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#SubDCCP Members Unanimously Advance Self-Driving Legislation During Markup

Jul 19, 2017
Bipartisan Draft Legislation to Ensure Consumer Safety, Reduce Roadway Fatalities, and Clarify Federal and State Roles Sails Through Subcommittee Markup

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, chaired by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), today held a markup to advance groundbreaking bipartisan self-driving legislation that will prioritize safety while encouraging innovation. This draft legislation passed out of the subcommittee by voice vote.

Statistics show us that there were more than 35,000 traffic fatalities on U.S. roadways in 2015. If 2016 estimates are confirmed, it marks the first time in almost a decade that more than 40,000 people have died in traffic accidents in a single year.

Recognizing the life-saving potential of self-driving vehicles —and the need to reduce fatalities—the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee has taken the lead in the House to draft legislation that addresses these concerns. Today’s draft legislation provides guidance on four critically important issues surrounding this rapidly-evolving industry including: protecting consumers, fostering innovation, increasing mobility and boosting research and development. 

Speaking to the urgency in advancing this legislation, Chairman Latta relayed, “Why is all of this important?  One word: Safety. We don’t have to accept a world where millions of accidents and thousands of fatalities on the roadway are a necessary evil of driving. In a nation of over 320 million, each year approximately 6 million Americans are involved in vehicular accidents, resulting in nearly 2 million injuries.”

Full committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) concluded, “For Americans to enjoy the benefits that self-driving cars have to offer, we must develop an appropriate regulatory structure that SAFELY allows industry to innovate.  We want aggressive oversight of the industry, but with the flexibility needed to test and generate the safest and most affordable technologies possible. There is an important balance we must strike, and I believe this legislation does just that.”

For more information on today’s hearing, including a background memo, witness testimony, and archived webcast, click HERE.