BILL NUMBER: AB 1500 CHAPTERED BILL TEXT CHAPTER 37 FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE JULY 6, 2010 APPROVED BY GOVERNOR JULY 6, 2010 PASSED THE SENATE JUNE 17, 2010 PASSED THE ASSEMBLY JUNE 21, 2010 AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 26, 2010 AMENDED IN SENATE JULY 14, 2009 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 2, 2009 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 29, 2009 INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Lieu FEBRUARY 27, 2009 An act to amend Section 21655.9 of, to amend and repeal Section 40000.13 of, and to add and repeal Section 5205.5 of, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST AB 1500, Lieu. High-occupancy lanes: single occupancy vehicles: sunset date. (1) Existing law authorizes the Department of Transportation to designate certain lanes for the exclusive use of high-occupancy vehicles (HOV), which lanes may also be used, until January 1, 2011, by certain low-emission and hybrid vehicles not carrying the requisite number of passengers otherwise required for the use of an HOV lane if the vehicle displays a valid identifier issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Existing law, until January 1, 2011, makes it a misdemeanor to illegally use a decal, label, or other identifiers issued by the department. This bill would extend the date, to January 1, 2015, that specified low-emission vehicles can use high-occupancy lanes, the department can issue low-emission decals or other identifiers, and illegal use of a department-issued decal on a low-emission vehicle is considered a misdemeanor, creating 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. Section 5205.5 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read: 5205.5. (a) For the purposes of implementing Section 21655.9, the department shall make available for issuance, for a fee determined by the department to be sufficient to reimburse the department for the actual costs incurred pursuant to this section, distinctive decals, labels, and other identifiers that clearly distinguish the following vehicles from other vehicles: (1) A vehicle that meets California's super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative emission standard, as defined in Part 88 (commencing with Section 88.101-94) of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. (2) A vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model-year or earlier and meets California's ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard. (b) The department shall include a summary of the provisions of this section on each motor vehicle registration renewal notice, or on a separate insert, if space is available and the summary can be included without incurring additional printing or postage costs. (c) The Department of Transportation shall remove individual HOV lanes, or portions of those lanes, during periods of peak congestion from the access provisions provided in subdivision (a), following a finding by the Department of Transportation as follows: (1) The lane, or portion thereof, exceeds a level of service C, as discussed in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the Government Code. (2) The operation or projected operation of the vehicles described in subdivision (a) in these lanes, or portions thereof, will significantly increase congestion. The finding also shall demonstrate the infeasibility of alleviating the congestion by other means, including, but not limited to, reducing the use of the lane by noneligible vehicles, or further increasing vehicle occupancy. (d) The State Air Resources Board shall publish and maintain a listing of all vehicles eligible for participation in the programs described in this section. The board shall provide that listing to the department. (e) For purposes of subdivision (a), the Department of the California Highway Patrol and the department, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, shall design and specify the placement of the decal, label, or other identifier on the vehicle. Each decal, label, or other identifier issued for a vehicle shall display a unique number, and that number shall be printed on, or affixed to, the vehicle registration. (f) If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as the Bay Area Toll Authority, grants toll-free and reduced-rate passage on toll bridges under its jurisdiction to any vehicle pursuant to Section 30102.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, it shall also grant the same toll-free and reduced-rate passage to a vehicle displaying an identifier issued by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a). (g) If the Director of Transportation determines that federal law does not authorize the state to allow vehicles that are identified by distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers on vehicles described in subdivision (a) to use highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy vehicles regardless of vehicle occupancy, the Director of Transportation shall submit a notice of that determination to the Secretary of State. (h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2011. (i) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2015, or only until the date the Secretary of State receives the notice described in subdivision (g), whichever occurs first, and as of that date is repealed. SEC. 2. Section 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read: 21655.9. (a) (1) Whenever the Department of Transportation or a local authority authorizes or permits exclusive or preferential use of highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy vehicles pursuant to Section 21655.5, the use of those lanes or ramps shall also be extended to vehicles that are issued distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5 regardless of vehicle occupancy or ownership. (2) A local authority during periods of peak congestion shall suspend for a lane the access privileges extended pursuant to paragraph (1) for those vehicles issued distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5, if a periodic review of lane performance by that local authority discloses both of the following factors regarding the lane: (A) The lane, or a portion thereof, exceeds a level of service C, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the Government Code. (B) The operation or projected operation of vehicles in the lane, or a portion thereof, will significantly increase congestion. (b) A person shall not drive a vehicle described in subdivision (a) of Section 5205.5 with a single occupant upon a high-occupancy vehicle lane pursuant to this section unless the decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to Section 5205.5 is properly displayed on the vehicle, and the vehicle registration described in Section 5205.5 is with the vehicle. (c) A person shall not operate or own a vehicle displaying a decal, label, or other identifier, as described in Section 5205.5, if that decal, label, or identifier was not issued for that vehicle pursuant to Section 5205.5. A violation of this subdivision is a misdemeanor. (d) If the provisions in Section 5205.5 authorizing the department to issue decals, labels, or other identifiers to hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles are repealed, vehicles displaying those decals, labels, or other identifiers shall not access high-occupancy vehicle lanes without meeting the occupancy requirements otherwise applicable to those lanes. (e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2015, or only until the date that the Secretary of State receives the notice described in Section 5205.5, whichever occurs first, and as of that date is repealed. SEC. 3. Section 40000.13 of the Vehicle Code, as amended by Section 5 of Chapter 614 of the Statutes of 2006, is amended to read: 40000.13. A violation of any of the following provisions is a misdemeanor, and not an infraction: (a) Section 16560, relating to interstate highway carriers. (b) Sections 20002 and 20003, relating to duties at accidents. (c) Section 21200.5, relating to riding a bicycle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug. (d) Section 21651, subdivision (b), relating to wrong-way driving on divided highways. (e) Section 22520.5, a second or subsequent conviction of an offense relating to vending on or near freeways. (f) Section 22520.6, a second or subsequent conviction of an offense relating to roadside rest areas and vista points. SEC. 4. Section 40000.13 of the Vehicle Code, as amended by Section 6 of Chapter 614 of the Statutes of 2006, is repealed. SEC. 5. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B 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 XIII B of the California Constitution.