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  1. This act shall be known as the Streets and Highways Code.

  2. The provisions of this code, in so far as they are substantially the same as existing statutory provisions relating to the same subject matter, shall be construed as restatements and continuations thereof and not as new enactments.

  3. Repealed

  4. Repealed

  5. Unless the particular provision or the context otherwise requires, the definitions, rules of construction, and general provisions hereinafter set forth shall govern the construction of this code.

  6. Division, part, chapter, article, and section headings contained herein shall not be deemed to govern, limit, modify or in any manner affect the scope, meaning or intent of the provisions of any division, part, chapter, article or section hereof.

  7. Whenever any power or authority is given to, or any duty is imposed upon, any person by any provision of this code it may be exercised or performed by any deputy or person authorized by him unless it is expressly provided that it shall be exercised in person.

  8. Whenever any notice, report, petition, permit, statement or record is required by this code, it shall be made in writing in the English language.

  9. Whenever any reference is made to any portion of this code or of any other law, such reference shall apply to all amendments and additions thereto.

  10. "Section" means a section of this code unless some other statute is specifically mentioned.

  11. The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future, the present.

  12. The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.

  13. The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.

  14. "County" includes "city and county."

  15. "City" includes "city and county" and "incorporated town."

  16. "Shall" is mandatory and "may" is permissive.

  17. "Oath" includes affirmation.

  18. "Signature" or "subscription" includes mark when the signer or subscriber can not write, such signer's or subscriber's name being written near the mark by a witness who writes his own name near the signer's or subscriber's name; but a signature or subscription by mark can be acknowledged or can serve as a signature or subscription to a sworn statement only when two witnesses so sign their own names thereto.

  19. "Person" means any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, organization, limited liability company, or business trust.

  20. "Department" means the Department of Transportation of this state.

    Any reference in any law or regulation to the Department of Public Works shall be deemed to refer to the Department of Transportation.

  21. "Director" means the director of the department.

  22. Unless the particular provision or the context otherwise requires, "commission" means the California Transportation Commission.

    Any reference in any law or regulation to the California Highway Commission shall be deemed to refer to the California Transportation Commission.

  23. As used in this code, unless the particular provision or the context otherwise requires, "highway" includes bridges, culverts, curbs, drains, and all works incidental to highway construction, improvement, and maintenance.

  1. 23.5. "Freeway" means a highway in respect to which the owners of abutting lands have no right or easement of access to or from their abutting lands or in respect to which such owners have only limited or restricted right or easement of access. If, in the judgment of the commission or the director, the public interest would be advanced thereby, a freeway, as defined herein, may be denominated a "controlled access highway". In all other respects, the "controlled access highway" shall be subject to all provisions of this code pertaining to freeways.

  2. As used in this code, "State highway" means any highway which is acquired, laid out, constructed, improved or maintained as a State highway pursuant to constitutional or legislative authorization.

  3. As used in this code, "county highway" means any highway which is:

    (a) Laid out or constructed as such by the county.
    (b) Laid out or constructed by others and dedicated or abandoned to or acquired by the county.
    (c) Made a county highway in any action for the partition of real property.
    (d) Made a county highway pursuant to law.

  4. As used in the general provisions and in Divisions 1 (commencing with Section 50), 2 (commencing with Section 900), and 2.5 (commencing with Section 1800), unless the context or a specific provision otherwise requires, "acquire," or any of its variants, when used with reference to real property or any interest therein, includes, but is not limited to, both of the following:

    (a) Taking by condemnation, purchase, or lease.
    (b) Receiving by donation or dedication.

  5. As used in the general provisions and in Divisions 1 (commencing with Section 50), 2 (commencing with Section 900), and 2.5 (commencing with Section 1800), "maintenance" includes any of the following:

    (a) The preservation and keeping of rights-of-way, and each type of roadway, structure, safety convenience or device, planting, illumination equipment, and other facility, in the safe and usable condition to which it has been improved or constructed, but does not include reconstruction or other improvement.
    (b) Operation of special safety conveniences and devices, and illuminating equipment.
    (c) The special or emergency maintenance or repair necessitated by accidents or by storms or other weather conditions, slides, settlements, or other unusual or unexpected damage to a roadway, structure, or facility.
    The degree and type of maintenance for each highway, or portion thereof, shall be determined in the discretion of the authorities charged with the maintenance thereof, taking into consideration traffic requirements and moneys available therefor.

