BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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          764 (Quirk)

          As Enrolled  September 11, 2015

          2/3 vote

          |ASSEMBLY:  | 78-0 | (May 14,      |SENATE: |40-0  | (September 8,   |
          |           |      |2015)          |        |      |2015)            |
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          |ASSEMBLY:  | 78-0 | (September 9, |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |2015)          |        |      |                 |
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          Original Committee Reference:  B. & P.

          SUMMARY:  Requires the California Building Standards Commission  
          (CBSC), in collaboration with the State Architect and the State  
          Fire Marshall to consider, and update as it deems necessary,  
          standards for the installation of vehicle barriers to protect  
          persons located within, or in or on the property of, buildings  
          or to protect pedestrians from collisions into those buildings  


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          by motor vehicles.  Allows an insurer to consider the  
          installation of a vehicle barrier as a safety measure and  
          provide or offer a discount on the property insurance of a  
          commercial property owner who installs such a vehicle barrier,  
          as specified.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.


          Purpose.  The author is the sponsor of this bill.  According to  
          the author, this bill "seeks to provide awareness of storefront  
          crashes and encourage the use of [vehicle safety barriers] in  
          building design.  A [vehicle barrier] is a vertical pillar or  
          safety device most often made of steel and concrete and is  
          installed in a footing in the ground and placed in a line? to  
          block a vehicle from crossing into a pedestrian, shopping or  
          seating area, or into a building.  Specifically, AB 764 would  
          add [vehicle barrier] installation to this list of  
          considerations in the design of any new commercial property  
          parking lot.  Additionally, it would authorize an insurer to  
          consider these [vehicle barriers] as a safety measure eligible  
          for discounted building insurance rates.  By doing this, AB 764  
          will reduce the number of storefront crashes."

          Background. Vehicle-into-Building Crashes.  According to the  
          Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI), "With 500 people  
          reportedly killed each year by vehicles crashing into retail  
          stores, sidewalk cafes, hair salons and other businesses, low  
          speed barrier crashes have been called 'one of the largest  
          unaddressed safety issues in the country.'"  According to TTI,  
          these accidents occur most frequently when a driver is entering  
          or leaving a parking space perpendicular to a building, and even  
          at relatively low speeds, can cause serious injury or death.   


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          However, TTI notes that simple, preventative measures can  
          protect pedestrians, store employees, and patrons from being  
          injured or killed when the accidents occur.  In recognition of  
          the safety risks posed by errant vehicles and the increasingly  
          important use of protective barriers as a way to prevent or  
          minimize the damages from these types of accidents, the American  
          Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM), an  
          international standards development organization, in conjunction  
          with the researchers at TTI, recently approved a test standard,  
          known as the Test Method for Low Speed Barriers for Errant  
          Vehicles, to set parameters for bollards, barriers, and other  
          devices most often seen protecting storefronts and high-traffic  
          pedestrian areas to help standardize the use of protective  
          barriers.  Prior to the adoption of this standard, there was no  
          objective way to evaluate the effectiveness of vertical pipes,  
          decorative planters, and other devices that could serve to  
          protect a business from damages caused by a  
          vehicle-into-building collision.  

          According to the Storefront Safety Council, more than 60  
          vehicle-into-building crashes occur each day, resulting in over  
          3,650 injuries per year.  Most often, these storefront crashes  
          involve pedal or other driver error, with elderly drivers  
          accounting for nearly half of all storefront crashes.  

          According to the author, while building codes already exist that  
          have design standards to protect gas meters, fire hydrants, and  
          chemical tanks, few localities have established appropriate  
          standards for protection of building occupants.  While many  
          major retailers in the United States already use impact  
          protection devices, other commercial property owners have been  
          slower to recognize the problem or have been awaiting government  
          guidelines on which preventative measures to adopt.  

          California Building Standards.  The California Building  
          Standards Law establishes the CBSC and the process for adopting  


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          state building standards.  Under this process, state agencies  
          propose building standards for building types under their  
          jurisdiction, beginning with a model code developed by a  
          national code-writing entity which the agency proposes  
          amendments to reflect California's needs.  The CBSC must then  
          adopt, modify, or reject those standards.  

          The state agencies involved in the development and proposal of  
          building standards include the following:  1) the Department of  
          Housing and Community Development (for hotels, apartments, and  
          dwellings); 2) the Division of the State Architect (for public  
          schools, community colleges, and accessibility in public  
          accommodations and public housing); 3) the Office of the State  
          Fire Marshal (for life and life safety for hotels, apartments,  
          dwellings, and assembly and high-rise buildings); 4) the Office  
          of Statewide Health Planning and Development (for hospitals and  
          clinics); 5) the Department of Consumer Affairs, and various  
          boards therein (for certain places of business); and 6) the  
          California Department of Public Health (for camps, public  
          swimming pools).  In addition, other state agencies, including  
          the California Energy Commission, the State Lands Commission,  
          and the Department of Water Resources, develop and adopt their  
          own building standards, which are approved by the CBSC.   
          However, not all buildings fall under the general jurisdiction  
          of a relevant state agency.  For example, many commercial  
          occupancies may fall under the jurisdiction of the State Fire  
          Marshall for fire and panic safety standards, and under the  
          Division of State Architects for accessibility standards, but  
          are not part of any state agency's general jurisdiction. 

          The CBSC is responsible for developing building standards for  
          state owned buildings, including University and State College  
          buildings, and for developing green building standards for most  
          buildings except for housing, public schools, and hospitals.   
          The CBSC publishes in Title 24 of the California Code of  
          Regulations the CBC every three years, and its supplements, such  
          as the California Green Building Standards Code, in intervening  


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          years.  The building codes apply to all building occupancies,  
          and related features and equipment throughout the state, and set  
          requirements for structural, mechanical, electrical, and  
          plumbing systems, and require measures for energy conservation,  
          green design, construction and maintenance, fire and life  
          safety, and accessibility.   



          This bill would require the Building Standards Commission to  
          consider standards for installation of vehicle barriers in the  
          design of any new building.

          Local governments have jurisdiction over local commercial  
          buildings and may impose additional building standards.  I  
          believe it would be more prudent to leave the matter of vehicle  
          barrier installation to the building owners and local  

          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Eunie Linden / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301  FN:  


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