BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                       SB 1345|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
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                                UNFINISHED BUSINESS 

          Bill No:  SB 1345
          Author:   Berryhill (R), et al.
          Amended:  6/20/16  
          Vote:     21 

           SENATE TRANS. & HOUSING COMMITTEE:  9-2, 4/19/16
           AYES:  Beall, Cannella, Bates, Gaines, Galgiani, McGuire,  
            Mendoza, Roth, Wieckowski
           NOES:  Allen, Leyva


           SENATE FLOOR:  25-7, 5/23/16
           AYES:  Anderson, Bates, Beall, Berryhill, Block, Cannella,  
            Fuller, Gaines, Galgiani, Glazer, Hall, Hernandez, Hertzberg,  
            Hill, Huff, McGuire, Mendoza, Moorlach, Morrell, Nguyen,  
            Nielsen, Pan, Roth, Stone, Vidak
           NOES:  Allen, Hancock, Jackson, Leno, Leyva, Liu, Pavley
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  De León, Hueso, Lara, Mitchell, Monning,  
            Runner, Wieckowski, Wolk

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  78-0, 8/11/16 (Consent) - See last page for  
           SUBJECT:   Vehicles:  off-highway vehicle recreation:  County  
                     of Inyo

          SOURCE:    Author

          DIGEST:  This bill extends the sunset on Inyo Countys authority  
          to designate road segments greater than three miles in length  
          for combined use by cars and off-highway motor vehicles.


                                                                    SB 1345  
                                                                     Page 2

          Assembly Amendments clarify the limit on adjacent combined-use  
          segments so that contiguous segments are allowable under  
          specific circumstances.



          Existing law: 

          1)Prohibits, generally, an off-highway motor vehicle (OHV) from  
            being driven upon any public highway or street, except to  
            cross a highway under certain circumstances, or when a highway  
            is closed due to snow.  

          2)Allows a local authority, the federal government, or the  
            Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to permit "combined  
            use" by OHVs and motor vehicles on road segments under its  
            jurisdiction of up to three miles in length for the purpose of  
            connecting OHV trails or connecting OHV trails with services,  
            provided that:

             a)   The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reviews the proposed  
               segment and does not find that the designation would create  
               a potential traffic safety hazard. 

             b)   The entity with jurisdiction over the road segment  
               erects signs approved by the California Department of  
               Transportation indicating that combined use is permitted. 

          1)Requires drivers of OHVs that are operated on combined-use  
            road segments to comply with all provisions of the California  
            Vehicle Code, including possessing a valid driver's license,  
            obeying speed laws, possessing evidence of insurance, and  
            wearing a helmet while on a motorcycle.  

          2)Prohibits the operation of OHVs on roads after dark. 

          3)Authorizes Inyo County to permit combined use on road segments  
            within its jurisdiction of up to 10 miles in length.  This  


                                                                    SB 1345  
                                                                     Page 3

            authority is granted on a pilot basis with a sunset date of  
            January 1, 2017.  In designing the program, the County must:

             a)   Develop procedures for selecting and removing  
               combined-use designations from road segments

             b)   Establish uniform signage for combined-use road segments  
               to control OHV traffic and advise pedestrians and regular  
               traffic that OHVs may be present

             c)   Require OHVs to comply with the same state and federal  
               safety laws that apply to OHV drivers on traditional  
               combined-use road segments under three miles in length

             d)   Prohibit OHVs from exceeding 35 miles per hour on  
               combined-use segments

             e)   Provide an opportunity for public comment at a hearing  
               to evaluate the pilot project

             f)   Agree to defend and indemnify the state against claims  
               for any safety-related losses or injuries arising from  
               combined use

             g)   Not approve a road segment for combined use if the CHP  
               finds that doing so would create a potential traffic safety  

          1)Requires Inyo County, by January 1, 2016, to submit a report  
            to the Legislature that:

             a)   Describes the road segments designated for combined use  
               under the program

             b)   Evaluates the effect of the pilot program on safety,  
               traffic flow, off-highway vehicle usage on existing trails,  
               incursions into areas not designated for off-highway  
               vehicle usage, and non-motorized recreation

             c)   Describes the public comments received in the public  


                                                                    SB 1345  
                                                                     Page 4

          This bill:

            1)  Extends Inyo County's authority to implement the pilot  
              program until January 1, 2020

            2)  Requires Inyo County to submit an additional report to the  
              Legislature, subject to the same requirements of the  
              original report, by January 1, 2019

