FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2018
CONTACT: Kara Macek, 202-789-0942 x140
Statement by Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) Director of Policy and Government Relations Russ Martin
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) congratulates the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) on its automated vehicles policy guidance 3.0 and its ongoing effort to promote a national policy framework for these new safety technologies. GHSA also thanks U.S. DOT for gathering input and keeping the safety community apprised as it developed this new guidance.
Earlier this year, GHSA documented the many traffic safety issues that automated vehicles (AVs) pose for the states.1 These include considering how traffic laws and programs might change with the introduction of AVs, law enforcement preparation, and public acceptance. Public surveys suggest that many drivers are apprehensive about automated vehicles, despite their expected safety benefits. Industry, government, and safety groups need to work together not only to promote the use of this new safety technology but also ensure that the public will use it safely and as intended.
To prepare for AVs, among other recommendations, GHSA suggests states consider licensing and traffic law changes, educate the public about this technology, and establish and implement training programs on AVs for law enforcement officers.
As U.S. DOT has noted, we will likely experience a mix of automated and non-automated technologies on our roads for decades, maybe forever. As human behavior will continue to cause crashes, the nation needs to not only prepare for and deploy safe automation technology but also to continue significant investment in proven education, engineering, and enforcement countermeasures so that we can build on the reduction in fatal crashes recently announced for 2017 and the first half of 2018.
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1 In August, GHSA released Preparing for Automated Vehicles: Traffic Safety Issues for States, made possible by a grant from State Farm®.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.