The major transportation piece of legislation enacted this session was SB 1266 (Perata) which is part of the infrastructure bond package. It authorized the sale of $18.925 billion for a number of transportation programs including mobility investment, safety/security/ disaster preparedness, and air quality/environmental mitigation. The Legislature passed SCA 7 (Torlakson) which is on the November 2006 ballot protecting transportation funding for traffic congestion relief projects, safety improvements, and local streets and roads.
Other significant legislation that was enacted included SB 44 (Torlakson) increasing from $45 to $55 the maximum fee that a vehicle dealer may charge a purchaser for document preparation; SB 988 (Migden) specifying the Golden Gate Bridge as being eligible for disqualification as a safety awareness zone; SB 1021 (Bowen) creating a new public offense of unsafe operation of a motor vehicle with bodily injury or great bodily injury; SB 1132 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) providing statutory changes necessary to implement the Budget Act of 2006; SB 1135 (Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee) establishing protocols to expend $20 million made available in the 2006-07 Budget Act for an agricultural worker transportation grant program; SB 1282 (Ducheny) specifying that federal funds allocated to California and available for transportation-related projects located within 100 miles of the border with Mexico be exempted in the state transportation improvement program distribution and fair share formulas; SB 1542 (Migden) establishing a statutory scheme whereby a registered locksmith is able to reproduce a car key for owners of cars; SB 1559 (Lowenthal) changing the definition of a low speed vehicle to conform to federal law; SB 1610 (Simitian) requiring motorists to either change lanes or slow down when approaching vehicles that are being serviced on highways; SB 1613 (Simitian) prohibiting, starting July 1, 2008, a driver from using a wireless phone while operating a vehicle, unless it is hands free and imposes an infraction with a base fine of $20 for a first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses; SB 1735 (Cox) making a wobbler for someone to drive down the wrong side of the road while fleeing a peace officer; SB 1756 (Migden) increasing the period of driver’s license suspension from six months to 10 months, for a person convicted of a first-time driving under the influence without causing bodily injury, whose blood alcohol concentration was 0.20 percent or greater, and who is referred to a rehabilitation program; AB 84 (Leslie) establishing a specialized license plate program for plates that promote state agencies; AB 158 (Bermudez) providing for a task force to identify threats from vandalism or terrorism not adequately addressed by existing rail safety programs; AB 713 (Torrico) postponing, until 2008, the scheduled November 7, 2006 vote on the Safe, Reliable High Speed Passenger Trail Bond Act for the 21st Century; AB 1189 (Bermudez) removing the maximum fee charged for the California Highway Patrol motorcycle safety premier program as of January 1, 2008; AB 1407 (Lieber) designating the Metropolitan Transportation Commission as the fiscal agent for the Bay Area Rail Plan and allowing Clean Air vehicles to use high occupancy lanes on county expressways; AB 1467 (Nunez) providing for four public-private partnerships projects and for up to four high occupancy toll lane projects (two in the north and two in the south); AB 1850 (Mountjoy) making it a misdemeanor for a person to knowingly drive a motor vehicle while a person is riding in the trunk of that vehicle and an infraction for a person to ride in the trunk of a motor vehicle; AB 1935 (Bermudez) increasing the frequency of railroad yard inspections and increasing the penalties for railroad safety violations; AB 2154 (Goldberg) allowing a city or county to designate specific areas for the exclusive parking of vehicles participating in a vehicle car share program or ridesharing program; AB 2190 (Benoit) increasing the penalties for drivers engaging in reckless driving and motor vehicle speed contests; AB 2210 (Goldberg) enhancing protections provided to motorists from unfair vehicle towing practices and unauthorized vehicle towing from private property; AB 2237 (Karnette) identifying funding and policy needs necessary to achieve statewide port security; AB 2291 (Evans) ensuring customer information in car dealer databases remains secure; AB 2538 (Wolk) increasing the maximum amount of funding that regional transportation planning agencies may expend on project planning, programming, and monitoring from one percent to five percent of its county share of State Transportation Improvement Program revenues; AB 2542 (Daucher) requiring study on the effectiveness on the three-tier driver assessment system to identify functional impairments, reducing crashes and prolonging driving years of all drivers, regardless of age; AB 2557 (Huff) changing the placement of the emission labels on new motor vehicles, expanding dealer registration services, and increasing the liability for damaging a roadside memorial sign; AB 2600 (Lieu) allowing an additional 10,000 high-mileage hybrid vehicles to obtain stickers allowing them to drive in high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes regardless of the number of occupants, and extending the sunset date on the authorization for these and other Clean Air vehicles to operate in HOV lanes; AB 2736 (Niello) allowing International Registration Plan vehicles to have renewable dates throughout the year; AB 2752 (Spitzer) making it an infraction for a person under 21 years of age to drive with a measurable blood alcohol concentration; AB 2755 (Blakeslee) making parents and guardians legally responsible for the illegal operation of all-terrain vehicles driven by children under 14 years of age; AB 3011 (Benoit) conforming state regulation of intrastate and interstate commercial trucks and buses (motor carriers) to the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; and AB 3023 (Nunez) requiring railroad operators to conduct a risk assessment of their facilities and implement an infrastructure protection program.
Vetoed legislation of note included SB 212 (Lowenthal) allowing physicians to report to the Department of Motor Vehicles the name, date of birth, and address of every patient at least 15 years of age, or 14 years of age if the patient has a conditional license, whom he/she has diagnosed as having suffered a lapse of consciousness or who has a disorder or another medical condition that may affect the patient’s ability to drive safely; SB 927 (Lowenthal) imposing a fee on containers that are discharged at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles in order to fund rail system improvements, pollution mitigation measures, and port security enhancements; SB 1162 (Cedillo) allowing drivers licenses, that may be used only for driving purposes, to be issued to persons without proof of legal presence in the United States; SB 1404 (Machado) specifying that there is no parking violation for a person who is parked on a street during the designated street sweeping times if that sweeping did not occur; SB 1703 (Lowenthal) granting one California Transportation Commission appointment each to the Senate and Assembly; AB 1012 (Nation) requiring the Air Resources Board to develop and adopt regulations that market that vehicles sold in California be capable of running on clean alternative fuels; AB 1020 (Hancock) requiring the California Transportation Commission to develop guidelines for the use of travel demand models for the preparation of regional transportation plans; AB 1699 (Frommer) requiring the Department of Transportation to contract with the University of California at Berkeley Institute of Transportation Studies to conduct a study on specified rail operators in California; AB 1991 (Saldana) allowing the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue disabled license plates with personalized numbers; AB 2108 (Evans) revising requirements associated with the transportation of children in child passenger restrain systems (car seats); AB 2175 (Liu) requiring the Department of Motor Vehicles to develop revised standards for driver education and training in order to reduce collisions and improve overall traffic safety; AB 2295 (Arambula) allowing the use of regional transportation program funds for local rehabilitation projects; and AB 2681 (Pavley) increasing maximum value of vehicle registration fees that counties may impose in order to fund abandoned vehicle abatement programs.