California may start charging you for driving a heavy vehicle


California may start charging you for driving a heavy vehicle

California is looking to increase its push towards greener roads. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that lawmakers are considering a new authorization to impose additional registration fees based on weight for drivers who own heavy cars, trucks, or SUVs.

Currently, California is only one of the few states that charge registration fees based on a vehicle's value rather than its weight; Another 14 states charge owners vehicle registration fees based on weight. That could change if a new bill is passed.

Chris Ward, an assembly member from San Diego, suggested AB251. Rather than jump right in and implement weight-based registration fees, the bill would require the California Transportation Commission to consider whether or not these new registration fees would work, along with the potential benefits that come with it, mainly money. The study will look at how much revenue the state could generate from these fees, which would pay for street improvement projects across the state.

More importantly, the study will also look at the relationship between heavy vehicles and traffic fatalities, something that is becoming more and more aware of as more and more electric cars appear on the country's roads. In a statement to The Chronicle, Assemblyman Ward indicated that state officials are aware of this. "We know there are studies indicating that fatality rates can be higher in heavy vehicle crashes - particularly models that weigh several thousand pounds," he said in a statement.

If passed, millions of drivers would be affected. Data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows that of all vehicles registered in the state, one in six cars will be subject to a weight-based registration fee.

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