The League, other bike groups, oppose move to speed self-driving legislation through Congress

By Stephen Frothingham

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The League of American Bicyclists is among the safety and consumer advocacy groups that sent a letter to the U.S. Senate this week to oppose a maneuver that would speed self-driving vehicle legislation through Congress.

The AV START Act, would create a national framework for regulating autonomous vehicles. Following the death of pedestrian struck by a self-driving vehicle in March, the League and other groups called for the legislation to be modified.

The bill is now stalled in Congress, with few openings on the Senate’s working calendar this session. Advocates for the bill say it should be passed quickly to avert a patchwork of state laws regulating the vehicles. Supporters have called for the bill to be attached to a reauthorization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA bill is considered “must pass” legislation and if the AV START Act is attached it could pass the Senate by unanimous consent with no debate or amendments.

The letter sent Monday opposing the move was signed by the League’s executive director, Bill Nesper, as well as the leaders of dozens of state and local bike and pedestrian advocacy groups.