle dealer, bank, credit union,
27acceptance corporation, or other licensed financial institution
28legally operating in this state, or is another person who is not the
29registered owner and holds a security interest in the vehicle.

30(2) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent pays all towing
31and storage fees related to the seizure of the vehicle. A lien sale
32processing fee shall not be charged to the legal owner who redeems
33the vehicle prior to the 10th day of impoundment. The impounding
34authority or any person having possession of the vehicle shall not
35collect from the legal owner of the type specified in paragraph (1),
36or the legal owner’s agent, any administrative charges imposed
37pursuant to Section 22850.5 unless the legal owner voluntarily
38requested a poststorage hearing.

39(3) (A) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent presents
40either lawful foreclosure documents or an affidavit of repossession
P17   1for the vehicle, and a security agreement or title showing proof of
2legal ownership for the vehicle. All presented documents may be
3originals, photocopies, or facsimile copies, or may be transmitted
4electronically. The impounding agency shall not require a
5document to be notarized. The impounding agency may require
6the agent of the legal owner to produce a photocopy or facsimile
7copy of its repossession agency license or registration issued
8pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500) of
9Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, or to demonstrate,
10to the satisfaction of the impounding agency, that the agent is
11exempt from licensure pursuant to Section 7500.2 or 7500.3 of the
12Business and Professions Code.

13(B) Administrative costs authorized under subdivision (a) of
14Section 22850.5 shall not be charged to the legal owner of the type
15 specified in paragraph (1), who redeems the vehicle unless the
16legal owner voluntarily requests a poststorage hearing. A city,
17county, or state agency shall not require a legal owner or a legal
18owner’s agent to request a poststorage hearing as a requirement
19for release of the vehicle to the legal owner or the legal owner’s
20agent. The impounding agency shall not require any documents
21other than those specified in this paragraph. The impounding
22agency shall not require any documents to be notarized.

23(C) As used in this paragraph, “foreclosure documents” means
24an “assignment” as that term is defined in subdivision (b) of
25Section 7500.1 of the Business and Professions Code.

26(i) (1) A legal owner or the legal owner’s agent who obtains
27release of the vehicle pursuant to subdivision (h) may not release
28the vehicle to the registered owner of the vehicle or any agents of
29the registered owner, unless the registered owner is a rental car
30agency, until after the termination of the impoundment period.

31(2) The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent shall not
32relinquish the vehicle to the registered owner until the registered
33owner or that owner’s agent presents his or her valid driver’s
34license or valid temporary driver’s license to the legal owner or
35the legal owner’s agent. The legal owner or the legal owner’s agent
36shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that the license
37presented is valid.

38(3) Prior to relinquishing the vehicle, the legal owner may
39require the registered owner to pay all towing and storage charges
40related to the impoundment and any administrative charges
P18   1authorized under Section 22850.5 that were incurred by the legal
2owner in connection with obtaining custody of the vehicle.

3(j) (1) A vehicle removed and seized under subdivision (b) or
4(c) shall be released to a rental agency prior to the end of the
5impoundment period if the agency is either the legal owner or
6registered owner of the vehicle and the agency pays all towing and
7storage fees related to the seizure of the vehicle.

8(2) The owner of a rental vehicle that was seized under this
9section may continue to rent the vehicle upon recovery of the
10vehicle. However, the rental agency shall not rent another vehicle
11to the driver of the vehicle that was seized until the impoundment
12period has expired.

13(3) The rental agency may require the person to whom the
14vehicle was rented to pay all towing and storage charges related
15to the impoundment and any administrative charges authorized
16under Section 22850.5 that were incurred by the rental agency in
17connection with obtaining custody of the vehicle.

18(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the
19registered owner, and not the legal owner, shall remain responsible
20for any towing and storage charges related to the impoundment,
21any administrative charges authorized under Section 22850.5, and
22any parking fines, penalties, and administrative fees incurred by
23the registered owner.

24(l) The impounding agency is not liable to the registered owner
25for the improper release of the vehicle to the legal owner or the
26legal owner’s agent provided the release complies with this section.

27(m) This section does not authorize the impoundment of
28privately owned personal vehicles that are not common carriers
29nor the impoundment of vehicles used in transportation for
30compensation by charter-party carriers that are not required to
31carry individual permits.

32(n) For the purposes of this section, a “charter-party carrier”
33means a charter-party carrier of passengers as defined by Section
345360 of the Public Utilities Code.

35(o) For purposes of this section, a “passenger stage corporation”
36means a passenger stage corporation as defined by Section 226 of
37the Public Utilities Code.



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