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SB-719 Department of Transportation: motor vehicle technologies testing.(2015-2016)

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Senate Bill No. 719
CHAPTER 163

An act to add and repeal Section 14107 of the Government Code, relating to transportation.

[ Approved by Governor  August 10, 2015. Filed with Secretary of State  August 10, 2015. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 719, Hernandez. Department of Transportation: motor vehicle technologies testing.
Existing law provides that the Department of Transportation has full possession and control of the state highway system. Existing law requires the department to adopt a balanced, multimodal research and development program, including the research and development of new technologies, and to consult with affected state agencies, including, among others, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, in the performance of those duties.
Existing law establishes rules of the road for the operation of a vehicle on state highways and roads. These rules require motor vehicles being driven outside of a business or residence district in a caravan or motorcade, whether or not towing other vehicles, to be operated so as to allow sufficient space and in no event less than 100 feet between each vehicle or combination of vehicles so as to enable any other vehicle to overtake or pass.
This bill would authorize the department, in coordination with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, to conduct testing of technologies that enable drivers to safely operate motor vehicles with less than 100 feet between each vehicle or combination of vehicles and would exempt motor vehicles participating in this testing from the above-described rule. The bill would require the department to report its findings from the testing to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2017, and would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2018.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 14107 is added to the Government Code, to read:

14107.
 (a) The department, in coordination with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, may conduct testing of technologies that enable drivers to safely operate motor vehicles with less than 100 feet between each vehicle or combination of vehicles.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 21705 of the Vehicle Code or any other provision of law, motor vehicles participating in testing of those technologies pursuant to subdivision (a) may be operated with less than 100 feet between each vehicle or combination of those vehicles.
(c) The department may only use motor vehicles and streets and highways in testing conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) that the Department of the California Highway Patrol authorizes for those uses.
(d) The department shall report its findings from the testing conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) to the Legislature on or before July 1, 2017. The report required by this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.