            3)  Specifies that each combined-use segment that connects a  
              service to a park or trail cannot exceed 10 miles

            4)  Limits contiguous combined-use segments by capping the  
              number of shared start points and shared end points in a  
              chain of combined-use segments

            1)  Purpose.  According to the author, this bill supports Inyo  
              County in better regulating, managing, and analyzing its OHV  
              trail system by extending the existing combined-use pilot  
              program.  The author states that Inyo County has unique  
              circumstances that warrant the pilot project, as less than  
              2% of its 10,000 square miles is privately owned and many of  
              its nearly 18,000 residents use OHVs as a common mode of  
              transportation.  In addition, the author notes that tourism  
              is the largest contributor to the county's economy, and  
              expects that this project will help visitors use OHVs  
              responsibly.  The author explains that the bill will affect  
              roughly graded gravel roads in an unincorporated area of the  
              county, and notes that these roads also play an important  
              role in staging OHVs.  By allowing staging to occur in  
              parking lots closer to town, the author argues that this  
              bill could spare narrow forest trails from being disturbed  
              by trucks and trailers unloading OHVs.  The author also  
              notes that the report on the Inyo County pilot program  
              indicated that additional time and designated routes are  
              needed to fully evaluate this change in public policy, and  
              that preliminary evaluation did not suggest any detrimental  
              results (e.g., deaths, injuries, public safety complaints,  
              etc.) of the pilot program to date.


                                                                    SB 1345  
                                                                     Page 5

            2)  What's covered.  OHVs encompass a variety of vehicle  
              types, including motorcycles, snowmobiles, sand buggies,  
              dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), Jeeps, and  
              recreational utility vehicles (also known as utility terrain  
              vehicles or side-by-sides) that are intended to be operated  
              or used exclusively off the highways.  They are therefore  
              not subject to the same registration and safety equipment  
              requirements as vehicles that are routinely used on public  

            3)  No new trails.  This bill concerns the operation of OHVs  
              on roads used by regular traffic.  It does not establish any  
              new trails or OHV recreation areas.

            4)  Legislative history.  In 2010, the Governor vetoed a bill  
              (AB 2338, Conway) that would have allowed Inyo County to  
              permit combined use on road segments longer than three  
              miles, citing concerns about state liability in the event of  
              an accident.  The following year, the Legislature passed and  
              the Governor signed AB 628 (Conway, Chapter 532, Statutes of  
              2011), which allowed Inyo County to designate road segments  
              up to 10 miles in length for combined use on a pilot basis,  
              and subject to several conditions.  The bill addressed the  
              liability issue by (a) prohibiting Inyo County from  
              designating a road for combined use if the CHP finds that  
              the designation would create a potential safety hazard, and  
              (b) requiring the County to indemnify the state against  
              claims in the event of an accident on a combined-use  

            5)  Implementation delays.  The pilot program was initially  
              controversial in Inyo County, and the Board of Supervisors  
              did not approve any routes until January 2015.  At that  
              point, it authorized seven combined-use segments totaling 44  
              miles in length.  Shortly thereafter, the Center for  
              Biological Diversity and Public Employees for Environmental  
              Responsibility sued the County, arguing that the  
              environmental impact report for the project was inadequate.   
              The suit was settled in May 2015.  Four of the seven  
              approved routes have still not been opened due to ambiguity  
              regarding the County's authority to maintain roads when the  
              underlying land is owned by another party.  The County is  


                                                                    SB 1345  
                                                                     Page 6

              currently working with the U.S. Forest Service to resolve  
              this issue, and the remaining three routes were opened  
              between July 14 and August 5, 2015.  

            6)  Safety concerns.  While many states allow OHVs to be  
              operated on public roads under some circumstances, opponents  
              of this bill argue that these vehicles cannot safely share  
              the road with regular traffic because they are not equipped  
              with the safety features required in traditional cars (e.g.,  
              airbags).  As such, OHVs may leave occupants extremely  
              vulnerable in on-road accidents. Additionally, the U.S.  
              Consumer Products Safety Commission, ATV manufacturers, and  
              ATV safety organizations agree that ATVs in particular are  
              not designed to operate on paved roads and can only be  
              operated safely in an off-road setting.  This is due in part  
              to specific features of vehicle design that make some  
              maneuvers, such as turning, difficult on pavement.  These  
              concerns do not apply equally to all OHVs:  Some are  
              inherently more stable and protective of occupants than  
              others, and may even have been designed for on-road use.   
              However, this bill does not make any distinctions between  
              types of OHVs that are allowed on combined-use roads.  

