MACo Calls for County Representation on Proposed Self-Driving Vehicle Task Force

MACo Policy Analyst, Robin Clark, testified to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support with amendments of SB 126 on February 2, 2016. SB 126 would create a task force to study issues related to the use of self-driving vehicles.

MACo supports the bill with amendments that add additional county representatives to the task force. The additional representatives would allow county input into the law enforcement, road design, and maintenance challenges that self-driving/autonomous vehicles pose to county governments.

MACo’s written testimony states,

For counties, the three key issues with autonomous vehicles are: (1) changes in road design and maintenance; (2) law enforcement practices; and (3) liability issues.

MACo supports having a task force or workgroup to address these important issues and has been participating in an Autonomous Vehicle Working Group that was formed by the Maryland Department of Transportation in December of 2015. That working group is looking at the same issues as proposed by SB 126 but has several more local government participants.

Currently, HB 8 provides for a representative from the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association. MACo’s attached amendment would also add a representative from the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association and a county engineer or public works representative.

An identical cross-filed bill, HB 8, was heard on January 28 in the House.

For more on MACo 2016 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.