UNITED STATES NEWS

California bill to have humans drivers ride in autonomous trucks is vetoed by governor

Sep 23, 2023, 11:51 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill to require human drivers on board self-driving trucks, a measure that union leaders and truck drivers said would save hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state.

The legislation vetoed Friday night would have banned self-driving trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms) — ranging from UPS delivery vans to massive big rigs — from operating on public roads unless a human driver is on board.

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, head of the California Labor Federation, said driverless trucks are dangerous and called Newsom’s veto shocking. She estimates that removing drivers would cost a quarter million jobs in the state.

“We will not sit by as bureaucrats side with tech companies, trading our safety and jobs for increased corporate profits. We will continue to fight to make sure that robots do not replace human drivers and that technology is not used to destroy good jobs,” Fletcher said in a statement late Friday.

In a statement announcing that he would not sign the bill, the Democratic governor said additional regulation of autonomous trucks was unnecessary because existing laws are sufficient.

Newsom pointed to 2012 legislation that allows the state Department of Motor Vehicles to work with the California Highway Patrol, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “and others with relevant expertise to determine the regulations necessary for the safe operation of autonomous vehicles on public roads.”

Opponents of the bill argued self-driving cars that are already on the roads haven’t caused many serious accidents compared to cars driven by people. Businesses say self-driving trucks would help them transport products more efficiently.

Union leaders and drivers said the bill would have helped address concerns about safety and losing truck driving jobs to automation in the future.

The bill coasted through the Legislature with few lawmakers voting against it. It’s part of ongoing debates about the potential risks of self-driving vehicles and how workforces adapt to a new era as companies deploy technologies to do work traditionally done by humans.

Newsom, who typically enjoys strong support from labor, faced some pressure from within his administration not to sign it. His administration’s Office of Business and Economic Development says it would push companies making self-driving technologies to move out-of-state.

The veto comes as the debate over the future of autonomous vehicles heats up. In San Francisco, two robotaxi companies got approval last month from state regulators to operate in the city at all hours.

Last Tuesday in Sacramento, hundreds of truck drivers, union leaders and other supporters of the bill rallied at the state Capitol. Drivers chanted “sign that bill” as semi-trucks lined a street in front of the Capitol. There are about 200,000 commercial truck drivers in California, according to Teamsters officials.

United States News

FILE - Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks during a Pentagon press briefing at the Pentagon on Fe...

Associated Press

Defense chief on the defensive: Lawmakers to confront Austin on secret hospital stay

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will face Congress publicly for the first time Thursday to explain his failure to quickly notify the president and other senior leaders about his hospitalization last month for complications from prostate cancer surgery. He is expected to hear some sharp questions and criticism from members of the House […]

9 minutes ago

Traffic enter and leave mid-town Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Ne...

Associated Press

NYC’s plan to ease gridlock and pump billions into mass transit? A $15 toll for Manhattan drivers

NEW YORK (AP) — Between bridge and tunnel tolls, parking fees and the ever-present risk of getting a traffic ticket, it can already cost a mint to drive into Manhattan. Is forking over another $15 for the privilege of driving into the most traffic-choked parts of the island enough to finally get more people out […]

17 minutes ago

FILE - Firefighters extinguish a fire after a Russian attack on a residential neighborhood in Khark...

Associated Press

US adults fracture along party lines in support for Ukraine military funding, AP-NORC poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Russia makes battlefield advances and Ukrainian soldiers run short on ammunition, U.S. adults have become fractured along party lines in their support for sending military aid to Kyiv, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Democrats are more likely to say the U.S. government […]

24 minutes ago

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

DEMING, N.M. (AP) — A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona, according to New Mexico State Police. The 13-year-old turned up at a Walmart in Deming on Tuesday after going missing the night before from his family’s home in Tucson. […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

UN appeals for $674 million as gang violence in Haiti escalates with killings and sexual violence

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Indiscriminate violence in Haiti is escalating — especially in the capital and surrounding region — with armed gangs carrying out killings and acts of sexual violence, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in the conflict-wracked Caribbean nation said Wednesday. Ulrika Richardson told U.N. reporters in a virtual press conference from the Haitian […]

4 hours ago

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul holds up a phone that displays a map of illegal cannabis stores as entre...

Associated Press

Struggling to stop illegal cannabis stores, New York governor asks online sites to hide them

NEW YORK (AP) — After failing to wipe illegal cannabis dispensaries off the map, New York is asking online sites to hide them. Since the state legalized marijuana in 2021, unlicensed pot shops have proliferated across New York City, with limited pushback from authorities. On Tuesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul called on online map and social […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

California bill to have humans drivers ride in autonomous trucks is vetoed by governor