DRIVER­LESS-CAR BILL MO­TORS PAST SE­NATE ON ROAD TO HOUSE

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Ta­mara Chuang

Colorado’s first pro­posed law to reg­u­late driver­less cars re­ceived the Se­nate’s ap­proval Wed­nes­day and now will wind its way to the House for con­sid­er­a­tion.

As spon­sors for Se­nate Bill 213 have said, the pro­posed rules are just a frame­work to es­tab­lish Colorado as a wel­come ground for those test­ing tech­nol­ogy and cars that will drive them­selves.

“This bill is not meant to be a com­pre­hen­sive,” said Sen. Do­minick Moreno, a Com­merce City Demo­crat, who spon­sored the bill with Sen. Owen Hill, a Colorado Springs Repub­li­can. “The rea­son it is not is be­cause the tech­nol­ogy is still be­ing tested and we want to be one of the lead­ers to bring this in­no­va­tion to the state.”

The bill, ap­proved 22-13, would al­low au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles on Colorado roads as long as they com­ply with state and fed­eral laws. If they don’t, op­er­a­tors must co­or­di­nate test­ing with the Colorado Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and Colorado State Pa­trol. The bill also pre­cludes lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties from adopt­ing their own rules. Cur­rently, there are no state laws reg­u­lat­ing driver­less ve­hi­cles.

But cre­at­ing just a guide­line wasn’t enough for the 13 sen­a­tors who voted against the bill. That in­cluded all Democrats and one Repub­li­can, Sen. Don Coram from Mon­trose.

Sen. Michael Mer­ri­field, a Demo­crat from Colorado Springs, was dis­ap­pointed that the bill didn’t in­clude any safety guide­lines that the National High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion has rec­om­mended, in­clud­ing re­quir­ing de­ployed ve­hi­cles to be reg­is­tered and deal­ing with li­a­bil­ity and in­surance.

“We’re putting peo­ple’s safety on the high­way at risk,” Mer­ri­field said. “We should have rules. We shouldn’t be lais­sez-faire. This is an un­reg­u­lated guide­line.”

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