Bill Text: CA SB929 | 2011-2012 | Regular Session | Enrolled

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Vehicles: child passenger restraints.

Status: (Passed) 2011-10-04 - Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 474, Statutes of 2011. [SB929 Detail]

Download: California-2011-SB929-Enrolled.html
BILL NUMBER: SB 929	ENROLLED
	BILL TEXT

	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 30, 2011
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 15, 2011
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JULY 14, 2011
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JUNE 20, 2011
	AMENDED IN SENATE  APRIL 25, 2011

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Evans

                        FEBRUARY 18, 2011

   An act to amend Sections 27315, 27315.3, 27361, 27363, 27363.5,
and 27365 of, to add Section 27360.6 to, and to repeal and add
Sections 27360 and 27360.5 of, the Vehicle Code, relating to
vehicles.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 929, Evans. Vehicles: child passenger restraints.
   (1) Existing law prohibits a person from operating a motor
vehicle, as defined, on a highway unless that person and all
passengers 16 years of age or older are properly restrained by a
safety belt.
   This bill would define the phrase "properly restrained by a safety
belt" for purposes of those provisions.
   Existing law prohibits the operator of a limousine for hire or the
operator of an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined, from
operating the limousine for hire or authorized emergency vehicle,
unless the operator and any passengers 6 years of age or over or
weighing 60 pounds or more in the front seat are properly restrained
by a safety belt. Existing law also prohibits the operator of a
taxicab from operating the taxicab unless any passengers 6 years of
age or older or weighing 60 pounds or more in the front seat are
properly restrained by a safety belt.
   This bill would instead prohibit the operator of a limousine for
hire or authorized emergency vehicle or the operator of a taxicab,
from operating the limousine for hire, authorized emergency vehicle,
or taxicab unless the operator and any passengers 8 years of age or
older in the front seat are properly restrained by a safety belt.
   Existing law requires a child or ward under 6 years of age who
weighs less than 60 pounds to be secured in a rear seat in a child
passenger restraint system that meets specified federal standards,
but permits such a child or ward to ride in the front seat of a motor
vehicle if properly secured in a child passenger restraint system
that meets specified federal standards, under specified
circumstances, including, among other things, if all rear seats are
already occupied by children under 12 years of age.
   This bill would instead prohibit a parent, legal guardian, or
driver from transporting on a highway in a motor vehicle, as defined,
a child or ward who is under 8 years of age without securing that
child in an appropriate child passenger restraint system meeting
applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards, except as
provided. The bill would impose specified fines and penalties for
violations of those requirements, as prescribed.
   Existing law authorizes a law enforcement officer reasonably
suspecting a violation of those child passenger restraint system
requirements to stop a vehicle transporting a child appearing to the
officer to be within a specified age or weight range of under 6 years
of age or less than 60 pounds.
   This bill would instead authorize a law enforcement officer
reasonably suspecting a violation of those requirements to stop a
vehicle transporting a child appearing to the officer to be within
the age range of less than 8 years of age.
   Existing law permits a court to exempt from the above-described
child passenger restraint system requirements any class of child by
age, weight, or size if it is determined that the use of a child
passenger restraint system would be impractical by reason of physical
unfitness, medical condition, or size, and establishes 2 statutory
exemptions.
   This bill would revise that provision to also specify that a child
or ward under 8 years of age who is 4 feet 9 inches in height or
taller may be properly restrained by a safety belt rather than a
child passenger restraint system.
   Existing law requires every public or private hospital, clinic, or
birthing center, at the time of the discharge of a child to provide
and discuss information on the current law requiring child passenger
restraint systems to the parents or person to whom the child is
released when the child is less than 6 years of age or weighs less
than 60 pounds.
   This bill would instead require a public or private hospital,
clinic, or birthing center, at the time of the discharge of a child,
to provide and discuss information on the current law requiring child
passenger restraint systems, safety belts, and the transportation of
children in rear seats to the parents or person to whom the child is
released if the child is under 8 years of age.
   Existing law requires every car rental agency in California to
inform each of its customers of a specified child safety restraint
law by posting, in a place conspicuous to the public in each
established place of business of the agency notice that meets
specified requirements and includes a prescribed statement.
   This bill would revise the language that would be required to be
included in the notice, with regard to the application of those child
safety restraint laws to children under 8 years of age.
   Because a violation of the vehicle law constitutes a crime, the
bill would impose a state-mandated local program by expanding the
scope of an existing crime.
   (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 no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 27315 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
   27315.  (a) The Legislature finds that a mandatory seatbelt law
will contribute to reducing highway deaths and injuries by
encouraging greater usage of existing manual seatbelts, that
automatic crash protection systems that require no action by vehicle
occupants offer the best hope of reducing deaths and injuries, and
that encouraging the use of manual safety belts is only a partial
remedy for addressing this major cause of death and injury. The
Legislature declares that the enactment of this section is intended
to be compatible with support for federal motor vehicle safety
standards requiring automatic crash protection systems and should not
be used in any manner to rescind federal requirements for
installation of automatic restraints in new cars.
   (b) This section shall be known and may be cited as the Motor
Vehicle Safety Act.
   (c) (1) As used in this section, "motor vehicle" means a passenger
vehicle, a motortruck, or a truck tractor, but does not include a
motorcycle.
   (2) For purposes of this section, a "motor vehicle" also means a
farm labor vehicle, regardless of the date of certification under
Section 31401.
   (d) (1) A person shall not operate a motor vehicle on a highway
unless that person and all passengers 16 years of age or over are
properly restrained by a safety belt. This paragraph does not apply
to the operator of a taxicab, as defined in Section 27908, when the
taxicab is driven on a city street and is engaged in the
transportation of a fare-paying passenger. The safety belt
requirement established by this paragraph is the minimum safety
standard applicable to employees being transported in a motor
vehicle. This paragraph does not preempt more stringent or
restrictive standards imposed by the Labor Code or another state or
federal regulation regarding the transportation of employees in a
motor vehicle.
   (2) For purposes of this section the phrase, "properly restrained
by a safety belt" means that the lower (lap) portion of the belt
crosses the hips or upper thighs of the occupant and the upper
(shoulder) portion of the belt, if present, crosses the chest in
front of the occupant.
   (3) The operator of a limousine for hire or the operator of an
authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in subdivision (a) of
Section 165, shall not operate the limousine for hire or authorized
emergency vehicle unless the operator and any passengers eight years
of age or over in the front seat, are properly restrained by a safety
belt.
   (4) The operator of a taxicab shall not operate the taxicab unless
any passengers eight years of age or over in the front seat, are
properly restrained by a safety belt.
   (e) A person 16 years of age or over shall not be a passenger in a
motor vehicle on a highway unless that person is properly restrained
by a safety belt. This subdivision does not apply to a passenger in
a sleeper berth, as defined in subdivision (x) of Section 1201 of
Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations.
   (f) An owner of a motor vehicle, including an owner or operator of
a taxicab, as defined in Section 27908, or a limousine for hire,
operated on a highway shall maintain safety belts in good working
order for the use of the occupants of the vehicle. The safety belts
shall conform to motor vehicle safety standards established by the
United States Department of Transportation. This subdivision,
however, does not require installation or maintenance of safety belts
if it is not required by the laws of the United States applicable to
the vehicle at the time of its initial sale.
   (g) This section does not apply to a passenger or operator with a
physically disabling condition or medical condition that would
prevent appropriate restraint in a safety belt, if the condition is
duly certified by a licensed physician and surgeon or by a licensed
chiropractor who shall state the nature of the condition, as well as
the reason the restraint is inappropriate. This section also does not
apply to a public employee, if the public employee is in an
authorized emergency vehicle as defined in paragraph (1) of
subdivision (b) of Section 165, or to a passenger in a seat behind
the front seat of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in
paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 165 operated by the
public employee, unless required by the agency employing the public
employee.
   (h) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 42001, a violation
of subdivision (d), (e), or (f) is an infraction punishable by a fine
of not more than twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense, and a
fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent
offense. In lieu of the fine and any penalty assessment or court
costs, the court, pursuant to Section 42005, may order that a person
convicted of a first offense attend a school for traffic violators or
another court-approved program in which the proper use of safety
belts is demonstrated.
   (i) In a civil action, a violation of subdivision (d), (e), or
(f), or information of a violation of subdivision (h), does not
establish negligence as a matter of law or negligence per se for
comparative fault purposes, but negligence may be proven as a fact
without regard to the violation.
