Amended in Senate August 29, 2016

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 would require, except as specified, 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 whobegin delete violatesend deletebegin insert knowingly fails to comply withend insert these provisions guilty of an infraction or a misdemeanor, as specified. 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
P3    1damage to property shall immediately land the unmanned aircraft
2at the nearest location that will not jeopardize the safety of others.
3Moving the unmanned aircraft in accordance with this subdivision
4does not affect the question of fault. The operator shall also
5immediately do one of the following:

6(1) Present his or her valid identification, if he or she has that
7identification, and his or her name and current residence address
8to the injured individual. For purposes of this section, “valid
9identification” includes, but is not limited to, a driver’s license, a
10state-issued identification card, or a passport.

11(2) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that
12property of the name and address of the operator of the unmanned
13aircraft system involved and, upon locating the owner or person
14in charge of the damaged property and being requested to do so,
15present his or her valid identification, if he or she has that
16identification, and his or her name and current residence address
17to the other property owner or person in charge of the damaged
18property.

19(3) Leave in a conspicuous place on the damaged property a
20written notice giving the name and address of the operator of the
21unmanned aircraft system involved and a statement of the
22circumstances of the accident and, without unnecessary delay,
23notify the police department of the city where the damage occurred
24or, if the damage occurred in unincorporated territory, the local
25headquarters of the sheriff’s department of the county where the
26 damage occurred.

27(b) The operator shall also provide the name and address of his
28or her employer or his or her place of business if he or she is the
29commercial operator of the unmanned aircraft system in the same
30manner as specified in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subdivision (a).

31(c) A person whobegin insert knowinglyend insert fails to comply with the
32requirements of this section is guilty of an infraction punishable
33by a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), or a
34misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not
35exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand
36dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

37(d) (1) A law enforcement officer, or an employee of a police
38department, fire department, fire protection district, or other law
39enforcement agency, operating an unmanned aircraft system within
40the scope of his or her employment shall comply with this section
P4    1unless landing the aircraft would interfere with the officer’s or
2employee’s duties or would put individuals at risk of further injury
3or property at risk of further damage.

4(2) A person operating an unmanned aircraft system as part of
5an organized sport, league, or club shall comply with this section
6only if the accident results in one or more of the following:

7(A) Injury to an individual.

8(B) Damage to property that was not operated for purposes of
9the organized sport, league, or club.

10(C) Damage to property that was not owned or controlled by a
11participant or organizer of the sport, league, or club.

begin delete

12(3) A person

end delete

13begin insert (e)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertThis section does not apply to a personend insert operating an
14unmanned aircraft system pursuant to a current exemption,
15Certificate of Waiver, or authorization issued pursuant to Section
16333 or 334 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012
17(Public Law 112-95 (Feb. 12, 2014) 126 Stat. 11,begin delete 75-76.),end deletebegin insert 75-76),end insert
18 or other commercial operator authorization grantedbegin delete byend deletebegin insert by, or
19commercial operator rule of,end insert
the Federal Aviation begin delete Administration,
20shall comply with this section, unless the notification prescribed
21in this section is expressly preempted by federal law or regulation.end delete

22
begin insert Administration.end insert

begin delete

23(e)

end delete

24begin insert(f)end insert For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

25(1) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated
26without the possibility of direct human intervention from within
27or on the aircraft.

28(2) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft
29and associated elements, including, but not limited to,
30communication links and the components that control the
31unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to
32operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

begin insert

33
(g) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect, expand,
34alter, or limit any requirements, duties, rights, or remedies under
35other law, including those pertaining to notification of, or liability
36for, accidents involving an unmanned aircraft system.

end insert
37

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
38Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
39the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
40district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
P5    1infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
2for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
3the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
4the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
5Constitution.



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