Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed Assembly Bill 316, which would have required human attendants in self-driving vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds, reports Reuters. The bill received broad support among state legislators and was supported by the Teamsters and other labor organizations. Currently,
The governor wrote in his veto message that the bill is “not necessary for the regulation and oversight of heavy-duty autonomous vehicle technology,” adding that the existing regulatory framework is “sufficient.”
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) was given regulatory authority over autonomous vehicles in the state. Newsom writes that the DMV is consulting with state highway patrol, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “and others with relevant experience” to write laws to ensure the safety of autonomous vehicles. The DMV also regulates robotaxis, which have been involved in incidents such as the one in which a driverless Cruise taxi was hit by a fire truck just a week after the state allowed their expanded operation.
Newsom wrote that the DMV had sought input from “interested stakeholders” to help it craft future laws around self-driving vehicles. The department, he added, will seek public comment following “transparent, public” rulemaking with “subject matter experts and other stakeholders.”
The bill received overwhelming support among California lawmakers, with 36 senators confirming it and only two rejecting the measure on September 11, and members of the state Assembly passing it on a 69-4 vote on May 31.
Teamsters President Sean O’Brien wrote that “jobs and communities” would have been saved by the bill, and vetoing it gives “the green light to put these dangerous facilities on the road.”
Before the veto, the Teamsters union praised the state Assembly on June 1 for passing the measure, saying it is necessary as the DMV considers rules that would allow trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds to operate on California roads, possibly by 2024. The union yesterday urged Newsom to pass the bill, noting he had until Oct. 14 to do so. Newsom rejected it the same day.
“My administration has long been concerned about the impact of technology on the future of work,” Newsom wrote in his veto message, later writing that he would ask the Labor and Workforce Department to work with stakeholders to recommend ways to limit the damage yourself. driving trucks can have a profession.