   (j) If the United States Secretary of Transportation fails to
adopt safety standards for manual safety belt systems by September 1,
1989, a motor vehicle manufactured after that date for sale or sold
in this state shall not be registered unless it contains a manual
safety belt system that meets the performance standards applicable to
automatic crash protection devices adopted by the United States
Secretary of Transportation pursuant to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standard No. 208 (49 C.F.R. 571.208) as in effect on January 1, 1985.

   (k) A motor vehicle offered for original sale in this state that
has been manufactured on or after September 1, 1989, shall comply
with the automatic restraint requirements of Section S4.1.2.1 of
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 (49 C.F.R. 571.208), as
published in Volume 49 of the Federal Register, No. 138, page 29009.
An automobile manufacturer that sells or delivers a motor vehicle
subject to this subdivision, and fails to comply with this
subdivision, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five
hundred dollars ($500) for each sale or delivery of a noncomplying
motor vehicle.
   (l) Compliance with subdivision (j) or (k) by a manufacturer shall
be made by self-certification in the same manner as
self-certification is accomplished under federal law.
   (m) This section does not apply to a person actually engaged in
delivery of newspapers to customers along the person's route if the
person is properly restrained by a safety belt prior to commencing
and subsequent to completing delivery on the route.
   (n) This section does not apply to a person actually engaged in
collection and delivery activities as a rural delivery carrier for
the United States Postal Service if the person is properly restrained
by a safety belt prior to stopping at the first box and subsequent
to stopping at the last box on the route.
   (o) This section does not apply to a driver actually engaged in
the collection of solid waste or recyclable materials along that
driver's collection route if the driver is properly restrained by a
safety belt prior to commencing and subsequent to completing the
collection route.
   (p) Subdivisions (d), (e), (f), (g), and (h) shall become
inoperative immediately upon the date that the United States
Secretary of Transportation, or his or her delegate, determines to
rescind the portion of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No.
208 (49 C.F.R. 571.208) that requires the installation of automatic
restraints in new motor vehicles, except that those subdivisions
shall not become inoperative if the secretary's decision to rescind
that Standard No. 208 is not based, in any respect, on the enactment
or continued operation of those subdivisions.
  SEC. 2.  Section 27315.3 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
   27315.3.  (a) As used in this section, "passenger motor vehicle"
means a passenger vehicle as defined in Section 465 and a motortruck
as defined in Section 410 of less than 6,001 pounds unladen weight,
but does not include a motorcycle as defined in Section 400.
   (b) Every sheriff's department and city police department and the
Department of the California Highway Patrol shall maintain safety
belts in good working order for the use of occupants of a vehicle
that it operates on a highway for the purpose of patrol. The safety
belts shall conform to motor vehicle safety standards established by
the United States Department of Transportation. This subdivision does
not, however, require installation or maintenance of safety belts
where not required by the laws of the United States applicable to the
vehicle at the time of its initial sale.
   (c) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 42001, a violation
of subdivision (b) is an infraction punishable by a fine, including
all penalty assessments and court costs imposed on the convicted
department, of not more than twenty dollars ($20) for a first
offense, and a fine, including all penalty assessments and court
costs imposed on the convicted department, of not more than fifty
dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.
   (d) (1) For a violation of subdivision (b), in addition to the
fines provided for pursuant to subdivision (c) and the penalty
assessments provided for pursuant to Section 1464 of the Penal Code,
an additional penalty assessment of two dollars ($2) shall be levied
for a first offense, and an additional penalty assessment of five
dollars ($5) shall be levied for any subsequent offense.
   (2) All money collected pursuant to this subdivision shall be
utilized in accordance with Section 1464 of the Penal Code.
   (e) In a civil action, a violation of subdivision (b) or
information of a violation of subdivision (c) shall not establish
negligence as a matter of law or negligence per se for comparative
fault purposes, but negligence may be proven as a fact without regard
to the violation.
   (f) Subdivisions (b) and (c) shall become inoperative immediately
upon the date that the Secretary of the United States Department of
Transportation, or his or her delegate, determines to rescind the
portion of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 (49
C.F.R. 571.208) that requires the installation of automatic
restraints in new passenger motor vehicles, except that those
subdivisions shall not become inoperative if the secretary's decision
to rescind Standard No. 208 is not based, in any respect, on the
enactment or continued operation of those subdivisions or
subdivisions (d) to (h), inclusive, of Section 27315.
  SEC. 3.  Section 27360 of the Vehicle Code is repealed.
