Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Greg Walden helps advance self-driving legislation

July 19, 2017
Press Release

Greg Walden helps advance self-driving legislation


Says technology is an innovative solution to reduce traffic fatalities in Oregon



Click here or on the image above to view Walden’s remarks at today’s hearing

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Continuing his efforts to improve safety on Oregon’s roads, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today helped advance groundbreaking self-driving legislation that will prioritize safety and encourage innovation. Walden says self-driving technology is an innovative solution to reduce traffic fatalities in Oregon, which have increased substantially in recent years.

"The technology behind highly autonomous vehicles is stunning,” said Walden. “Equally stunning are the latest roadway safety numbers.  Almost 40,000 lives were lost on our roads last year. In my home state alone, traffic fatalities were the highest they’ve been in 14 years, increasing an alarming 20 percent from the year before.” 

As Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Walden has been at the forefront of recent efforts to safely bring self-driving vehicle technology to America’s roads. Walden’s Energy and Commerce Committee has held multiple hearings on the enormous safety potential of self-driving cars. Walden has experienced this technology first-hand, and today stressed the need for the federal government to keep pace with advancements in technology as the speed of innovation increases.

“For Americans to enjoy the benefits that self-driving cars have to offer, we must develop an appropriate regulatory structure that SAFELY allows industry to innovate,” said Walden.  "We want aggressive oversight of the industry, but with the flexibility needed to test and generate the safest and most affordable technologies possible. There is an important balance we must strike, and I believe this legislation does just that.”

This work comes as Oregon and America, as a whole, face an increase in vehicle-related deaths after years of declining traffic fatalities. Today’s bipartisan legislation was advanced unanimously and now moves to the full Energy and Commerce Committee.

For more information on today’s hearing, including a background memo and archived webcast, click here.

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