SB 812, as introduced, Hill. Tour bus inspection fees: charter-party carriers of passengers and passenger stage corporations.
(1) Existing law defines a tour bus to include any bus operated by or for a charter-party carrier of passengers or a passenger stage corporation, with a bus in this respect defined to mean any vehicle designed, used, or maintained for carrying more than 10 persons, including the driver. Existing law provides for the Department of the California Highway Patrol to regulate the safe operation of various classes of vehicles, including tour buses. Existing law requires charter-party carriers of passengers, upon initial application and annually thereafter, to pay tour bus terminal inspection fees of $15 per tour bus, up to a maximum of $6,500, to offset the costs of inspections of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, and requires the Public Utilities Commission to collect these fees and to deposit fee revenues in the Motor Vehicle Account. Existing law does not impose similar fees on passenger stage corporations. A violation of various statutes and regulations governing tour buses and operators of tour buses is a crime.
This bill would require the Department of the California Highway Patrol, by regulation, to develop and adopt bus terminal inspection fees applicable to charter-party carriers of passengers and passenger stage corporations that operate one or more tour buses, to replace existing fees, in an amount sufficient to offset the costs to administer the inspection program for these companies, as specified. The bill would require the fees to be collected by the Public Utilities Commission in the case of charter-party carriers of passengers or as otherwise required by the regulations. The bill would make other conforming changes.
This bill would require the Department of the California Highway Patrol, by regulation, to modify its existing tour bus terminal inspection program to ensure that the program is performance-based, with parameters to evaluate and target on-site inspections tour of buses operated by or for charter-party carriers of passengers and passenger stage corporations. The bill would require the tour bus terminal inspection program to prioritize newly acquired tour buses operated by charter-party carriers of passengers and passenger stage corporations, as well as affected companies that are noncompliant or have a history of noncompliance with safety laws or regulations. The bill would also require no fewer than 25% of the total number of tour bus carrier inspections conducted by the department to be unannounced surprise inspections.
This bill would require a charter-party carrier of passengers or a passenger stage corporation, prior to operating a newly acquired tour bus, to first schedule an inspection of the tour bus with, and obtain a satisfactory rating for the tour bus from, the department. The bill would also require the Department of the California Highway Patrol, upon determining that the condition of a tour bus is such that it has multiple safety violations of a nature that operation of the tour bus could constitute an imminent danger to public safety, to immediately order the tour bus out of service, and would prohibit operation of the tour bus until all of the safety violations have been corrected and the department has verified the correction of the safety violations upon a subsequent inspection of the tour bus. By changing the definition of existing crimes and creating new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would also require the Department of the California Highway Patrol to conduct a comprehensive review of the statutes and regulations governing tour buses, as well as buses generally, with the objective of identifying opportunities for simplification, consolidation, avoidance of duplication, and consistent use of terminology, as specified. The bill would require a report containing the department’s recommendations for proposed statutory changes to be submitted to the policy committees of both houses of the Legislature with responsibility for transportation matters by January 1, 2018.
(2)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:
Section 5373.1 of the Public Utilities Code is
2amended to read:
(a) Each application for a charter-party carrier of
4passengers certificate or permit shall be accompanied by a filing
5fee as follows:
6(1) Class A certificates (new): one thousand five hundred dollars
8(2) Class A certificates (renewal): one hundred dollars ($100).
9(3) Class B certificates (new): one thousand dollars ($1,000).
10(4) Class B certificates (renewal): one hundred dollars ($100).
11(5) Class C certificates (new): one thousand dollars ($1,000).
12(6) Class C certificates (renewal): one hundred dollars ($100).
13(7) Permits (new): one thousand dollars ($1,000).
14(8) Permits (renewal): one hundred dollars ($100).
15(b) The commission shall also require each application to be
16accompanied by a fee to offset the cost of the charter-party carrier
17bus terminal inspections conducted by the Department of the
18California Highway Patrol. The fee shall be fifteen dollars ($15)
19per tour bus, as defined in Section 612 of the Vehicle Code, or a
20maximum of six thousand five hundred dollars ($6,500) for each
begin delete carrier.end delete
25(c) The commission shall require each charter-party carrier that
26operates tour buses, as defined in Section 612 of the Vehicle Code,
27to undergo an annual bus terminal inspection conducted by the
28Department of the California Highway Patrol and to pay an annual
P4 1fee of fifteen dollars ($15) per tour bus, or a maximum of six
2thousand five hundred dollars ($6,500), to offset the cost of the
begin delete inspections.end delete
7(d) The commission shall deposit the fees collected pursuant to
8subdivisions (b) and (c) in the Motor Vehicle Account in the State
9Transportation Fund to cover the costs of the inspections conducted
10by the department as specified in subdivisions (b) and (c).
