BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






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                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  SB 1051
          Author:   Hancock (D) 
          Amended:  5/10/16  
          Vote:     21 

           SENATE TRANS. & HOUSING COMMITTEE:  11-0, 4/19/16
           AYES:  Beall, Cannella, Allen, Bates, Gaines, Galgiani, Leyva,  
            McGuire, Mendoza, Roth, Wieckowski

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  6-0, 5/3/16
           AYES:  Jackson, Moorlach, Anderson, Leno, Monning, Wieckowski
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Hertzberg

           SUBJECT:   Vehicles:  parking enforcement:  video image  
                     evidence


          SOURCE:    Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District

          DIGEST:   This bill allows, until January 1, 2022, the  
          Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) to enforce  
          parking violations in transit-only traffic lanes and allows AC  
          Transit and the City and County of San Francisco to enforce  
          parking violations in bus stops using video cameras.

          ANALYSIS:  


          Existing law:


          1)Creates AC Transit, which is the third-largest public bus  
            system in California, serving 13 cities and adjacent  








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            unincorporated areas in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.


          2)Authorizes the City and County of San Francisco to enforce  
            parking violations in specified transit-only traffic lanes  
            using video cameras.  A designated employee shall review the  
            video image recordings to determine whether a parking  
            violation occurred.  Violations are civil penalties and do not  
            impact a driver's record.  These video images are confidential  
            and available only to public agencies to enforce parking  
            violations.


          This bill extends these provisions to the AC Transit and  
          broadens the use of video enforcement from transit-only traffic  
          lanes to also include bus stops for both AC Transit and the City  
          and County of San Francisco.  This authority sunsets on January  
          1, 2022, and requires a report to the Legislature by January 1,  
          2021.


          Comments


          1)Purpose.  According to the author, AC Transit is currently  
            building a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor that will utilize  
            dedicated bus-only lanes to improve service reliability and  
            frequency.  Given the issues experienced in San Francisco with  
            vehicles illegally stopped in bus-only lanes, AC Transit is  
            sponsoring this bill to have this authority in place before  
            service begins.  San Francisco's transit-only lane enforcement  
            program, according to the author, has reduced parking  
            violations and transit delays.  


            The author states that blocking access to bus stops is a  
            growing problem, raising significant safety issues for  
            passengers, particularly the disabled, who have to board or  
            exit without the bus pulling up to the curb.  This also  
            creates unnecessary congestion as the bus cannot pull out of  
            the traffic lane when an illegally parked vehicle prevents  
            access to the bus stop.  By allowing video enforcement, the  
            author intends to reduce illegal parking in bus stops.








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          2)San Francisco experience.  In removing the sunset from San  
            Francisco's pilot program last year, the Legislature took note  
            of the general success of that program:  Bus reliability was  
            marginally improved, motorists were parking illegally less  
            frequently, privacy concerns did not emerge, and the program  
            did not function as a revenue raiser.


          3)Fines.  Current law specifies that violations are infractions  
            subject to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1,000.   
            Fine revenues will go to AC Transit.  Violations can be  
            appealed to Superior Court.  Car registration cannot be  
            renewed if there is an outstanding fine.  As an infraction,  
            additional surcharges, penalties and assessments are added,  
            which are adopted by the state Judicial Council.  With those  
            additions, the $250 base fine will really be $1,156.


            This bill specifies that violations are civil penalties, not  
            infractions.  That means that there are no additions to the  
            fine.  However, this also means that the penalty for parking  
            in a bus stop if caught by video will cost $250 and if caught  
            by a peace officer will cost $1,156. 


          4)Expanded bus stop parking enforcement.  This bill allows video  
            enforcement for stopping or parking at a bus stop, a practice  
            already prohibited under existing law.  Before a ticket is  
            issued, the violation must first be reviewed by a designated  
            employee of the City and County of San Francisco or a  
            contracted law enforcement agency for AC Transit.  


            This is a significant expansion of the video enforcement  
            program.  Depending on how the program is administered, it  
            could lead to unreasonably inflexible enforcement.  For  
            example, should a $250 ticket be issued if a car pulled away  
            from the bus stop before the bus was impaired, or the car was  
            stopped at a bus stop in a way which did not endanger the bus  
            or its passengers?  In theory, the review by a law enforcement  
            agency should mitigate unreasonable enforcement, but the video  
            evidence with its limited field of view cannot capture all the  
            relevant factors that a peace officer would consider.  Recent  







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            legislative efforts (e.g., SB 881, Hertzberg) have tried to  
            mitigate the potentially harsh impact of fines on lower income  
            individuals for minor offenses.  


          5)Sunset.  The provisions of this bill sunset in five years and  
            require reports to the Legislature in four years.  The reports  
            require an evaluation of the effectiveness, impact on privacy,  
            cost to implement, and generation of the revenue of the  
            programs.




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


          SUPPORT:   (Verified5/10/16)


          Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (source)
          California Public Parking Association


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified5/10/16)


          None received


          Prepared by:Randy Chinn / T. & H. / (916) 651-4121
          5/11/16 16:06:33


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