Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 5. WEIGHTS AND MEASURES [12001 - 13800]

  ( Division 5 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 43. )

CHAPTER 14.5. Service Stations [13650 - 13660]
  ( Chapter 14.5 added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1561, Sec. 1. )

13650.
  

“Service station,” as used in this chapter, means any establishment which offers for sale or sells gasoline or other motor vehicle fuel to the public.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1561, Sec. 1.)

13651.
  

(a) (1) On and after January 1, 2000, every service station in this state shall provide, during operating hours, and make available at no cost to customers who purchase motor vehicle fuel, water, compressed air, and a gauge for measuring air pressure, to the public for use in servicing any passenger vehicle, as defined in Section 465 of the Vehicle Code, or any commercial vehicle, as defined in Section 260 of the Vehicle Code, with an unladen weight of 6,000 pounds or less.

(2) Every service station in this state shall display, at a conspicuous place on, at, or near the dispensing apparatus, at least one clearly visible sign which shall read as follows: “CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES THIS STATION TO PROVIDE FREE AIR AND WATER FOR AUTOMOTIVE PURPOSES TO ITS CUSTOMERS WHO PURCHASE MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL. IF YOU HAVE A COMPLAINT NOTIFY THE STATION ATTENDANT AND/OR CALL THIS TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER: 1 (800) ___ ____.” This sign shall meet the requirements of Sections 13473 and 13474 with regard to letter size and contrast. As used in this paragraph, automotive purposes does not include the washing of vehicles.

(b) (1) On and after January 1, 1990, every service station in this state located within 660 feet of an accessible right-of-way of an interstate or primary highway, as defined in Sections 5215 and 5220, shall provide, during business hours public restrooms for use by its customers. Service stations shall not charge customers separately for the use of restroom facilities.

(2) The public restroom shall not be temporary or portable but shall be permanent and shall include separate facilities for men and women, each with toilets and sinks suitable for use by disabled persons in accordance with Section 19955.5 of the Health and Safety Code and Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. However, a service station not located along an interstate highway and in a rural area, as defined by Section 101 of Title 23 of the United States Code, and where the annualized average daily traffic count is 2,500 vehicles or less, is only required to provide a single restroom to be used by both men and women unless the local legislative body or, upon designation by the local legislative body, the local building official determines and finds, based upon traffic studies and local or seasonal tourist patterns, that a single restroom would be inadequate to serve the public. In that event, the single restroom exemption shall not apply. The single restroom shall contain a toilet, urinal, and sink suitable for use by disabled persons as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act and Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. The single restroom shall be equipped with a locking mechanism to be operated by the user of the restroom and the restroom shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner.

(3) This subdivision does not apply to service stations that are operational prior to January 1, 1990, and that would be obligated to construct permanent restroom facilities to comply with this subdivision.

(4) For the purposes of this subdivision, “customer” means a person who purchases any product available for sale on the premises of the service station, including items not related to the repairing or servicing of a motor vehicle.

(c) Every service station in this state shall display, at a conspicuous place on, at, or near the dispensing apparatus or at or near the point of sale, at least one clearly visible sign showing a list of applicable state and federal fuel taxes per gallon of motor vehicle fuel sold from the dispensing apparatus. The sign may display the federal excise tax rate as “up to $.184.”

(d) (1) The Division of Measurement Standards of the Department of Food and Agriculture shall, no later than January 1, 2001, establish a toll-free customer complaint telephone number. The toll-free telephone number thereby established shall be printed on the sign required pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, employees of the Division of Measurement Standards, upon inspection, or upon notice of a complaint forwarded pursuant to this section, are empowered to investigate a complaint against a service station for lack of free air and water and issue a citation to the station, and to collect a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per valid complaint, unless the citation is challenged in court. No citation shall be issued if the air and water equipment is in good working order upon initial inspection, or if they are repaired to the satisfaction of the inspecting entity within 10 working days of the initial inspection. In addition, no citation based on nonfunctional air and water equipment shall be issued if the service station can establish that the equipment has been the target of repeated vandalism, substantiated by three or more police reports within six months detailing the vandalism.

(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 63, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2004.)

13652.
  

(a) Any person who intentionally violates any provision of this chapter or any regulation promulgated pursuant thereto is guilty of an infraction, and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed fifty dollars ($50) for each day that the person violates the provision or regulation.

(b) The failure of an owner or manager of a service station to have adequate water and air facilities available for use by the public, or to provide permanent public restrooms for use by its customers, as required by subdivision (b) of Section 13651, for five consecutive working days, constitutes a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof that the owner or manager has intentionally violated this chapter. This subdivision does not apply to restrooms rendered inoperable as a result of vandalism or plumbing problems that may not be readily repaired.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no person shall be guilty of the infraction specified in subdivision (a) if that person, within seven days after receiving notification from the city attorney, district attorney, or Attorney General of any violation of this chapter, makes whatever changes are necessary to comply with the requirements of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 491, Sec. 2.)

