LEVA’s proposed changes to the California Vehicle Code

The Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA) proposed changes to the CVC. LEVA’s goal is stated in the Introduction: “To promote zero-emission, domestically-powered, appropriately-sized electric vehicles, the Light Electric Vehicle Association recommends changes to the CVC that will simplify the rules, reduce barriers, and fairly treat LEVs as viable transportation alternatives.”

After meeting in February with Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Chairman Mark DeSaulnier, his staffer put me in touch with the Committee’s Chief Consultant, Carrie Cornwell. After a conversation with the California Highway Patrol’s Office of Special Representative, both Ms. Cornwell and the CHP agree that CVC changes are in order. Ms. Cornwell called to advise me the she and her counterpart in the Assembly will start the ball rolling on CVC changes in May with an expected stakeholders meeting in September and legislation of some sort to be proposed in January, 2013.

LEVA believes that all cyclists and pedestrians will benefit from more LEVs on the road and fewer cars.  Here are links to two documents that 1) provide an introduction and summary of the proposed changes, 2) specifically detail the CVC code sections to change, and 3) a spreadsheet overview of existing law and the changes proposed:
http://www.electric-bikes.com/cvc.pdf
http://www.electric-bikes.com/cvc-specifics.pdf
http://www.electric-bikes.com/cvc-survey.xls

All considered, these changes simplify the rules for smaller, slower vehicles – making them easier for enforcement personnel and the general public to know and remember. In particular, “motorized scooters” will be treated the same as bicycles because both 1) weigh about the same, 2) travel at similar speeds, 3) maneuver with similar agility, 4) are clean and quiet. These changes along with the introduction of medium-speed vehicles to California roads will encourage smaller, cleaner vehicles that make cycling safer and more enjoyable.

Comments from stakeholders, both individuals and organizations, are welcomed and will be passed along.

Rob Means, Legislative Advisor
Light Electric Vehicle Association LLC
408-230-2585 rob.means@electric-bikes.com
1421 Yellowstone Ave., Milpitas, CA 95035-6913
Serving the LEV Industry, www.LEVAssociation.com
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