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SB-909 Emergency vehicles.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/17/2020 04:00 AM

Amended  IN  Senate  March 16, 2020


Senate Bill
No. 909

Introduced by Senator Dodd
(Coauthors: Senators Galgiani and Jones)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Coauthors: Assembly Members Aguiar-Curry and Mathis)

February 03, 2020

An act to amend Section 27002, 27002 of the Vehicle Code, relating to emergency vehicles. vehicles, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


SB 909, as amended, Dodd. Emergency vehicles.
Existing law prohibits any vehicle, other than an authorized emergency vehicle, from being equipped with a siren. Existing law requires an emergency vehicle to be equipped with a siren that meets requirements set forth by the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
Existing regulations of the California Highway Patrol define a “hi-lo” to be a nonsiren sound alternating between a fixed high and a fixed low frequency and require the “hi-lo” function to be disabled on any siren manufactured after January 1, 1978.
This bill would authorize an emergency vehicle to be equipped with a “hi-lo” audible warning sound and would authorize the “hi-lo” to be used solely for the purpose of notifying the public of an immediate need to evacuate.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
Vote: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


 Section 27002 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

 (a) No vehicle, except an authorized emergency vehicle, shall be equipped with, nor shall any person use upon a vehicle any siren except that an authorized emergency vehicle shall be equipped with a siren meeting requirements established by the department.
(b) An emergency vehicle may also be equipped with a Hi-Lo audible warning sound that may only be used for the purposes of notifying the public of an immediate evacuation in case of an emergency.
(c) As used in this section, a “Hi-Lo” is an audible warning sound that alternates between a fixed high and a fixed low frequency. A “Hi-Lo” is not a siren.

SEC. 2.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order for first responders to be prepared to protect the lives of Californians in case of a natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.