BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          SENATE THIRD READING


          SB  
          1072 (Mendoza)


          As Amended  August 19, 2016


          Majority vote


          SENATE VOTE:  35-0


           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                   |Noes                 |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |----------------+-----+-----------------------+---------------------|
          |Transportation  |13-0 |Frazier, Linder,       |                     |
          |                |     |Baker, Bloom, Brown,   |                     |
          |                |     |Chu, Daly, Dodd,       |                     |
          |                |     |Eduardo Garcia, Gomez, |                     |
          |                |     |Medina, Nazarian,      |                     |
          |                |     |O'Donnell              |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |----------------+-----+-----------------------+---------------------|
          |Education       |7-0  |O'Donnell, Olsen, Kim, |                     |
          |                |     |McCarty, Santiago,     |                     |
          |                |     |Thurmond, Weber        |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |----------------+-----+-----------------------+---------------------|
          |Appropriations  |15-2 |Gonzalez, Bloom,       |Bigelow, Obernolte   |
          |                |     |Bonilla, Bonta,        |                     |
          |                |     |Calderon, Daly,        |                     |
          |                |     |Eggman, Gallagher,     |                     |








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          |                |     |Eduardo Garcia,        |                     |
          |                |     |Holden, Quirk,         |                     |
          |                |     |Santiago, Weber, Wood, |                     |
          |                |     |McCarty                |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
          |                |     |                       |                     |
           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 


          SUMMARY:  Requires, on or before the beginning of the 2018-19  
          school year, every schoolbus, school pupil activity bus (SPAB),  
          and youth bus be equipped with a "child safety alert system;"  
          imposes additional requirements on school districts to ensure  
          that a pupil is not left unattended on a bus.  Specifically,  
          this bill:


          1)Requires a school district's transportation plan to include  
            procedures to ensure that a pupil is not left unattended on a  
            schoolbus, SPAB, or youth bus as well as procedures and  
            standards for designating an adult chaperone, other than the  
            driver, to accompany pupils on a SPAB.


          2)Requires the county superintendent of schools, the  
            superintendent of a school district, a charter school, or the  
            owner or operator of a private school that provides  
            transportation to or from a school or school activity to  
            notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within five  
            calendar days of discovery that a driver of a schoolbus, SPAB,  
            or youth bus has left the vehicle with an unsupervised pupil  
            onboard and making a finding that the driver's actions  
            constituted gross negligence.


          3)Defines "gross negligence" for purposes of this bill as the  
            want of even scant care or an extreme departure from the  
            ordinary standard of conduct.









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          4)Provides that being reported as leaving a pupil unsupervised  
            onboard a schoolbus, SPAB, or youth bus is grounds for the  
            refusal to issue or revocation of a bus driver certificate.


          5)Requires the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to adopt, by  
            January 1, 2018, regulations governing the specifications,  
            installation, and use of child safety alert systems.


          6)Requires, on or before the beginning of the 2018-19 school  
            year, each schoolbus, SPAB, and youth bus shall be equipped  
            with an operational child safety alert system, except for  
            SPABs used on trips in which pupils are accompanied by adult  
            chaperones, as specified.


          7)Defines "child safety alert system" as a device located at the  
            interior rear of a vehicle that requires the driver to  
            manually contact the device before exiting the vehicle,  
            thereby prompting the driver to inspect the entirety of the  
            interior of the vehicle before exiting.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee: 


          1)Proposition 98/General Fund (GF) cost pressures, potentially  
            in excess of $1 million, for local education agencies (LEAs)  
            to modify transportation plans, report information to the DMV,  
            maintain specified documents for two years and install child  
            alert systems.  These costs are not reimbursable since state  
            law does not require school districts to provide  
            transportation on school buses. 


          2)Minor GF costs to the California Department of Education (CDE)  








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            to modify bus driver training programs to include instruction  
            on inspection procedures that ensure a student is not left  
            unattended.


          3)Minor/absorbable costs for the CHP to adopt regulations  
            regarding child safety alert systems, and to incorporate  
            requirements into school bus inspections.


          4)Minor/absorbable costs for the DMV to account for an  
            additional circumstance that would result in the refusal to  
            issue or renew a bus driver certificate, or the revocation or  
            suspension of that certificate. 


          COMMENTS:  According to the author, there have been at least  
          eight instances of children being left alone and unsupervised on  
          schoolbuses for hours at a time in California.  In one  
          particular incident in 2015, a 19 year-old special-needs pupil  
          passed away after being left alone on a hot schoolbus for  
          several hours at the end of a home-to-school trip in Whittier.


          The author states that this bill would protect children getting  
          to and from school by establishing safe pupil transportation  
          procedures to help prevent children from being left on school  
          buses unattended.  These procedures include the installation of  
          child safety alert systems on vehicles that transport children.


          These systems tie directly into the vehicles electrical and  
          computer systems to trigger the alert system of the vehicle when  
          the ignition is disengaged.  The driver of the vehicle must then  
          walk to the back of the bus to manually disarm the alert  
          prompting the driver to check the vehicle for children.   
          According to the author, the Los Angeles Unified School District  
          installed these systems on its fleet of 1,300 schoolbuses at a  
          cost of $194,000, or approximately $150 per bus.  The costs of  








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          these systems vary based on the vendor and the complexity of the  
          system and the electrical and computer systems of the vehicles  
          in which they are installed.  Similar alert systems are required  
          in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin.


          In addition to the alert system requirement, this bill adds  
          leaving a pupil unattended on a bus to the causes for which DMV  
          may refuse to issue or may revoke a schoolbus or SPAB driver  
          certificate.  In order to be issued a bus driver certificate, a  
          driver must hold a driver's license and pass a medical exam,  
          submit fingerprints, pass a first-aid exam, meet with the CHP  
          bus coordinator, and take an on-road driving exam.  Currently,  
          that certificate can be revoked on grounds such as a violent  
          felony conviction or a sex offense.  Under this bill, a school  
          district would be required to report when a driver leaves a  
          pupil unattended on a bus to DMV.


          This bill would also require school districts to include  
          procedures for school personnel to follow to ensure that a pupil  
          is not left unattended on a bus in the district's transportation  
          safety plan required under current law.


          Please see the policy committee analysis for full discussion of  
                          this bill.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Justin Behrens / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093  FN:  
          0004637













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