BILL NUMBER: AB 531 CHAPTERED BILL TEXT CHAPTER 583 FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE SEPTEMBER 30, 1999 APPROVED BY GOVERNOR SEPTEMBER 28, 1999 PASSED THE SENATE SEPTEMBER 9, 1999 PASSED THE ASSEMBLY SEPTEMBER 9, 1999 AMENDED IN SENATE SEPTEMBER 9, 1999 AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 31, 1999 AMENDED IN SENATE AUGUST 16, 1999 AMENDED IN SENATE JULY 15, 1999 INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Soto (Coauthor: Assembly Member Correa) FEBRUARY 18, 1999 An act to amend Section 13651 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to service stations. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 531, Soto. Service stations. (1) Existing law requires every service station in this state to provide, during operating hours, water, compressed air, and a gauge for measuring air pressure, to the public for use in servicing any passenger or commercial vehicle, as defined. Existing law provides that the failure of an owner or manager of a service station to have adequate water and air facilities for use by the public for 5 consecutive working days constitutes a rebuttable presumption that the owner or manager has intentionally violated these provisions. An intentional violation of these provisions is an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $50 per day. This bill would require that these air and water services be made available at no cost to customers who purchase motor vehicle fuel, as defined. The bill would require service stations to place and maintain a specified sign regarding these services. The bill would create a specified enforcement system by which consumers may report complaints via a toll-free customer complaint telephone number to the Division of Measurement Standards. The bill would provide that upon inspection, or upon notice of a complaint, employees of the division would be empowered to investigate complaints and issue citations, punishable by a fine of $250 per valid complaint, unless the citation is challenged in court. The issuance of a citation would be precluded if the air and water equipment is in good working order upon initial inspection, or if the air and water equipment is repaired to the satisfaction of the inspecting entity within 10 working days of that initial inspection. The bill would also exempt from the issuance of a citation air and water equipment that is the target of repeated vandalism, as specified. This bill would state legislative findings and declarations with regard to free access to air and water services, would require the division to submit a specified report to the Legislature by March 1, 2001. By creating a new crime punishable as an infraction, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. (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. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares that air and water are essential to the safe operation of motor vehicles, and therefore public safety requires that free air and water be accessible at all service stations. SEC. 2. Section 13651 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read: 13651. (a) (1) On and after January 1, 2000, every service station in this state shall provide, during operating hours, and make available at no cost to customers who purchase motor vehicle fuel, water, compressed air, and a gauge for measuring air pressure, to the public for use in servicing any passenger vehicle, as defined in Section 465 of the Vehicle Code, or any commercial vehicle, as defined in Section 260 of the Vehicle Code, with an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less. (2) Every service station in this state shall display, at a conspicuous place on, at, or near the dispensing apparatus, at least one clearly visible sign which shall read as follows: "CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES THIS STATION TO PROVIDE FREE AIR AND WATER FOR AUTOMOTIVE PURPOSES TO ITS CUSTOMERS WHO PURCHASE MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL. IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT NOTIFY THE STATION ATTENDANT AND/OR CALL THIS TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER: 1 (800) ___ ____." This sign shall meet the requirements of Sections 13473 and 13474 with regard to letter size and contrast. As used in this paragraph, automotive purposes does not include the washing of vehicles. (b) (1) On and after January 1, 1990, every service station in this state located within 660 feet of an accessible right-of-way of any interstate or primary highway, as defined in Sections 5215 and 5220, shall provide, during business hours public restrooms for use by its customers. Service stations shall not charge customers separately for the use of restroom facilities. (2) The public restroom shall not be temporary or portable but shall be permanent and shall include separate facilities for men and women, each with toilets and sinks suitable for use by disabled persons in accordance with Section 19955.5 of the Health and Safety Code and Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. However, a service station not located along an interstate highway and in a rural area, as defined by Section 101 of Title 23 of the United States Code, and where the annualized average daily traffic count is 2,500 vehicles or less, is only required to provide a single restroom to be used by both men and women unless the local legislative body or, upon designation by the local legislative body, the local building official, determines and finds, based upon traffic studies and local or seasonal tourist patterns, that a single restroom would be inadequate to serve the public. In that event, the single restroom exemption shall not apply. The single restroom shall contain a toilet, urinal, and sink suitable for use by disabled persons as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act and Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. The single restroom shall be equipped with a locking mechanism to be operated by the user of the restroom and the restroom shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner. (3) This subdivision does not apply to service stations which are operational prior to January 1, 1990, and which would be obligated to construct permanent restroom facilities to comply with this subdivision. (4) For the purposes of this subdivision, "customer" means a person who purchases any product available for sale on the premises of the service station, including items not related to the repairing or servicing of a motor vehicle. (c) Every service station in this state shall display, at a conspicuous place on, at, or near the dispensing apparatus or at or near the point of sale, at least one clearly visible sign showing a list of applicable state and federal fuel taxes per gallon of motor vehicle fuel sold from the dispensing apparatus. (d) (1) The Division of Measurement Standards of the Department of Food and Agriculture shall, no later than January 1, 2001, establish a toll-free customer complaint telephone number. The toll-free telephone number thereby established shall be printed on the sign required pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). (2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, employees of the Division of Measurement Standards, upon inspection, or upon notice of a complaint forwarded pursuant to this section, are empowered to investigate a complaint against a service station for lack of free air and water and issue a citation to the station, and to collect a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per valid complaint, unless the citation is challenged in court. No citation shall be issued if the air and water equipment is in good working order upon initial inspection, or if they are repaired to the satisfaction of the inspecting entity within 10 working days of the initial inspection. In addition, no citation based on nonfunctional air and water equipment shall be issued if the service station can establish that the equipment has been the target of repeated vandalism, substantiated by three or more police reports within six months detailing the vandalism. SEC. 3. The Division of Measurement Standards of the Department of Food and Agriculture shall submit a report on the compliance rate and the enforcement costs of this act to the Legislature by March 1, 2001. SEC. 4. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution.