WASHINGTON — The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) issued the following statement on today’s House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection hearing entitled “Self-Driving Cars: Road to Deployment.”
“PCI applauds Chairman Latta and Ranking Member Schakowsky for raising awareness on this important issue,” said Bob Passmore, PCI’s assistant vice president, personal lines. “As Congress explores opportunities to ensure safety and improve the regulatory flexibility for the testing and deployment of self-driving cars, PCI urges policymakers to continue to focus on the auto safety challenges that face us today.”
“There is a fundamental mismatch between the public perceptions that new technologies are making today’s cars dramatically safer for drivers and passengers, with the stark reality that our roads are becoming increasingly dangerous,” said Passmore. According to NHTSA, 17,775 people died on our nation’s roads in the first half of 2016. Roadway deaths have been steadily increasing since 2014, and distracted driving is thought to be one of the leading causes for the rise in vehicle accidents nationwide.
“Policymakers must not lose sight of basic auto safety issues, such as seat belt use, speed limits, distracted and impaired driving. PCI urges Congress to provide oversight to ensure that the auto safety provisions in H.R. 22, the Fast Act, including high visibility auto safety law enforcement efforts and establishing an enforceable impairment standard for drivers under the influence of marijuana are implemented.
“Someday in the future, self-driving cars may reduce the number of accidents and deaths. However this stands in sharp contrast to what is happening on our roads today. PCI looks forward to working with policymakers at the federal and state level to reduce accidents on our roads today and in the future,” concluded Passmore.