            7)  Regulated use versus increasing use.  Supporters of this  
              bill argue that making it easier for OHV users to legally  
              access trails and services makes it less likely that these  
              individuals will access trails and services illegally, in  
              ways that are more likely to damage the environment or  
              threaten public safety.  Opponents point out that increasing  
              the convenience of OHV recreation may attract additional OHV  
              users to the existing trail system, resulting in greater  
              damage to the environment and potential for injury.  

            8)  What do the data show?  With respect to safety, OHV use of  
              existing trails, OHV incursions into areas not designated  
              for their use, and impact of OHVs on non-motorized  
              recreation, neither Inyo County staff nor the Bureau of Land  
              Management (BLM), which manages the affected OHV trails, has  
              observed any changes since the combined-use segments were  
              opened.  However, Inyo County submitted its report on the  
              pilot program on December 15, 2015, less than six months  
              after the opening of the three combined-use routes currently  


                                                                    SB 1345  
                                                                     Page 7

              authorized under the program.  Supporters of this  
              legislation argue that extending the sunset is necessary to  
              obtain a more complete picture of the effect of longer  
              combined-use segments on traffic safety, the behavior of OHV  
              drivers, and the experiences of other recreationalists.  

            9)  Gauging change.  The December 2015 report on the Inyo  
              County pilot program notes that the BLM, which manages the  
              OHV trails at the end of all three currently open  
              combined-use roads, is tracking use of these areas with  
              grant funds that did not become available until this year.   
              Because there is no data on OHV use of these areas prior to  
              the implementation of the pilot program, it will not be  
              possible to determine whether OHV use increased once the  
              program was initiated.  This example illustrates the  
              difficulty of drawing meaningful conclusions about how this  
              type of policy affects OHV user behavior, since the OHV  
              trails that are linked via combined-use roads are likely not  
              to be the subject of robust monitoring, and in many cases  
              are not under the jurisdiction of the state.  

            10) Contiguous segments.  Existing law defines a combined-use  
              segment as a stretch of road connecting an OHV park or trail  
              to an OHV service (e.g., motels, campgrounds) and limits  
              each segment to 10 miles in length.  It does not explicitly  
              limit contiguous 10-mile segments, however, and Inyo County  
              has approved several adjacent segments under existing law.   
              Supporters of this bill argue that contiguous segments are  
              within the scope of existing law, since a single OHV  
              trailhead may be within 10 miles of services that are  
              located in two different locations.  Opponents of the bill  
              argue that such "daisy-chaining" of segments is not  
              consistent with the intent of existing law because it  
              results in stretches of combined-use road greater than 10  
              miles in length.  Amendments taken in the Assembly  
              Transportation Committee allow two combined-use road  
              segments to share a common starting point or ending point as  
              long as the resulting network does not include more than  
              three distinct locations of shared starting or ending  
              points.  These amendments are intended to impose some limits  
              on adjacent combined-use segments while still supporting the  
              public purpose of connecting OHV trails and parks with  


                                                                    SB 1345  
                                                                     Page 8

              services.  They also preserve the legality of the existing  
              network of approved segments.

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

          According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, this bill  
          will result in minor absorbable costs in 2018-19 for the CHP,  
          Caltrans, and DPR to assist the County with its evaluation of  
          the pilot project.

          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/11/16)

          Inyo County Board of Supervisors
          Lassen County
          Rural County Representatives of California
          Sierra County Board of Supervisors
          2 individuals 

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/11/16)

          Center for Biological Diversity
          Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation
          Sierra Club California
          9 individuals

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  78-0, 8/11/16
           AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Travis Allen, Arambula, Atkins, Baker,  
            Bigelow, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brough, Brown, Burke,  
            Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chávez, Chiu, Chu, Cooley,  
            Cooper, Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Frazier, Beth  
            Gaines, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto,  
            Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Harper,  
            Holden, Irwin, Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Kim, Lackey, Levine,  
            Linder, Lopez, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina,  
            Melendez, Mullin, Nazarian, Obernolte, O'Donnell, Olsen,  
            Patterson, Quirk, Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago,  
            Steinorth, Mark Stone, Thurmond, Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber,  


                                                                    SB 1345  
                                                                     Page 9

            Wilk, Williams, Wood, Rendon
           NO VOTE RECORDED: Roger Hernández, Low

          Prepared by:Sarah Carvill / T. & H. / (916) 651-4121
          8/12/16 13:24:02

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