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Italicized text includes proposed additions to law or the previous version of the bill.
Struck text includes proposed deletions to law or the previous version of the bill.

(pdf version)
CHAPTER 674
FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE SEPTEMBER 27, 2012
APPROVED BY GOVERNOR SEPTEMBER 27, 2012
PASSED THE SENATE AUGUST 23, 2012
PASSED THE ASSEMBLY AUGUST 28, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 27, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 4, 2012
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 23, 2012
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY APRIL 10, 2012

INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Blumenfield
(Coauthor: Senator Lieu)

FEBRUARY 24, 2012

An act to amend Section 5205.5 of the Vehicle Code, relating to
vehicles.



LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2405, Blumenfield. Vehicles: high-occupancy toll lanes.
Existing law authorizes the Department of Transportation to
designate certain lanes for the exclusive use of high-occupancy
vehicles (HOV), which lanes may also be used, until January 1, 2015,
by certain eligible low-emission and hybrid vehicles not carrying the
requisite number of passengers otherwise required for the use of HOV
lanes if the vehicle displays a valid identifier issued by the
Department of Motor Vehicles. Existing law provides that a vehicle,
eligible under these provisions to use HOV lanes, that meets the
California's enhanced advanced technology partial zero-emission
vehicle (enhanced AT PZEV) standard is not exempt from toll charges
imposed on single-occupant vehicles in lanes designated for tolls
pursuant to a federally supported value-pricing and transit
development program involving high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes
conducted by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation
Authority.
This bill would instead exempt, with specified exceptions
applicable to passage on designated state highways, all of the
low-emission and hybrid vehicles eligible to use HOV lanes under
these provisions, including vehicles that meet the enhanced AT PZEV
standards, from toll charges imposed on HOT lanes unless prohibited
by federal law. The bill would exclude a toll imposed for passage on
a toll road or toll highway, that is not an HOT lane, a toll imposed
for crossing a state-owned bridge, or, until March 1, 2014, a toll
imposed for passage in HOT lanes designated for State Highway Route
10 or 110, from this exemption. The bill would provide that these
changes shall be known as the Choose Clean Cars Act of 2012.


