Legislators begin work on self-driving car bill

May 02, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

On Wednesday, May 3 a House committee will begin work on a bill to regulate self-driving cars in New Hampshire.

As of now the bill, HB 314, defines “autonomous vehicles” and sets some rules about their operation (for example, they must have a means to let a human driver take over). The bill also specifies that self-driving cars can only be driven in New Hampshire for testing purposes, and only after a company submits a surety bond or proof of liability insurance to the Department of Safety. 

Thirteen states and Washington, D.C. have passed legislation regarding self-driving or “autonomous” cars. Most of those laws only authorize the testing of autonomous vehicles. 

Supporters of a bill to regulate self-driving cars argue that New Hampshire should welcome self-driving technology because of the business it will bring to the state. Autonomous vehicles also present an opportunity for New Hampshire’s many aging drivers to stay safely on the roads.

Others argue that it is too soon to pass autonomous vehicle legislation. The technology is still evolving, and industry and safety experts have not released any model legislation to guide policymakers. New Hampshire residents may also be uncomfortable with self-driving cars appearing on New Hampshire roads.

Do you think New Hampshire should pass a bill to regulate self-driving cars? Share your opinion in the comments below.

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