President Obama wrote an Op-Ed about the role of government in overseeing the development of self-driving cars. I find one of his comments very interesting:
There are always those who argue that government should stay out of free enterprise entirely, but I think most Americans would agree we still need rules to keep our air and water clean, and our food and medicine safe. That’s the general principle here. What’s more, the quickest way to slam the brakes on innovation is for the public to lose confidence in the safety of new technologies.
Both government and industry have a responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen. And make no mistake: If a self-driving car isn’t safe, we have the authority to pull it off the road. We won’t hesitate to protect the American public’s safety.
Well then, President Obama, I would like to discuss with you the unsafe trucks driving on the road which, at any moment, could kill an unsuspecting member of the American public — as one did my two daughters, Mary and AnnaLeah — due to inadequate underride protection. Are you ready to exercise that authority and take decisive action?
- Set a National Vision Zero Goal.
- Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force.
- Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to authorize the Department of Transportation to adopt a Vision Zero Rulemaking Policy.
- And then appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman to advocate for the victims of vehicle violence, to protect the American public, and to mobilize citizens to act on their own behalf through a nationwide network of Vision Zero/Traffic Safety Community Action Groups.
Let’s have a serious talk about this. I’ll be in DC next week. Give me a call.