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AB-321 Vehicles: prima facie speed limits: schools.(2007-2008)

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Assembly Bill No. 321
CHAPTER 384

An act to amend Section 22358.4 of the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.

[ Approved by Governor  October 10, 2007. Filed with Secretary of State  October 10, 2007. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 321, Nava. Vehicles: prima facie speed limits: schools.
(1) Existing law establishes a 25 miles per hour prima facie limit when approaching or passing a school building or the grounds thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted up to 500 feet away from the school grounds, with a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign, while children are going to or leaving the school either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit also applies when approaching or passing school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign. A violation of that prima facie limit is an infraction.
Existing law allows a city or county, based on an engineering and traffic survey that the prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour is more than is reasonable or safe, by ordinance or resolution, to determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 20 or 15 miles per hour, whichever is justified as the appropriate speed limit by that survey.
This bill would additionally allow a city or county to establish in a residence district, on a highway with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or slower, a 15 miles per hour prima facie limit when approaching, at a distance of less than 500 feet from, or passing, a school building or the grounds thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 15 miles per hour, while children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit would also apply when approaching, at that same distance, or passing school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with one of those signs.
The bill would provide that a 25 miles per hour prima facie limit in a residence district, on a highway with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or slower, applies, as to those local authorities, when approaching, at a distance of 500 to 1,000 feet from, one of those areas where children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period, that is posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 25 miles per hour.
The bill would require that these prima facie speed limits apply only to highways that meet certain conditions.
The bill would require a city or county that adopts a resolution or ordinance establishing revised prima facie limits to reimburse the Department of Transportation for any costs incurred by that department in implementing the bill.
By authorizing a change in the prima facie limits, the bill would expand the scope of an existing crime, thereby imposing 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 22358.4 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

22358.4.
 (a) (1) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour established by paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 22352 is more than is reasonable or safe, the local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 20 or 15 miles per hour, whichever is justified as the appropriate speed limit by that survey.
(2) An ordinance or resolution adopted under paragraph (1) shall not be effective until appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limit are erected upon the highway and, in the case of a state highway, until the ordinance is approved by the Department of Transportation and the appropriate signs are erected upon the highway.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) or any other provision of law, a local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, determine and declare prima facie speed limits as follows:
(A) A 15 miles per hour prima facie limit in a residence district, on a highway with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or slower, when approaching, at a distance of less than 500 feet from, or passing, a school building or the grounds of a school building, contiguous to a highway and posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 15 miles per hour, while children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching, at a distance of less than 500 feet from, or passing, school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 15 miles per hour.
(B) A 25 miles per hour prima facie limit in a residence district, on a highway with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or slower, when approaching, at a distance of 500 to 1,000 feet from, a school building or the grounds thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 25 miles per hour, while children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching, at a distance of 500 to 1,000 feet from, school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 25 miles per hour.
(2) The prima facie limits established under paragraph (1) apply only to highways that meet all of the following conditions:
(A) A maximum of two traffic lanes.
(B) A maximum posted 30 miles per hour prima facie speed limit immediately prior to and after the school zone.
(3) The prima facie limits established under paragraph (1) apply to all lanes of an affected highway, in both directions of travel.
(4) When determining the need to lower the prima facie speed limit, the local authority shall take the provisions of Section 627 into consideration.
(5) (A) An ordinance or resolution adopted under paragraph (1) shall not be effective until appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limit are erected upon the highway and, in the case of a state highway, until the ordinance is approved by the Department of Transportation and the appropriate signs are erected upon the highway.
(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), school warning signs indicating a speed limit of 15 miles per hour may be placed at a distance up to 500 feet away from school grounds.
(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), school warning signs indicating a speed limit of 25 miles per hour may be placed at any distance between 500 and 1,000 feet away from the school grounds.
(D) A local authority shall reimburse the Department of Transportation for all costs incurred by the department under this subdivision.

SEC. 2.

 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.