13653.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this chapter may be enforced by the city attorney, district attorney, or Attorney General.

(Added by Stats. 1984, Ch. 1561, Sec. 1.)

13660.
  

(a) Every person, firm, partnership, association, trustee, or corporation that operates a service station shall provide, upon request, refueling service to a disabled driver of a vehicle that displays a disabled person’s plate or placard, or a disabled veteran’s plate, issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The price charged for the motor vehicle fuel shall be no greater than that which the station otherwise would charge the public generally to purchase motor vehicle fuel without refueling service.

(b) Any person or entity specified in subdivision (a) that operates a service station shall be exempt from this section during hours when:

(1) Only one employee is on duty.

(2) Only two employees are on duty, one of whom is assigned exclusively to the preparation of food.

As used in this subdivision, the term “employee” does not include a person employed by an unrelated business that is not owned or operated by the entity offering motor vehicle fuel for sale to the general public.

(c) (1) Every person, firm, partnership, association, trustee, or corporation required to provide refueling service for persons with disabilities pursuant to this section shall post the following notice, or a notice with substantially similar language, in a manner and single location that is conspicuous to a driver seeking refueling service:

“Service to Disabled Persons

Disabled individuals properly displaying a disabled person’s plate or placard, or a disabled veteran’s plate, issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, are entitled to request and receive refueling service at this service station for which they may not be charged more than the self-service price.”

(2) If refueling service is limited to certain hours pursuant to an exemption set forth in subdivision (b), the notice required by paragraph (1) shall also specify the hours during which refueling service for persons with disabilities is available.

(3) Every person, firm, partnership, association, trustee, or corporation that, consistent with subdivision (b), does not provide refueling service for persons with disabilities during any hours of operation shall post the following notice in a manner and single location that is conspicuous to a driver seeking refueling service:

“No Service for Disabled Persons

This service station does not provide refueling service for disabled individuals.”

(4) The signs required by paragraphs (1) and (3) shall also include a statement indicating that drivers seeking information about enforcement of laws related to refueling services for persons with disabilities may call one or more toll-free telephone numbers specified and maintained by the Department of Rehabilitation. By January 31, 1999, the Director of the Department of Rehabilitation shall notify the State Board of Equalization of the toll-free telephone number or numbers to be included on the signs required by this subdivision. At least one of these toll-free telephone numbers shall be accessible to persons using telephone devices for the deaf. The State Board of Equalization shall publish information regarding the toll-free telephone numbers as part of its annual notification required by subdivision (i). In the event that the toll-free telephone number or numbers change, the Director of the Department of Rehabilitation shall notify the State Board of Equalization of the new toll-free telephone number or numbers to be used.

(d) During the county sealer’s normal petroleum product inspection of a service station, the sealer shall verify that a sign has been posted in accordance with subdivision (c). If a sign has not been posted, the sealer shall issue a notice of violation to the owner or agent. The sealer shall be reimbursed, as prescribed by the department, from funds provided under Chapter 14. If substantial, repeated violations of subdivision (c) are noted at the same service station, the sealer shall refer the matter to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.

(e) The local law enforcement agency shall, upon the verified complaint of any person or public agency, investigate the actions of any person, firm, partnership, association, trustee, or corporation alleged to have violated this section. If the local law enforcement agency determines that there has been a denial of service in violation of this section, or a substantial or repeated failure to comply with subdivision (c), the agency shall levy the fine prescribed in subdivision (f).

(f) Any person who, as a responsible managing individual setting service policy of a service station, or as an employee acting independently against the set service policy, acts in violation of this section is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for the first offense, two hundred dollars ($200) for the second offense, and five hundred dollars ($500) for each subsequent offense.

(g) In addition to those matters referred pursuant to subdivision (e), the city attorney, the district attorney, or the Attorney General, upon his or her own motion, may investigate and prosecute alleged violations of this section. Any person or public agency may also file a verified complaint alleging violation of this section with the city attorney, district attorney, or Attorney General.

(h) Enforcement of this section may be initiated by any intended beneficiary of the provisions of this section, his or her representatives, or any public agency that exercises oversight over the service station, and the action shall be governed by Section 1021.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(i) An annual notice setting forth the provisions of this section shall be provided by the State Board of Equalization to every person, firm, partnership, association, trustee, or corporation that operates a service station.

(j) A notice setting forth the provisions of this section shall be printed on each disabled person’s placard issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles on and after January 1, 1999. A notice setting forth the provisions of this section shall be provided to each person issued a disabled person’s or disabled veteran’s plate on and after January 1, 1998.

(k) For the purposes of this action “refueling service” means the service of pumping motor vehicle fuel into the fuel tank of a motor vehicle.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 879, Sec. 26.4. Effective January 1, 1999.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC