Amended in Senate August 19, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 3, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1662


Introduced by Assembly Member Chau

January 13, 2016


An act to add Part 6.5 (commencing with Section 24455) to Division 9 of the Public Utilities Code, relating to aviation.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1662, as amended, Chau. Unmanned aircraft systems: accident reporting.

Existing federal law, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, provides for the integration of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones, into the national airspace system. Existing federal law requires the operator of an unmanned aircraft system to immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board office when, among other things, an aircraft accident, as defined, or certain serious incidents occur. Those notifications are required to include, among other things, the name of the owner of the unmanned aircraft system, the name of the operator of the unmanned aircraft system, the date and time of the accident, and the nature of the accident.

Existing state law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to any person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of any person, to immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and provide certain information and render assistance, as necessary, to the driver and occupants of the other vehicle and provide the specified information to any traffic or police officer at the scene of the accident. A person who violates this requirement is guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony. Existing law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, to immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists and provide certain information to the owner or person in charge of the damaged property or place that information in a conspicuous place on the damaged property. A person who violates this requirement is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This bill wouldbegin delete requireend deletebegin insert require, except as specified,end insert the operator of any unmanned aircraft system involved in an accident resulting in injury to an individual or damage to property to immediately land the unmanned aircraft at the nearest location that will not jeopardize the safety of others and provide certain information to the injured individual or the owner or person in charge of the damaged property or place that information in a conspicuous place on the damaged property. The bill would make a person who violates these provisions guilty ofbegin insert an infraction orend insert abegin delete misdemeanor.end deletebegin insert misdemeanor, as specified.end insert By creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

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.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Part 6.5 (commencing with Section 24455) is
2added to Division 9 of the Public Utilities Code, to read:

3 

4PART 6.5.  Unmanned Aircraft Systems

5

 

6

24455.  

(a) The operator of any unmanned aircraft system
7involved in an accident resulting in injury to an individual or
8damage to property shall immediately land the unmanned aircraft
9at the nearest location that will not jeopardize the safety of others.
P3    1Moving the unmanned aircraft in accordance with this subdivision
2does not affect the question of fault. The operator shall also
3immediately do one of the following:

4(1) Present his or her valid identification, if he or she has that
5identification, and his or her name and current residence address
6to the injured individual. For purposes of this section, “valid
7identification” includes, but is not limited to, a driver’s license, a
8state-issued identification card, or a passport.

9(2) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that
10property of the name and address of the operator of the unmanned
11aircraft system involved and, upon locating the owner or person
12in charge of the damaged property and being requested to do so,
13present his or her valid identification, if he or she has that
14identification, and his or her name and current residence address
15to the other property owner or person in charge of the damaged
16property.

17(3) Leave in a conspicuous place on the damaged property a
18written notice giving the name and address of the operator of the
19unmanned aircraft system involved and a statement of the
20circumstances of the accident and, without unnecessary delay,
21notify the police department of the city where the damage occurred
22or, if the damage occurred in unincorporated territory, the local
23headquarters of the sheriff’s department of the county where the
24 damage occurred.

begin insert

25
(b) The operator shall also provide the name and address of
26his or her employer or his or her place of business if he or she is
27the commercial operator of the unmanned aircraft system in the
28same manner as specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of
29subdivision (a).

end insert
begin delete

30(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), a

end delete

31begin insert(c)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertAend insert person who fails to comply with the requirements of this
32section is guilty ofbegin insert an infraction punishable by a fine of not more
33thaend insert
begin insertn two hundred fifty dollars ($250), orend insert a misdemeanor,
34punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six
35months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000),
36or by both that imprisonment and fine.

begin delete

37(c) This section does not apply to either of the following:

end delete
begin delete

38(1)  A

end delete

39begin insert(d)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertAend insert law enforcement officer, or an employee of a police
40department, fire department, fire protection district, or other law
P4    1enforcement agency, operating an unmanned aircraft system within
2the scope of his or herbegin delete employment.end deletebegin insert employment shall comply with
3this section unless landing the aircraft would interfere with the
4officer’s or employee’s duties or would put individuals at risk of
5further injury or property at risk of further damage.end insert

6(2) A person operating an unmanned aircraft system begin delete pursuant
7to the specific authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration
8if the person operates the unmanned aircraft system in accordance
9 with the terms and conditions of that authorization.end delete
begin insert as part of an
10organized sport, league, or clubend insert
begin insert shall comply with this section
11only if the accident results in one or more of the following:end insert

begin insert

12
(A) Injury to an individual.

end insert
begin insert

13
(B) Damage to property that was not operated for purposes of
14the organized sport, league, or club.

end insert
begin insert

15
(C) Damage to property that was not owned or controlled by a
16participant or organizer of the sport, league, or club.

end insert
begin delete

17(d)

end delete
begin insert

18
(3) A person operating an unmanned aircraft system pursuant
19to a current exemption, Certificate of Waiver, or authorization
20issued pursuant to Section 333 or 334 of the FAA Modernization
21and Reform Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-95 (Feb. 12, 2014) 126
22Stat. 11, 75-76.), or other commercial operator authorization
23granted by the Federal Aviation Administration, shall comply with
24this section, unless the notification prescribed in this section is
25expressly preempted by federal law or regulation.

end insert

26begin insert(end insertbegin inserte)end insert For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

27(1) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated
28without the possibility of direct human intervention from within
29or on the aircraft.

30(2) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft
31and associated elements, including, but not limited to,
32communication links and the components that control the
33unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to
34operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

35

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
36Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
37the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
38district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
39infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
40for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
P5    1the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
2the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
3Constitution.



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