Today's Law As Amended


PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

SB-168 Unmanned aircraft systems.(2015-2016)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 43.101 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

43.101.
 (a) An emergency responder shall not be liable for any damage to an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system, if the damage was caused while the emergency responder was providing, and the unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system was interfering with, the operation, support, or enabling of the emergency services listed in Section 853 of the Government Code.
(b) (1) For purposes of this section, “emergency responder” means either of the following, if acting within the scope of authority implicitly or expressly provided by a public entity or a public employee to provide emergency services:
(A) A paid or unpaid volunteer.
(B) A private entity.
(2) All of the following terms shall have the same meaning as the terms as used in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 853) of Part 2 of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code:
(A) Public employee.
(B) Public entity.
(C) Unmanned aircraft.
(D) Unmanned aircraft system.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 853) is added to Part 2 of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code, to read:

CHAPTER  4.5. Unmanned Aircraft
853.
 A public entity or public employee shall not be liable for any damage to an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system, if the damage was caused while the public entity or public employee was providing, and the unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system was interfering with, the operation, support, or enabling of any of the following emergency services:
(a) Emergency medical services or ambulance transport services, including, but not limited to, air ambulance services.
(b) Firefighting or firefighting-related services, including, but not limited to, air services related to firefighting or firefighting-related services.
(c) Search and rescue services, including, but not limited to, air search and rescue services.
853.5.
 The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:
(a) “Unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
(b) “Unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft and associated elements, including, but not limited to, communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

SEC. 3.

 Section 402.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

402.5.
 (a) It is unlawful to knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly operate an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system in a manner that prevents or delays the extinguishment of a fire, or in any way interferes with the efforts of firefighters to control, contain, or extinguish a fire, including, but not limited to, efforts to control, contain, or extinguish the fire from the air. A violation of this section is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed six months, by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(b) (1) For purposes of this section, “unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.
(2) For purposes of this section, “unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft and associated elements, including, but not limited to, communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft that are required for the individual in command to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.
(3) For purposes of this section, “recklessly” means a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his or her act will prevent or delay the extinguishment of a fire, or in any way interfere with the efforts of firefighters to control, contain, or extinguish a fire, including, but not limited to, efforts to control, contain, or extinguish the fire from the air. The risk shall be of such nature and degree that disregard of that risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but is unaware of that risk solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly for purposes of this section.
SEC. 4.
 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.
SEC. 5.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
To address the interference of unmanned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems with efforts to fight fires and to keep fires from raging out of control during this historic drought, and to protect public and private emergency responders who are providing specific critical emergency services from potential civil liability relating to the new and increasing proliferation of unmanned aircraft systems that disrupt the provision of those emergency services, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.