  SEC. 4.  Section 27360 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
   27360.  (a) Except as provided in Section 27363 a parent, legal
guardian, or driver shall not transport on a highway in a motor
vehicle, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (3) of Section
27315, a child or ward who is under eight years of age, without
properly securing that child in a rear seat in an appropriate child
passenger restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle
safety standards.
   (b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a driver if the parent or
legal guardian of the child is also present in the motor vehicle and
is not the driver.
  SEC. 5.  Section 27360.5 of the Vehicle Code is repealed.
  SEC. 6.  Section 27360.5 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
   27360.5.  (a) A parent, legal guardian, or driver shall not
transport on a highway in a motor vehicle, as defined in paragraph
(1) of subdivision (c) of Section 27315, a child or ward who is eight
years of age or older, but less than 16 years of age, without
properly securing that child or ward in an appropriate child
passenger restraint system or safety belt meeting applicable federal
motor vehicle safety standards.
   (b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a driver if the parent or
legal guardian of the child is also present in the motor vehicle and
is not the driver.
  SEC. 7.  Section 27360.6 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
   27360.6.  (a) (1) For a conviction under Section 27360 or 27360.5,
a first offense is punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars
($100), except that the court may reduce or waive the fine if the
defendant establishes to the satisfaction of the court that he or she
is economically disadvantaged, and the court, instead, refers the
defendant to a community education program that includes, but is not
limited to, education on the proper installation and use of a child
passenger restraint system for children of all ages, and provides
certification to the court of completion of that program. Upon
completion of the program, the defendant shall provide proof of
participation in the program. If an education program on the proper
installation and use of a child passenger restraint system is not
available within 50 miles of the residence of the defendant, the
requirement to participate in that program shall be waived. If the
fine is paid, waived, or reduced, the court shall report the
conviction to the department pursuant to Section 1803.
   (2) The court may require a defendant described under paragraph
(1) to attend an education program that includes demonstration of
proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system and
provides certification to the court that the defendant has presented
for inspection a child passenger restraint system that meets
applicable federal safety standards.
   (b) (1) A second or subsequent conviction under Section 27360 or
27360.5 is punishable by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250),
no part of which may be waived by the court, except that the court
may reduce or waive the fine if the defendant establishes to the
satisfaction of the court that he or she is economically
disadvantaged, and the court, instead refers the defendant to a
community education program that includes, but is not limited to,
education on the proper installation and use of child passenger
restraint systems for children of all ages, and provides
certification to the court of completion of that program. Upon
completion of the program, the defendant shall provide proof of
participation in the program. If an education program on the proper
installation and use of a child passenger restraint system is not
available within 50 miles of the residence of the defendant, the
requirement to participate in that program shall be waived. If the
fine is paid, waived, or reduced, the court shall report the
conviction to the department pursuant to Section 1803.
   (2) The court may require a defendant described under paragraph
(1) to attend an education program that includes demonstration of
proper installation and use of a child passenger restraint system and
provides certification to the court that the defendant has presented
for inspection a child passenger restraint system that meets
applicable federal safety standards.
   (c) Notwithstanding any other law, the fines collected under this
section shall be allocated as follows:
   (1) (A) Sixty percent to health departments of local jurisdictions
where the violation occurred, to be used for a community education
and assistance program that includes, but is not limited to,
demonstration of the proper installation and use of child passenger
restraint systems for children of all ages and assistance to
economically disadvantaged families in obtaining a restraint system
through a low-cost purchase or loan. The county or city health
department shall designate a coordinator to facilitate the creation
of a special account and to develop a relationship with the court
system to facilitate the transfer of funds to the program. The county
or city may contract for the implementation of the program. Prior to
obtaining possession of a child passenger restraint system pursuant
to this subdivision, a person shall attend an education program that
includes demonstration of proper installation and use of a child
passenger restraint system.
   (B) As the proceeds from fines become available, county or city
health departments shall prepare and maintain a listing of all child
passenger restraint low-cost purchase or loaner programs in their
counties, including a semiannual verification that all programs
listed are in existence. Each county or city shall forward the
listing to the Office of Traffic Safety in the Business,
Transportation and Housing Agency and the courts, birthing centers,
community child health and disability prevention programs, county
clinics, prenatal clinics, women, infants, and children programs, and
county hospitals in that county, who shall make the listing
available to the public. The Office of Traffic Safety shall maintain
a listing of all of the programs in the state.
   (2) Twenty-five percent to the county or city for the
administration of the community education program.
