California could begin charging weight-based registration fees for heavier passenger vehicles under a bill that’s making its way through the state legislature.
The bill was introduced by Assemblymember Christopher Ward (D-San Diego) in January.
Registration fees for vehicles such as trucks and SUVs would be impacted.
The proposed legislation calls on the California Transportation Commission to form a task force to see if the extra funds from registration fees could be used for street safety projects.
The task force would also “study the relationship between vehicle weight and injuries to vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists,” according to the bill’s text.
“We know there are studies suggesting fatality rates can be higher for crashes involving heavier vehicles –– especially models weighing several thousand pounds,” Assemblymember Ward said in a statement to KTLA. “AB 251 will look further into the relationship between vehicle weight and injuries to help inform policy in the future.”
Should Gov. Newsom sign the bill, weight-based registration fees wouldn’t be immediately enacted, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Other states including Florida, Virginia and New Mexico, have already implemented weight-based registration fees for passenger vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Currently, California has value-based registration fees for passenger vehicles.
If the bill becomes law, about one in six registered vehicles in California could be subject to a weight fee, the Chronicle reported.