  6. If any provision of this code, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the code, or the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby.

  7. "Construction" includes:

    (a) Acquisition of rights-of-way and material sites and the payment of damage claims under Section 14 of Article I of the Constitution.
    (b) Construction.
    (c) Reconstruction.
    (d) Replacement.
    (e) Any improvement excepting maintenance as defined in Section 27.
    (f) Such improvements, without being limited thereto, may include, where capital outlay is required, provision for special safety conveniences and devices, roadside planting and weed control, and such illumination of streets, roads, highways, and bridges as in the judgment of the body authorized to expend such funds is required for the safety of persons using the same.

  8. "State Highway Account" means the State Highway Account in the State Transportation Fund.

  9. Repealed

  10. Repealed

  11. Repealed

  12. Repealed

  13. "Vista point" means any signed roadside area on the state highway system developed and maintained by the department for the purpose of providing the motorist with a place to stop to view the scenic panorama or points of visual interest.

  14. For the purposes of this code, "recycled water" or "reclaimed water" has the same meaning as recycled water as defined in subdivision (n) of Section 13050 of the Water Code.

This work is in the public domain in the U.S. because it is an edict of a government, local or foreign. See § 313.6(C)(2) of the Compendium II: Copyright Office Practices. Such documents include "legislative enactments, judicial decisions, administrative rulings, public ordinances, or similar types of official legal materials" as well as "any translation prepared by a government employee acting within the course of his or her official duties."

These do not include works of the Organization of American States, United Nations, or any of the UN specialized agencies. See Compendium III § 313.6(C)(2) and 17 U.S.C. 104(b)(5).

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A non-American governmental edict may still be copyrighted outside the U.S. Similar to {{PD-in-USGov}}, the above U.S. Copyright Office Practice does not prevent U.S. states or localities from holding copyright abroad, depending on foreign copyright laws and regulations.

This work is created by a government unit (including state, county, city, and municipal government agencies) that derives its powers from the laws of the State of California and is subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (Government Code § 6250 et seq.). It is a public record that was not created by an agency which state law has allowed to claim copyright and is therefore in the public domain in the United States.

Records subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Government Code § 6250 et seq.) "Public records" include "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics." (Cal. Gov't. Code § 6252(e).) notes that "[a]ll public records are subject to disclosure unless the Public Records Act expressly provides otherwise." County of Santa Clara v. CFAC California Government Code § 6254 lists categories of documents not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act. In addition, computer software is not considered a public record, while data and statistics collected (whether collected knowingly or unknowingly) by a government authority whose powers derive from the laws of California are public records (such as license plate reader images) pursuant to EFF & ACLU of Southern California v. Los Angeles Police Department & Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and are not exempt from disclosure and are public records.

Although the act only covers “writing,” the Act, pursuant to Government Code § 6252(g), states: “Writing” means any handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, photocopying, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored.

Agencies permitted to claim copyright

California's Constitution and its statutes do not permit any agency to claim copyright for "public records" unless authorized to do so by law. The following agencies are permitted to claim copyright and any works of these agencies should be assumed to be copyrighted without clear evidence to the contrary:

County of Santa Clara v. CFAC held that the State of California, or any government entity which derives its power from the State, cannot enforce a copyright in any record subject to the Public Records Act in the absence of another state statute giving it the authority to do so.
Note: Works that are considered "public records" but were not created by a state or municipal government agency may be copyrighted by their author; the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution prevents state law from overriding the author's right to copyright protection that is granted by federal law. For example, a state agency may post images online of the final appearance of a building under construction; while the images may have to be released by such agency since they are public records, their creator (eg. architecture/construction firm) retains copyright rights to the image unless the contract with the agency says otherwise. See: Government-in-the-Sunshine Manual: To what extent does federal law preempt state law regarding public inspection of records?.
Disclaimer: The information provided, especially the list of agencies permitted to claim copyright, may not be complete. Wikimedia Commons makes no guarantee of the adequacy or validity of this information in this template (see disclaimer).