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AB-1311 Vehicles: automated speed enforcement systems.(2011-2012)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  April 14, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 31, 2011


Assembly Bill
No. 1311

Introduced  by  Assembly Member Miller

February 18, 2011

An act to amend Sections 21455.6, 40518, and 40520 Section 21455.6 of, and to add Section 22368 to, the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


AB 1311, as amended, Miller. Vehicles: automated speed enforcement systems.
Existing law does not expressly authorize the use of photo radar from an automated enforcement system for speed enforcement purposes by any jurisdiction.
This bill would authorize a local authority to establish participate in a local traffic safety program utilizing that studies the feasibility of using an automated speed enforcement system for speed enforcement only in areas designated as school zones, if specified conditions are met.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) A school zone refers to the area described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 22352 of the Vehicle Code on streets near a school or near a crosswalk leading to a school that has a likely presence of schoolchildren or younger pedestrians. School zones generally have a reduced speed limit during certain hours in order to protect children and younger pedestrians.
(b) Safety in school zones is critical to the safety of young children, and it is the intent of the Legislature to vigilantly enforce speed limits applicable in school zones to protect this vulnerable population. Traffic speed enforcement is critical to law enforcement agencies’ efforts to reduce factors that contribute to traffic collisions and collisions involving pedestrians.
(c) Law enforcement and local agencies employ a variety of methods to reduce speeding, including, but not limited to, engineering, education, and enforcement. Additional tools, including the use of automated enforcement systems, are available to assist law enforcement in addressing excessive speeding and speed-related accidents. Automated speed enforcement offers a high rate of detection, and, in conjunction with education, engineering, and law enforcement measures, it can significantly improve traffic safety.
(d) Several automated enforcement programs implemented in other cities and states have proven successful in reducing speeding and addressing traffic safety concerns. These programs have also given policymakers the opportunity to assess which programs have operated appropriately and successfully. The automated speed enforcement programs that this act authorizes are limited to school zones.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21455.6 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

 (a) A city council or county board of supervisors shall conduct a public hearing on the proposed use of an automated traffic enforcement system authorized under Section 21455.5 prior to authorizing the city or county to enter into a contract for the use of the system.
(b) (1) The activities listed in subdivision (c) of Section 21455.5 that relate to the operation of an automated traffic enforcement system may be contracted out by the city or county, except that the activities listed in paragraph (1) of, and subparagraphs (A), (D), (E), or (F) of paragraph (2) of, subdivision (c) of Section 21455.5 may not be contracted out to the manufacturer or supplier of the automated traffic enforcement system.
(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to a contract that was entered into by a city or county and a manufacturer or supplier of automated traffic enforcement equipment before January 1, 2004, unless that contract is renewed, extended, or amended on or after January 1, 2004.
(c) Except as authorized pursuant to Section 22368, the authorization in Section 21455.5 to use automated traffic enforcement systems does not authorize the use of photo radar for speed enforcement purposes by any jurisdiction.

SEC. 3.

 Section 22368 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

 A local authority may participate in a local traffic safety program that studies the feasibility of using an automated speed enforcement, system for speed enforcement only in areas designated as school zones.

SEC. 3.Section 22368 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

(a)As used in this section, “automated speed enforcement system” or “ASE system” means a fixed or a mobile photo enforcement system operated by a law enforcement agency that utilizes automated equipment to detect a violation of speeding laws and is designed to obtain a clear photograph of a vehicle’s license plate.

(b)A local authority may establish a program utilizing an ASE system for speed enforcement in school zones, provided the system satisfies the following requirements:

(1)Identifies clearly the presence of the fixed or mobile ASE system by signs that are visible to traffic entering the roadway in the direction in which the ASE system is utilized.

(2)For mobile systems, identifies, with distinctive markings, the vehicle containing the mobile automated speed enforcement equipment.

(3)Provides notice to drivers that a photographic record may be taken when the driver passes the vehicle containing the mobile ASE system.

(c)Prior to enforcing speed and traffic laws utilizing an ASE system, a local authority shall do both of the following:

(1)Make a public announcement about the system, that includes public information regarding the hazards of excessive speed in school zones, at least 30 days following the installation of the signs placed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).

(2)Issue only warning notices for the first 30 days of enforcement under the program.

(d)A local authority with the oversight of a local law enforcement agency may operate an ASE system pursuant to this section. As used in this subdivision, “operate” includes all of the following activities:

(1)Develop uniform guidelines for all of the following:

(A)The selection of school zones where the system will be utilized.

