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SB-945 Rules of the road: Dutch Reach method.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/10/2020 09:00 PM
SB945:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 945


Introduced by Senator Beall
(Coauthor: Senator Wiener)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chiu and Kalra)

February 10, 2020


An act to add Section 1656.1 to the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 945, as introduced, Beall. Rules of the road: Dutch Reach method.
Existing law generally requires a vehicle, stopped or parked upon a roadway where there are adjacent curbs, to be stopped or parked with the right-hand wheels of the vehicle parallel with, and within 18 inches of, the right-hand curb, with specified exceptions. Existing law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to publish a synopsis or summary of laws regulating the operation of vehicles and the use of highways, and requires the department to furnish copies of the publication to its field offices for general distribution at no charge. Existing law requires an applicant for a driver’s license to submit to examination by the department.
This bill would require the department to include in its California Driver Handbook publication information advising drivers on the Dutch Reach method, as defined, when opening a vehicle door after parallel parking the vehicle. The bill would also require the department to include test questions regarding driving safely in the presence of bicycles in the question pool used for the written portion of the driver’s license examination. The bill would permit one of those questions to be a question regarding the Dutch Reach method.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1656.1 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:

1656.1.
 (a) (1) The Department of Motor Vehicles shall include in its California Driver Handbook published pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1656 information advising drivers to use the Dutch Reach method when opening a vehicle door after parallel parking on a street.
(2) The department shall include in the question pool used for the written portion of the driver’s license examination administered pursuant to Section 12804.9 test questions concerning safe driving in the presence of bicycles, one of which may be a question regarding the Dutch Reach method.
(b) For purposes of this section, “Dutch Reach method” means a vehicle driver checking the rearview mirror, checking the side view mirror, and then opening the driver’s side door with the driver’s right hand, thereby reducing the risk of either injuring a bicyclist or of opening the door in the path of another vehicle approaching from behind.