Published: April 2020

Now is not the time to rush autonomous vehicle legislation through Congress

During this time of national emergency, Congress should be focusing on ensuring the health and financial well-being of Americans, not rushing forward with inadequate driverless vehicle legislation that puts the interests of the auto industry and tech companies ahead of people’s safety. Yet, House Republicans have recently called for the revival of an autonomous vehicle bill (arguing that self-driving vehicles can be part of the Covid-19 response). In a letter to Congress, coalition advocates urged legislative leaders to reject attempts to attach driverless car legislation to a must-pass relief bills, including any packages that address the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Any continued efforts to pass driverless vehicle legislation at this critical juncture would be a mistake.

During the coronavirus pandemic, our country needs tests, ventilators and personal protective equipment to improve Americans’ health and safety, not the wide-scale deployment of unproven driverless vehicles that have yet to meet baseline safety standards. An autonomous vehicle bill would bring the most significant changes to federal auto safety laws in decades — it should not be rushed. The legal framework and safety standards should include strong measures that put consumer safety first as driverless cars are developed, tested, and deployed. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present our country with unprecedented challenges, Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in urging Congress to focus its attention on the ongoing public health and economic crisis. Now is not the time to pass automated vehicle legislation.

Lead Organization

Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety

Other Organizations

Active Transportation Alliance | Adventure Cycling Association | Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety | America Walks | American Motorcyclist Association | American Public Health Association | Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals | Big Shark Bicycle Company | CAARMA Consumer Advocates Against Reverse Mortgage Abuse | Center for Auto Safety | Center for Disability Rights | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety | Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund | Emergency Nurses Association | International Brotherhood of Teamsters | | League of American Bicyclists | Local Motion | National Association of City Transportation Officials | National Association of Regional Councils | National Consumers League | New Urban Mobility Alliance | People for Mobility Justice | Po Campo | Public Citizen | Rails-to-Trails Conservancy | Safe Routes Partnership | Smash the Box | Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research | TransitMatters | Transportation Alternatives | Transportation for America | Transportation Learning Center | Trauma Foundation | Truck Safety Coalition

More Information

Click here to read the letter in full.

To learn more, please visit Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety's website.

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