Section 612 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
“Tour bus” means a
begin delete busend delete,
17which is operated by or for a charter-party carrier of passengers,
18as defined in Section 5360 of the Public Utilities Code, or a
19passenger stage corporation, as defined in Section 226 of the Public
Section 34505 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
(a) Tour bus operators shall, in addition to the
23systematic inspection, maintenance, and lubrication services
24required of all motor carriers, require each tour bus to be inspected
25at least every 45 days, or more often if necessary to ensure safe
26operation. This inspection shall include, but not be limited to, all
27of the following:
28(1) Brake adjustment.
29(2) Brake system components and leaks.
30(3) Steering and suspension systems.
31(4) Tires and wheels.
32(b) A tour bus shall
not be used to transport passengers until all
33defects listed during the inspection conducted pursuant to
34subdivision (a) have been corrected and attested to by the signature
35of the operator’s authorized representative.
36(c) Records of inspections conducted pursuant to subdivision
37(a) shall be kept at the operator’s maintenance facility or terminal
38where the tour bus is regularly garaged. The records shall be
39retained by the operator for one year, and shall be made available
40for inspection upon request by any authorized employee of the
P5 1department. Each record shall include, but not be limited to, all of
3(1) Identification of the vehicle, including make, model, license
4number, or other means of positive identification.
5(2) Date and nature of each inspection and any repair performed.
6(3) Signature of operator’s authorized representative attesting
7to the inspection and to the completion of all required repairs.
8(4) Company vehicle number.
Section 34505.1 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
(a) Upon determining that a tour bus carrier or
16modified limousine carrier has either (1) failed to maintain any
17vehicle used in transportation for compensation in a safe operating
18condition or to comply with the Vehicle Code or with regulations
19contained in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations relative
20to motor carrier safety, and, in the department’s opinion, that failure
21presents an imminent danger to public safety or constitutes such
22a consistent failure as to justify a recommendation to the Public
23Utilities Commission or the United States Department of
24Transportation or (2) failed to enroll all drivers in the pull notice
25system as required by Section 1808.1, the department shall
26recommend to the Public Utilities Commission that the carrier’s
27operating authority be suspended, denied, or revoked, or to the
28United States Department of Transportation that appropriate
29administrative action be taken against the carrier’s interstate
30operating authority, whichever is appropriate. For purposes of this
31subdivision, two consecutive unsatisfactory compliance ratings
32for an inspected terminal assigned because the tour bus carrier or
33modified limousine carrier failed to comply with the periodic report
34requirements of Section 1808.1 or the cancellation of the carrier’s
35enrollment by the Department of Motor Vehicles for nonpayment
36of required fees may be determined by the department to be a
37consistent failure. However, when recommending denial of an
38application for new or renewal authority, the department need not
39conclude that the carrier’s failure presents an imminent danger to
40public safety or that it constitutes a consistent failure. The
P6 1department need only conclude that the carrier’s compliance with
2the safety-related matters described in paragraph (1) of subdivision
3(a) is sufficiently unsatisfactory to justify a recommendation for
4denial. The department shall retain a record, by carrier, of every
5recommendation made pursuant to this section.
6(b) Before transmitting a recommendation pursuant to
7subdivision (a), the department shall notify the carrier in writing
8of all of the following:
9(1) That the department has determined that the carrier’s safety
10record is unsatisfactory, furnishing a copy of any documentation
11or summary of any other evidence supporting the determination.
12(2) That the determination may result in a suspension,
13revocation, or denial of the carrier’s operating authority by the
14Public Utilities Commission or the United States Department of
15Transportation, as appropriate.
16(3) That the carrier may request a review of the determination
17by the department within five days of its receipt of the notice
18required under this subdivision. If a review is requested by the
19carrier, the department shall conduct and evaluate that review prior
20to transmitting any notification pursuant to subdivision (a).
Section 34505.2 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
The department shall conduct unannounced surprise
35inspections of charter-party carriers of passengers and passenger
36stage corporations operating one or more tour buses in addition to
37regular scheduled inspections. In each fiscal year, no fewer than
3825 percent of the total number of tour bus carrier inspections
39conducted by the department shall be unannounced surprise
Section 34513 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
The department shall adopt rules and regulations
3relating to the
begin delete equipment and maintenanceend delete of tour buses.
The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall
2conduct a comprehensive review of the statutes and regulations
3governing tour buses, as well as buses generally, with the objective
4of identifying opportunities for simplification, consolidation,
5avoidance of duplication, and consistent use of terminology. The
6review shall be conducted in consultation with the Public Utilities
7Commission, the Office of Legislative Counsel, and interested
8parties. On or before January 1, 2018, the department shall submit
9a report containing its recommendations for proposed statutory
10changes to the policy committees of both houses of the Legislature
11with responsibility for transportation matters, for potential
12inclusion, if appropriate in whole or in part, in a future omnibus
13transportation bill. The report shall be submitted pursuant to
14Section 9795 of the Government Code.
No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
16Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
17the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
18district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
19infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
20for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
21the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
22the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California