Bill Text: CA SB168 | 2015-2016 | Regular Session | Enrolled


Bill Title: Unmanned aircraft systems.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 21-8)

Status: (Vetoed) 2016-04-25 - Last day to consider Governors veto pursuant to Joint Rule 58.5. [SB168 Detail]

Download: California-2015-SB168-Enrolled.html
BILL NUMBER: SB 168	ENROLLED
	BILL TEXT

	PASSED THE SENATE  SEPTEMBER 11, 2015
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  SEPTEMBER 11, 2015
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 24, 2015
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 17, 2015

INTRODUCED BY   Senators Gaines and Jackson
   (Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Gatto)
   (Coauthors: Senators Anderson, Bates, Berryhill, Cannella, Fuller,
Huff, Leno, McGuire, Morrell, Nielsen, Roth, Runner, and Stone)
   (Coauthors: Assembly Members Travis Allen, Bigelow, Brown, Chávez,
Cooper, Dahle, Beth Gaines, Jones, Lackey, Mathis, Mayes, Obernolte,
and Rodriguez)

                        FEBRUARY 5, 2015

   An act to add Section 43.101 to the Civil Code, to add Chapter 4.5
(commencing with Section 853) to Part 2 of Division 3.6 of Title 1
of the Government Code, and to add Section 402.5 to the Penal Code,
relating to unmanned aircraft systems, and declaring the urgency
thereof, to take effect immediately.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 168, Gaines. Unmanned aircraft systems.
   (1) Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to engage in disorderly
conduct that delays or prevents a fire from being timely extinguished
or to resist or interfere with the lawful efforts of a firefighter
in the discharge of an official duty. Existing law makes it a
misdemeanor to impede police officers, firefighters, emergency
personnel, or military personnel in the performance of their duties
in coping with an emergency.
   This bill would make it unlawful to knowingly, intentionally, or
recklessly operate an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system,
as defined, in a manner that prevents or delays the extinguishment of
a fire, or in any way interferes with the efforts of firefighters to
control, contain, or extinguish a fire. The bill would make a
violation of this prohibition punishable by imprisonment in a county
jail not to exceed 6 months, by a fine not to exceed $5,000, or by
both that fine and imprisonment. By creating a new crime, this bill
would impose a state-mandated local program.
   (2) Existing law provides certain individuals with immunity from
civil liability under specific circumstances, including, among
others, limiting the civil liability of a person who in good faith,
and not for compensation, renders emergency medical or nonmedical
care at the scene of an emergency, as specified.
   This bill would further limit the exposure to civil liability of
an emergency responder, defined as an unpaid volunteer or private
entity acting within the scope of authority implicitly or expressly
provided by a public entity or a public employee to provide emergency
services, for damages to an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft
system, if the damage was caused while the emergency responder was
performing specific emergency services and the unmanned aircraft or
unmanned aircraft system was interfering with the provision of those
emergency services.
   (3) The Government Claims Act sets forth the general procedure for
the presentation of a claim as a prerequisite to the commencement of
an action for money or damages against a "public entity" or a
"public employee," and defines those terms for its purposes. The act
prohibits liability against a public entity or public employee for,
among other things, certain acts relating to the provision of fire
protection and police and correctional activities, as specified.
   This bill would further limit the exposure to civil liability of a
public entity or public employee for damage to an unmanned aircraft
or unmanned aircraft system, if the damage was caused while the
public entity or public employee was performing specific emergency
services and the unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system was
interfering with the provision of those emergency services.
   (4) 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.
   (5) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately
as an urgency statute.


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

  SECTION 1.  Section 43.101 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   43.101.  (a) An emergency responder shall not be liable for any
damage to an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system, if the
damage was caused while the emergency responder was providing, and
the unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system was interfering
with, the operation, support, or enabling of the emergency services
listed in Section 853 of the Government Code.
   (b) (1) For purposes of this section, "emergency responder" means
either of the following, if acting within the scope of authority
implicitly or expressly provided by a public entity or a public
employee to provide emergency services:
   (A) A paid or unpaid volunteer.
   (B) A private entity.
   (2) All of the following terms shall have the same meaning as the
terms as used in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 853) of Part 2
of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code:
   (A) Public employee.
   (B) Public entity.
   (C) Unmanned aircraft.
   (D) Unmanned aircraft system.
  SEC. 2.  Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 853) is added to Part
2 of Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code, to read:
      CHAPTER 4.5.  UNMANNED AIRCRAFT


   853.  A public entity or public employee shall not be liable for
any damage to an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system, if
the damage was caused while the public entity or public employee was
providing, and the unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system was
interfering with, the operation, support, or enabling of any of the
following emergency services:
   (a) Emergency medical services or ambulance transport services,
including, but not limited to, air ambulance services.
   (b) Firefighting or firefighting-related services, including, but
not limited to, air services related to firefighting or
firefighting-related services.
   (c) Search and rescue services, including, but not limited to, air
search and rescue services.
   853.5.  The following definitions shall apply to this chapter:
   (a) "Unmanned aircraft" means an aircraft that is operated without
the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the
aircraft.
   (b) "Unmanned aircraft system" means an unmanned aircraft and
associated elements, including, but not limited to, communication
links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft that are
required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently
in the national airspace system.
  SEC. 3.  Section 402.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
   402.5.  (a) It is unlawful to knowingly, intentionally, or
recklessly operate an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system
in a manner that prevents or delays the extinguishment of a fire, or
in any way interferes with the efforts of firefighters to control,
contain, or extinguish a fire, including, but not limited to, efforts
to control, contain, or extinguish the fire from the air. A
violation of this section is punishable by imprisonment in a county
jail not to exceed six months, by a fine not to exceed five thousand
dollars ($5,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
   (b) (1) For purposes of this section, "unmanned aircraft" means an
aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human
intervention from within or on the aircraft.
   (2) For purposes of this section, "unmanned aircraft system" means
an unmanned aircraft and associated elements, including, but not
limited to, communication links and the components that control the
unmanned aircraft that are required for the individual in command to
operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.
   (3) For purposes of this section, "recklessly" means a person is
aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable
risk that his or her act will prevent or delay the extinguishment of
a fire, or in any way interfere with the efforts of firefighters to
control, contain, or extinguish a fire, including, but not limited
to, efforts to control, contain, or extinguish the fire from the air.
The risk shall be of such nature and degree that disregard of that
risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that
a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who
creates such a risk but is unaware of that risk solely by reason of
voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly for purposes of this
section.
  SEC. 4.  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.
  SEC. 5.  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 Constitution and shall go into immediate
effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
   To address the interference of unmanned aircraft and unmanned
aircraft systems with efforts to fight fires and to keep fires from
raging out of control during this historic drought, and to protect
public and private emergency responders who are providing specific
critical emergency services from potential civil liability relating
to the new and increasing proliferation of unmanned aircraft systems
that disrupt the provision of those emergency services, it is
necessary that this act take effect immediately.
            
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