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AB-397 Vehicles: emergency contact locator database.(2013-2014)



Current Version: 04/02/13 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB397:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 02, 2013

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 397


Introduced by Assembly Member Fox
(Coauthor: Senator Price)

February 15, 2013


An act to add Section 9956 to the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 397, as amended, Fox. Vehicles: emergency contact locator database.
(1) Existing law imposes specified requirements on manufacturers of motor vehicles sold or leased in this state. A violation of the Vehicle Code is a crime.
This bill would enact the “Gilani Taylor Emergency Contact Locator Act of 2012” California Motor Vehicle Emergency Contact Locator Act of 2013 and would define the term “VIN# ECON database” as the national law enforcement vehicle identification number emergency contact locator database that may be established by this state, in conjunction with other states and law enforcement agencies.
This bill would require a motor vehicle manufacturer of a new motor vehicle sold or leased in this state on or after January 2, 2014, with a 2014 model year or later to provide a means by which a purchaser or lessee of a new motor vehicle can voluntarily designate at the original retail point of sale an emergency contact to be stored in the VIN# ECON database. The bill would require the emergency contact information to be made available electronically only to authorized law enforcement and would require law enforcement personnel, when practicable, to expeditiously notify the registered owner’s emergency contact, if a vehicle occupant is rendered unable to communicate due to physical injury, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program by imposing new duties upon local agencies.
The bill would also require a manufacturer of a new motor vehicle sold or leased in this state to establish a public awareness campaign, including listing access to the VIN# ECON database as a standard equipment specification on the new vehicle original window sticker. Since a violation of the bill’s requirements would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) 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 with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) In 2009 more than 3,000 people in California died as a result of car crashes, one person killed every two and one-half hours and about one person injured every two minutes.
(b) Each year more than 241,873 people are injured in crashes and collisions and about 4.9 percent of these are serious, life-altering injuries.
(c) Contrary to popular belief, law enforcement does not have immediate access to family contact information or next-of-kin data following a car crash involving individuals who are unconscious or unable to communicate, as and, typically, on-scene law enforcement resort to searching personal belongings, such as a wallet, driver’s license, glove compartment, or cell phone for leads to the identity of a family member or next of kin.
(d) Meanwhile, hours elapse as family members are not notified and crash victims enter the emergency health care system without the benefit of family members to advocate on their behalf or provide added-value information to enhance the medical care of crash victims, as there is a national average of six hours’ lack of notice for in-state incidents and over two days’ lack of notice for out-of-state incidents.
(e) In 2008, a policy resolution entitled “Federated VIN# Emergency Contact Registry (ECON) Initiative” was adopted by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety Subcommittee on Safety Management, with the support and assistance of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Association of State EMS Officials, the International Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, and the Governors Highway Safety Association.
(f) This policy resolution encourages states and automotive manufacturers to collaborate and cooperate on the development and deployment of a federated vehicle identification number emergency contact registry, which is also known as VIN# ECON, thereby improving postcrash care and survivability for crash victims on our nation’s roadways.
(g) A purchaser or lessee of a new motor vehicle in this state should have the right to voluntarily designate at the original retail point of sale an emergency contact to be stored in a national law enforcement vehicle identification number emergency contact locator (VIN# ECON) database to be utilized by law enforcement if the motor vehicle is involved in an accident or other emergency situation rendering the occupant unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate with the contact person or persons.
(h) This act will assist law enforcement in expeditiously notifying a designated emergency contact when the motor vehicle is involved in an accident or other emergency situation rendering the occupant unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate with the contact person or persons.

SEC. 2.

 Section 9956 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

9956.
 (a) This section may be known and cited as the “Gilani Taylor Emergency Contact Locator Act of 2013.” California Motor Vehicle Emergency Contact Locator Act of 2013.
(b) For purposes of this section, “VIN# ECON database” means the national law enforcement vehicle identification number emergency contact locator database that may be established by this state, in conjunction with other states and law enforcement agencies.
(c) This section applies only to vehicles sold or leased in this state on or after January 2, 2014, with a 2014 model year or later.
(d) (1) A motor vehicle manufacturer of a new motor vehicle sold or leased in this state shall provide a means by which a purchaser or lessee of a new motor vehicle can voluntarily designate at original retail point of sale an emergency contact to be stored in a VIN# ECON database that may be utilized by law enforcement if the motor vehicle is involved in an accident or other emergency situation rendering the occupant unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate with the contact person or persons. For purposes of this section, the emergency contact person is not required to be the purchaser’s or lessee’s next of kin.
(2) The emergency contact information stored in the national law enforcement emergency contact locator database pursuant to this section shall be made available electronically only to authorized law enforcement.
(3) If a vehicle occupant is rendered unable to communicate due to physical injury, law enforcement personnel shall, when practicable, expeditiously notify the registered owner’s emergency contact.
(4) Neither the law enforcement officer nor the law enforcement agency that employs that law enforcement officer shall incur any liability if the law enforcement officer is not able to make contact with the designated emergency contact person.
(e) (1) A motor vehicle manufacturer shall make a good faith effort to collect accurate data as provided by the purchaser or lessee at the original retail point of sale and to provide that information to the VIN# ECON database.
(2) The motor vehicle manufacturer is not liable for any damages, costs, or expenses, including, but not limited to, consequential damages, arising or resulting from any inaccurate data or system unavailability.
(f) A manufacturer of a new motor vehicle sold or leased in this state shall establish a public awareness campaign to educate new vehicle purchasers or lessees of the importance of submitting the name and phone number of an emergency contact to the VIN# ECON database. The manufacturer may establish this public awareness campaign individually or in conjunction with other manufacturers. This public awareness campaign shall include, but is not limited to, listing access to the VIN# ECON database as a standard equipment specification on the new vehicle original window sticker.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, 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.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.