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

SECTION 1. This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the
Choose Clean Cars Act of 2012.
SEC. 2. Section 5205.5 of the Vehicle Code, as amended by Section
1 of Chapter 215 of the Statutes of 2010, is amended to read:
5205.5. (a) For purposes of implementing Section 21655.9, the
department shall make available for issuance, for a fee determined by
the department to be sufficient to reimburse the department for the
actual costs incurred pursuant to this section, distinctive decals,
labels, and other identifiers that clearly distinguish the following
vehicles from other vehicles:
(1) A vehicle that meets California's super ultra-low emission
vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal
inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative emission standard,
as defined in Part 88 (commencing with Section 88.101-94) of Title
40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(2) A vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model-year or
earlier and meets California ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV)
standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard.
(3) A hybrid vehicle or an alternative fuel vehicle that meets
California's advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicle (AT
PZEV) standard for criteria pollutant emissions and has a 45 miles
per gallon or greater fuel economy highway rating.
(4) A hybrid vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model-year
or earlier and has a 45 miles per gallon or greater fuel economy
highway rating, and meets California's ULEV, SULEV, or partial
zero-emission vehicle (PZEV) standards.
(5) A vehicle that meets California's enhanced advanced technology
partial zero-emission vehicle (enhanced AT PZEV) standard.
(b) Neither an owner of a hybrid vehicle that meets the AT PZEV
standard, with the exception of a vehicle that meets the federal ILEV
standard, nor an owner of a hybrid vehicle described in paragraph
(4) of subdivision (a), is entitled to a decal, label, or other
identifier pursuant to this section unless the federal government
acts to approve the use of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes by
vehicles of the types identified in paragraph (3) or (4) of
subdivision (a), regardless of the number of occupants.
(c) The department shall include a summary of the provisions of
this section on each motor vehicle registration renewal notice, or on
a separate insert, if space is available and the summary can be
included without incurring additional printing or postage costs.
(d) The Department of Transportation shall remove individual HOV
lanes, or portions of those lanes, during periods of peak congestion
from the access provisions provided in subdivision (a), following a
finding by the Department of Transportation as follows:
(1) The lane, or portion thereof, exceeds a level of service C, as
discussed in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the Government
Code.
(2) The operation or projected operation of the vehicles described
in subdivision (a) in these lanes, or portions thereof, will
significantly increase congestion.
(e) The State Air Resources Board shall publish and maintain a
listing of all vehicles eligible for participation in the programs
described in this section. The board shall provide that listing to
the department.
(f) (1) For purposes of subdivision (a), the Department of the
California Highway Patrol and the department, in consultation with
the Department of Transportation, shall design and specify the
placement of the decal, label, or other identifier on the vehicle.
Each decal, label, or other identifier issued for a vehicle shall
display a unique number, which number shall be printed on, or affixed
to, the vehicle registration.
(2) Decals, labels, or other identifiers designed pursuant to this
subdivision for a vehicle described in paragraph (5) of subdivision
(a) shall be distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other
identifiers that are designed for vehicles described in paragraphs
(1), (2), (3), and (4) of subdivision (a).
(g) (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), for purposes
of subdivision (a), the department shall issue no more than 85,000
distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers that clearly
distinguish the vehicles specified in paragraphs (3) and (4) of
subdivision (a).
(B) The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier
for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:
(i) The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (3) or (4) of
subdivision (a).
(ii) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which
a decal, label, or identifier described in subparagraph (A) was
previously issued and that vehicle for which the decal, label, or
identifier was previously issued is determined by the department, on
the basis of satisfactory proof submitted by the owner to the
department, to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage
vehicle.
(iii) The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or
other identifier pursuant to this subparagraph on or before March 31,
2009, or within six months of the date on which the vehicle for
which a decal, label, or identifier was previously issued is declared
to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle,
whichever date is later.
(2) The department shall notify the Department of Transportation
immediately after the date on which the department has issued 50,000
decals, labels, and other identifiers under this section for the
vehicles described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a).
(3) The Department of Transportation shall determine whether
significant HOV lane breakdown has occurred throughout the state, in
accordance with the following timeline:
(A) For lanes that are nearing capacity, the Department of
Transportation shall make the determination not later than 90 days
after the date provided by the department under paragraph (2).
(B) For lanes that are not nearing capacity, the Department of
Transportation shall make the determination not later than 180 days
after the date provided by the department under paragraph (2).
(4) In making the determination that significant HOV lane
breakdown has occurred, the Department of Transportation shall
consider the following factors in the HOV lane:
(A) Reduction in level of service.
(B) Sustained stop-and-go conditions.
(C) Slower than average speed than the adjacent mixed-flow lanes.
(D) Consistent increase in travel time.
(5) After making the determinations pursuant to subparagraphs (A)
and (B) of paragraph (3), if the Department of Transportation
determines that significant HOV lane breakdown has occurred
throughout the state, the Department of Transportation shall
immediately notify the department of that determination, and the
department, on the date of receiving that notification, shall
discontinue issuing the decals, labels, or other identifiers for the
vehicles described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a).
(h) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), for purposes of
paragraph (5) of subdivision (a), the department shall issue no more
than 40,000 distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers that
clearly distinguish a vehicle specified in paragraph (5) of
subdivision (a).
(2) The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier
for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:
(A) The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (5) of
subdivision (a).
(B) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which a
decal, label, or other identifier described in paragraph (1) was
previously issued and that vehicle for which the decal, label, or
other identifier was previously issued is determined by the
department, on the basis of satisfactory proof submitted by the owner
to the department, to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss
salvage vehicle.
(C) The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or other
identifier pursuant to this paragraph within six months of the date
on which the vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier
was previously issued is declared to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a
total loss salvage vehicle.
(i) If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as the
Bay Area Toll Authority, grants toll-free and reduced-rate passage on
toll bridges under its jurisdiction to a vehicle pursuant to Section
30102.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, it shall also grant the
same toll-free and reduced-rate passage to a vehicle displaying an
identifier issued by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2)
of subdivision (a) and to a vehicle displaying a valid identifier
issued by the department pursuant to paragraph (3) or (4) of
subdivision (a) if the vehicle is registered to an address outside of
the region identified in Section 66502 of the Government Code.
(j) An owner of a vehicle specified in paragraph (3) or (4) of
subdivision (a) whose vehicle is registered to an address in the
region identified in Section 66502 of the Government Code and who
seeks a vehicle identifier under subdivision (a) in order to have
access to an HOV lane within the jurisdiction of the Bay Area Toll
Authority shall do both of the following:
(1) Obtain and maintain an active account to operate within the
automatic vehicle identification system described in Section 27565 of
the Streets and Highways Code and shall submit to the department a
form, approved by the department and issued by the Bay Area Toll
Authority, that contains the vehicle owner's name, the license plate
number and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, the vehicle
make and year model, and the automatic vehicle identification system
account number, as a condition to obtaining a vehicle identifier
pursuant to subdivision (a) that allows for the use of that vehicle
in HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants.
(2) Be eligible for toll-free or reduced-rate passage on toll
bridges within the jurisdiction of the Bay Area Toll Authority only
if, at time of passage, the vehicle meets the passenger occupancy
rate requirement established for that toll-free or reduced-rate
passage.
(k) (1) Notwithstanding Section 21655.9, and except as provided in
paragraph (2), a vehicle described in subdivision (a) that displays
a decal, label, or identifier issued pursuant to this section shall
be exempt from toll charges imposed on single-occupant vehicles in
high-occupancy toll lanes as described in Section 149.7 of the
Streets and Highways Code unless prohibited by federal law.
(2) (A) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
imposed for passage on a toll road or toll highway, that is not a
high-occupancy toll lane as described in Section 149.7 of the Streets
and Highways Code.
(B) On or before March 1, 2014, paragraph (1) does not apply to
the imposition of a toll imposed for passage in lanes designated for
tolls pursuant to the federally supported value-pricing and transit
development demonstration program operated pursuant to Section 149.9
of the Streets and Highways Code for State Highway Route 10 or 110.
(C) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
charged for crossing a state-owned bridge.
(l) If the Director of Transportation determines that federal law
does not authorize the state to allow vehicles that are identified by
distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers on vehicles
described in subdivision (a) to use highway lanes or highway access
ramps for high-occupancy vehicles regardless of vehicle occupancy,
the Director of Transportation shall submit a notice of that
determination to the Secretary of State.
(m) (1) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2015, or until the date the Secretary of State receives the notice
described in subdivision (l), whichever occurs first, and as of that
date is repealed.
(2) However, with respect to a vehicle described in paragraph (3)
or (4) of subdivision (a), this section shall be operative only until
July 1, 2011, or only until the date the Secretary of State receives
the notice described in subdivision (l), whichever occurs first.
(3) With respect to a vehicle described in paragraph (5) of
subdivision (a), this section shall become operative on January 1,
2012, and shall be operative only until January 1, 2015, or until the
date the Secretary of State receives the notice described in
subdivision (l), whichever occurs first.