(B)The screening and issuing of citations.

(C)The processing and storage of confidential information.

(D)The establishment of procedures to ensure compliance with the guidelines.

(2)Perform administrative and day-to-day functions, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A)Certify that the equipment is properly installed and calibrated and is operating properly so that, at a minimum, the radar or other electronic device used to measure the speed of the accused meets or exceeds the minimum operational standards and has been calibrated within three years prior to the date of the alleged violation by an independent certified repair and testing or calibration facility.

(B)Ensure that the equipment is regularly inspected.

(C) Regularly inspect and maintain warning signs placed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).

(D)Maintain controls necessary to ensure that only those citations that have been reviewed and approved by law enforcement are issued.

(E)Citations issued pursuant to this section shall include a clear photo of the license plate of the vehicle and a description of the alleged violation, including the time when the alleged violation occurred. A separate document that contains both a brief, basic explanation of California speed laws, including references, and an explanation that the driver has a right to appeal the violation shall accompany the citation.

(e)(1) Notwithstanding Section 6253 of the Government Code, or any other law, photographic records made by an ASE system shall be confidential, and shall be made available only to governmental agencies and law enforcement agencies and only for the purposes of enforcing the requirements of this section.

(2)Confidential information obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles for the administration or enforcement of this section shall be held confidential and shall not be used for any other purpose.

(3)Except for court records described in Section 68152 of the Government Code, the confidential records and information described in paragraphs (1) and (2) may be retained for up to six months from the date the information was first obtained, or until final disposition of the citation, whichever date is later. As soon as feasible, after that time, the information shall be destroyed in a manner that will preserve the confidentiality of the person included in the record or information.

(f)The registered owner or an individual identified by the registered owner as the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation shall be permitted to review the photographic evidence establishing the alleged violation.

(g)A contract between a local authority and a manufacturer or supplier of photo enforcement equipment shall allow the local authority to purchase or lease materials and equipment and contract for processing services from a manufacturer or supplier based on either or both the services rendered or on a transactional basis, but only the local authority shall control enforcement activities and only designated peace officers of the local authority may authorize citations for issuance.

SEC. 4.Section 40518 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

(a)Whenever a written notice to appear has been issued by a peace officer or by a qualified employee of a law enforcement agency on a form approved by the Judicial Council for an alleged violation of Section 22451, or, based on an alleged violation of Section 21453, 21455, or 22101 recorded by an automated traffic enforcement system pursuant to Section 21455.5 or 22451, or, based on an alleged violation of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 22352 recorded by an automated speed enforcement system pursuant to Section 22368, and delivered by mail within 15 days of the alleged violation to the current address of the registered owner of the vehicle on file with the department, with a certificate of mailing obtained as evidence of service, an exact and legible duplicate copy of the notice when filed with the magistrate shall constitute a complaint to which the defendant may enter a plea. Preparation and delivery of a notice to appear pursuant to this section is not an arrest.

(b)A notice to appear shall contain the name and address of the person, the license plate number of the person’s vehicle, the violation charged, including a description of the offense, and the time and place when, and where, the person may appear in court or before a person authorized to receive a deposit of bail. The time specified shall be at least 10 days after the notice to appear is delivered.

SEC. 5.Section 40520 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

(a)A notice to appear issued pursuant to Section 40518 for an alleged violation recorded by an automatic traffic enforcement system or an automated speed enforcement system shall contain, or be accompanied by, an affidavit of nonliability and information as to what constitutes nonliability, information as to the effect of executing the affidavit, and instructions for returning the affidavit to the issuing agency.

(b)(1)If a notice to appear is sent to a car rental or leasing company, as the registered owner of the vehicle, the company may return the notice of nonliability pursuant to paragraph (2), if the violation occurred when the vehicle was either leased or rented and operated by a person other than an employee of the rental or leasing company.

(2)If the affidavit of nonliability is returned to the issuing agency by the registered owner within 30 days of the mailing of the notice to appear together with the proof of a written rental agreement or lease between a bona fide renting or leasing company and its customer and that agreement identifies the renter or lessee and provides the driver’s license number, name, and address of the renter or lessee, the agency shall cancel the notice for the registered owner to appear and shall, instead, issue a notice to appear to the renter or lessee identified in the affidavit of nonliability.

(c)Nothing in this section precludes an issuing agency from establishing a procedure whereby registered owners, other than bona fide renting and leasing companies, may execute an affidavit of nonliability if the registered owner identifies the person who was the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation and whereby the issuing agency issues a notice to appear to that person.