   (3) Fifteen percent to the city, to be deposited in its general
fund except that, if the violation occurred in an unincorporated
area, this amount shall be allocated to the county for purposes of
paragraph (1).
  SEC. 8.  Section 27361 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
   27361.  A law enforcement officer reasonably suspecting a
violation of Section 27360 or 27360.5, or both of those sections, may
stop a vehicle transporting a child appearing to the officer to be
within the age specified in Section 27360 or 27360.5. The officer may
issue a notice to appear for a violation of Section 27360 or
27360.5.
  SEC. 9.  Section 27363 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
   27363.  (a) The court may exempt from the requirements of this
article any class of child by age, weight, or size if it is
determined that the use of a child passenger restraint system would
be impractical by reason of physical unfitness, medical condition, or
size. The court may require satisfactory proof of the child's
physical unfitness, medical condition, or size and that an
appropriate special needs child passenger restraint system is not
available.
   (b) In case of a life-threatening emergency, or when a child is
being transported in an authorized emergency vehicle, if there is no
child passenger restraint system available, a child may be
transported without the use of that system, but the child shall be
secured by a seatbelt.
   (c) A child weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the
backseat of a vehicle while wearing only a lap safety belt when the
backseat of the vehicle is not equipped with a combination lap and
shoulder safety belt.
   (d) Notwithstanding Section 27360, a child or ward under eight
years of age who is four feet nine inches in height or taller may be
properly restrained by a safety belt, as defined in paragraph (2) of
subdivision (d) of Section 27315, rather than by a child passenger
restraint system.
   (e) Notwithstanding Section 27360, a child or ward under eight
years of age may ride properly secured in an appropriate child
passenger restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle
safety standards in the front seat of a motor vehicle under any of
the following circumstances:
   (1) There is no rear seat.
   (2) The rear seats are side-facing jump seats.
   (3) The rear seats are rear-facing seats.
   (4) The child passenger restraint system cannot be installed
properly in the rear seat.
   (5) All rear seats are already occupied by children seven years of
age or under.
   (6) Medical reasons necessitate that the child or ward not ride in
the rear seat. The court may require satisfactory proof of the child'
s medical condition.
   (f) Notwithstanding subdivision (e), a child shall not be
transported in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system in the
front seat of a motor vehicle that is equipped with an active frontal
passenger airbag.
  SEC. 10.  Section 27363.5 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
   27363.5.  (a) A public or private hospital, clinic, or birthing
center, shall, at the time of the discharge of a child provide and
discuss information on the current law requiring child passenger
restraint systems, safety belts, and the transportation of children
in rear seats to the parents or the person to whom the child is
released if the child is under eight years of age.
   (b) A public or private hospital, clinic, or birthing center shall
not be responsible for the failure of the parent or person to whom
the child is released to properly transport the child.
  SEC. 11.  Section 27365 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
   27365.  (a) (1) A car rental agency in California shall inform
each of its customers of Section 27360 by posting, in a place
conspicuous to the public in each established place of business of
the agency, a notice not smaller than 15 by 20 inches which states
the following:
   "CALIFORNIA LAW REQUIRES ALL CHILDREN UNDER 8 YEARS OF AGE TO BE
TRANSPORTED IN THE REAR SEAT OF THE VEHICLE IN A CHILD RESTRAINT
SYSTEM. THIS AGENCY IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE FOR RENTAL OF A CHILD
RESTRAINT SYSTEM IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM
YOURSELF."
   (2) The posted notice specified in paragraph (1) is not required
if the car rental agency's place of business is located in a hotel
that has a business policy prohibiting the posting of signs or
notices in any area of the hotel. In that case, a car rental agency
shall furnish a written notice to each customer that contains the
same information as required for the posted notice.
   (b) Every car rental agency in California shall have available
for, and shall, upon request, provide for rental to, adults traveling
with children under eight years of age, child passenger restraint
systems that are certified by the manufacturer to meet applicable
federal motor vehicle safety standards for use by children, are in
good and safe condition, with no missing original parts, and are not
older than five years.
   (c) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a
fine of one hundred dollars ($100).
  SEC. 12.  The Legislature finds and declares that this act allows
the state to be eligible for federal grants pursuant to Section 2011
of the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (Public Law 109-59) for
public education and the provision of low-cost and no-cost booster
seats.
  SEC. 13.  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.                                                
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