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AB-1798 Schoolbuses: passenger restraint systems.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 03/14/2018 09:00 PM
AB1798:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 14, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1798


Introduced by Assembly Member Chu

January 09, 2018


An act to add Section 27316.3 to amend Section 27316 of the Vehicle Code, relating to schoolbuses.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1798, as amended, Chu. Schoolbuses: passenger restraint systems.
Existing law requires that schoolbuses manufactured on or after July 1, 2004, or July 1, 2005, depending on vehicle capacity and weight, and purchased or leased for use in California be equipped with a passenger restraint system, as specified, at all designated seating positions, unless specifically prohibited by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A Existing law makes a violation of these provisions is requirements a crime.
This bill would require, no later than January 1, 2028, any schoolbus used for the transportation of any pupil attending a public or private primary or secondary school to be equipped with passenger restraint systems. The bill would authorize the person or entity owning or operating a schoolbus to comply with the passenger safety restraint requirement either through retrofitting existing schoolbuses or purchasing new schoolbuses. require that, on or before July 1, 2035, all schoolbuses in use in California be equipped with a passenger restraint system, as defined. Because a violation of the bill’s requirements would be a 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   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 27316 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

27316.
 (a) Unless specifically prohibited by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, all schoolbuses purchased or leased for use in California shall be equipped at all designated seating positions with a combination pelvic and upper torso passenger restraint system, if the schoolbus is either of the following:
(1) Type 1, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 1201 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, and is manufactured on or after July 1, 2005.
(2) Type 2, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 1201 of Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, and is manufactured on or after July 1, 2004.
(b) For purposes of this section, a “passenger restraint system” means any of the following:
(1) A restraint system that is in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 209, for a type 2 seatbelt assembly, and with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 210, as those standards were in effect on the date the schoolbus was manufactured.
(2) A restraint system certified by the schoolbus manufacturer that is in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222 and incorporates a type 2 lap/shoulder restraint system.
(c) No A person, school district, or organization, with respect to a schoolbus equipped with passenger restraint systems pursuant to this section, may shall not be charged for a violation of this code or any regulation adopted thereunder requiring a passenger to use a passenger restraint system, if a passenger on the schoolbus fails to use or improperly uses the passenger restraint system.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature, in implementing this section, that school pupil transportation providers work to prioritize the allocation of schoolbuses purchased, leased, or contracted for on or after July 1, 2004, for type 2 schoolbuses, or on or after July 1, 2005, for type 1 schoolbuses, to ensure that elementary level schoolbus passengers receive first priority for new schoolbuses whenever feasible.
(e) On or before July 1, 2035, all schoolbuses in use in California shall be equipped with a passenger restraint system.

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.
SECTION 1.

(a)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1)According to the Department of the California Highway Patrol, in 2016, only 54 percent, or 10,710 out of 19,690, of certified schoolbuses in California were equipped with seatbelts.

(2)According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 15,000 lives are saved each year in the United States because drivers and their passengers were wearing seatbelts when they were in accidents.

(3)According to a NHTSA study, between 2003 and 2012, inclusive, 174 schoolage children died in school transportation-related crashes. During that same time period, 89 school transportation-related crashes occurred in which at least one passenger of the school transportation vehicles involved died.

(4)A study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at Columbus Children’s Hospital found that there are an estimated three times as many schoolbus accident-related injuries than previously thought. CIRP found that emergency departments treat approximately 17,000 schoolbus-related injuries annually.

(b)Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to encourage all schoolbuses to be equipped with seatbelts on or before January 1, 2028, in accordance with existing federal regulations, either through retrofitting existing schoolbuses or purchasing new schoolbuses, in order to ensure, within a feasible timeframe, the safety of all students who use schoolbuses.

SEC. 2.Section 27316.3 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
27316.3.

(a)A schoolbus used for the transportation of a pupil attending a public or private primary or secondary school shall on and after January 1, 2028, be equipped with a passenger restraint system for all designated seating positions.

(b)For purposes of this section, a “passenger restraint system” means either of the following:

(1)A restraint system that is in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 209, for a type 2 seatbelt assembly, and with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 210, as those standards were in effect on the date the schoolbus was manufactured.

(2)A restraint system certified by the schoolbus manufacturer that is in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222 and incorporates a type 2 lap/shoulder restraint system.

(c)A person or public or private entity that owns or operates a schoolbus described in subdivision (a) may comply with this section by, before January 1, 2028, doing either of the following:

(1)Retrofitting any noncompliant schoolbus with passenger restraint systems at all designated seating positions.

(2)Replacing any noncompliant schoolbus with a schoolbus equipped with passenger restraint systems at all designated seating positions.

(d)A person, school district, or organization, with respect to a schoolbus equipped with passenger restraint systems in accordance with this section, shall not be charged for a violation of this code or a regulation adopted thereunder requiring a passenger to use a passenger restraint system, if a passenger on the schoolbus fails to use or improperly uses the passenger restraint system.

SEC. 3.

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.