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AB-623 Autonomous vehicles: accident reporting.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/17/2017 09:00 PM
AB623:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 623


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

February 14, 2017


An act to add Section 38752 to amend Section 16000 of, and to add Section 2407.5 to, the Vehicle Code, relating to autonomous vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 623, as amended, Rodriguez. Autonomous vehicle testing: vehicles: accident reporting.

Existing law authorizes the operation of an autonomous vehicle on public roads for testing purposes by a driver who possesses the proper class of license for the type of vehicle being operated if specified requirements are satisfied. Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations no later than January 1, 2015, setting forth requirements for the submission of evidence of insurance, surety bond, or self-insurance, and for the submission and approval of an application to operate an autonomous vehicle. Under existing law, it is unlawful and constitutes an infraction for any person to violate, or fail to comply with, any provision of the Vehicle Code, unless otherwise specified.

Existing law requires the driver of every motor vehicle who is involved in an accident that results in damage to the property of any one person in excess of $1,000, or in bodily injury, or in the death of a person, to report the accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days after the accident, as specified. Under existing law, it is unlawful and constitutes an infraction for any person to violate, or fail to comply with, any provision of the Vehicle Code, unless otherwise specified.
This bill would also require an accident involving operation of an autonomous vehicle that results in catastrophic bodily injury or the death of a person to be reported to the department within 24 hours of occurrence. The bill would require the department to suspend the approval granted to the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle for 5 business days following the reporting of the accident, during which time the department and other appropriate agencies would be required to review the accident to determine if it was caused by a failure of the autonomous vehicle technology. If it is determined that the accident is caused by technological failure, the bill would authorize the department to revoke the manufacturer’s approval until the manufacturer provides the department and other appropriate agencies with evidence that the safety hazard has been resolved. the operator of an autonomous vehicle who is involved in an accident that results in damage to the property of any one person in excess of $1,000, or in bodily injury, or in the death of a person, to make that report. The bill would require a traffic collision report prepared by a member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or any other peace officer to specify if an autonomous vehicle was involved in the traffic collision in any manner. Because a violation of the bill’s reporting requirement would be an infraction, 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 38752 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
38752.

(a)Notwithstanding any other law, an accident involving operation of an autonomous vehicle that results in catastrophic bodily injury or the death of a person shall be reported to the department within 24 hours of occurrence.

(b)The department shall suspend the approval granted to the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle under Section 38750 for five business days following the reporting of an accident pursuant to subdivision (a). During the five-day period, the department and any other appropriate agency, including, but not limited to, the Department of the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement, shall review the accident to determine if it was caused by a failure of the autonomous vehicle technology.

(c)If it is determined pursuant to subdivision (b) that an accident was caused by technological failure, the department may revoke the manufacturer’s approval until the manufacturer provides the department and other appropriate agencies with evidence that the safety hazard has been resolved.

SECTION 1.

 Section 2407.5 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

2407.5.
 A traffic collision report prepared by a member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or any other peace officer shall specify if an autonomous vehicle was involved in the traffic collision in any manner.

SEC. 2.

 Section 16000 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

16000.
 (a) The driver of a motor vehicle or the operator of an autonomous vehicle who is in any manner involved in an accident originating from the operation of the motor vehicle or autonomous vehicle on a street or highway, or is involved in a reportable off-highway accident, as defined in Section 16000.1, that has resulted in damage to the property of any one person in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or in bodily injury, or in the death of any person shall report the accident, within 10 days after the accident, either personally or through an insurance agent, broker, or legal representative, on a form approved by the department, to the office of the department at Sacramento, subject to this chapter. The driver shall identify on the form, by name and current residence address, if available, any person involved in the accident complaining of bodily injury.
(b) A report is not required under subdivision (a) if the motor vehicle involved in the accident was owned or leased by, or under the direction of, the United States, this state, another state, or a local agency.
(c) If none of the parties involved in an accident has reported the accident to the department under this section within one year following the date of the accident, the department is not required to file a report on the accident and the driver’s license suspension requirements of Section 16004 or 16070 do not apply.
(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2017.

SEC. 2.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.