Seyarto Introduces Bill to Bolster Access to Emergency Services

SACRAMENTO, CA –Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta) has introduced legislation to increase local emergency service access and response time by lifting burdensome travel restrictions for emergency vehicles. 

AB 261 will allow first responders to utilize high-occupancy toll (HOT) and high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes during both emergency and non-emergency situations. Currently, emergency vehicles are only permitted to use these lanes when responding to an urgent call.

“While arriving at an emergency quickly is essential, our first responders also need to be able to return to their districts as soon as possible to respond to additional calls and conduct other business,” said Assemblymember Seyarto. “Fire season is now a year-round concern and more departments from across the state are being called to assist with emergencies outside their normal jurisdiction. We need to reduce travel time that would cause any delay for emergency personnel and equipment to conduct critical agency business and get back in service.”

Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto served the State of California as a firefighter for 35 years, retiring at the rank of Battalion Chief. He also serves as Vice Chair of the new Assembly Emergency Management Committee and is a member of the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

AB 261 is supported by the California Professional Firefighters.