Click here to watch TSC President Tami Friedrich’s testimony on YouTube.
JULY 11, 2023
Hi, good afternoon. My name is Tami Friedrich. I’m the current president of the Truck Safety Coalition and board member for CRASH (Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways), and most importantly, I’m a volunteer. I’ve been a volunteer for over thirty years. My sister and her entire family were all killed in a truck crash with a gasoline tanker on the 10 Freeway in Claremont, California.
The Truck Safety Coalition has been fighting for proven, common-sense safety reforms since our founding. Tested and proven safety tech exists that has not widely been adopted. California would do well to incentivize the use of these technologies that have already been proven to save lives. Large truck Automated Driving Systems (ADS) have no state or federal performance or regulations. What’s more, AV manufacturers have lacked transparency, repeatedly telling lawmakers disengagement and testing data necessary to understand and evaluate progress and performance is proprietary.
California’s existing automated vehicle testing framework has infuriated the public and emergency responders in San Francisco, and does not inspire confidence that the time has come to unleash driverless 80,000-lb. trucks on the highways. Despite their promising potential, it must be acknowledged that unregulated AV trucks pose a threat to human life.
Consider TuSimple’s story. Their AV truck malfunctioned and, without warning, turned the truck sharply toward a guardrail. If another vehicle had been there, its passengers could have easily been killed. Thank goodness human safety operators were there, attentive and able to take decisive action to avert catastrophe. A.B. 316 makes sure that happens.
Californians did not sign up to be guinea pigs in driverless experiments on our roads. It is reckless and wrong to force people to participate in this experiment without reasonable safeguards such as retaining a human safety operator in case the unexpected happens. Safety must be kept the top priority while necessary and important autonomous trucking testing and research continues, which is why I urge this body to pass A. B. 316. Thank you.