Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other


California governor vetoes bill banning driverless trucks

Photo: gorodenkoff/iStockphoto

Sacramento, CA — California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has vetoed legislation that would have banned autonomous trucks weighing 10,000-plus pounds from operating on the state’s roadways without a person on board.

A.B. 316 also would have prevented the California Highway Patrol and Department of Motor Vehicles from considering permits for AVs until 2029.

Newsom writes in a Sept. 22 veto message that the proposed bill is “unnecessary for the regulation and oversight of heavy-duty autonomous vehicle technology in California, as existing law provides sufficient authority to create the appropriate regulatory framework.”

The governor cites 2012 legislation that permits California’s DMV to work with the state highway patrol, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and “others with relevant expertise” to determine regulations related to autonomous trucks.

Lawmakers in January introduced A.B. 316 in the California Assembly. The bipartisan legislation was unanimously approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on July 12 and on Sept. 11 passed in the California Senate and Assembly.

The Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association backs the governor’s decision to veto the bill. “As a result, California’s safety experts can continue to evaluate autonomous vehicle technology and consider appropriate regulatory action,” AVIA Executive Director Jeff Farrah said in a press release.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters participated in a Sept. 19 rally calling on Newsom to sign A.B. 316 into law. In a Sept. 23 post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien wrote that Newsom, who vetoed the bill on a Friday evening, “doesn’t have the guts to face working people. He’d rather give away our jobs in the dead of night.”

O’Brien added that vetoing the bill is “giving a green light to put these dangerous rigs on the road.”

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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication