SB 932 – Relating to Autonomous Vehicles
On Wednesday, March 20, SB 932 by Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) was heard in the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee and was reported favorably with 8 yeas and 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this legislation.
This bill authorizes the use of vehicles in autonomous mode in the state. The autonomous technology would be considered the human operator of the motor vehicle and provides that various provisions of law regarding motor vehicles such as rendering aid in the event of a crash do not apply to vehicles in autonomous mode if the vehicle owner, or person on behalf of the owner, promptly contacts law enforcement. The bill also specifies that statutory provisions relating to unattended motor vehicles, wireless communication devices, and television receivers do not apply to autonomous vehicles (AVs) operating with the automated driving system engaged. The bill also removes the requirement for a person to possess a valid driver license to operate a fully autonomous vehicle.
SB 932 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.
AIF supports modernizing state law to accommodate new technologies that open the door for safe, reliable modes of autonomous vehicles in a competitive marketplace with clear, limited government regulations. The transportation system and its continued growth and viability is critically important to businesses across the state.
SB 1044 – Relating to the Department of Transportation
On Wednesday, March 20, SB 1044 by Senator Ben Albritton (R-Bartow) was heard in the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee and was reported favorably with 7 yeas and 0 nays. AIF stood in support of this legislation.
This bill addresses various issues relating to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Specifically, the bill:
- Removes the Florida Transportation Commission’s responsibility to nominate three persons for appointment by the Governor as secretary of the FDOT.
- Requires the FDOT secretary to be a licensed professional engineer, or to hold an advanced degree in a related discipline with 5 years of relevant experience, or have ten years of relevant experience.
- Prohibits a contractor who has not satisfactorily completed two projects, each in excess of $25 million, from bidding on FDOT contracts in excess of $50 million.
- Prohibits a local government from adopting standards and specifications for aggregates and materials that are contrary to the FDOT’s standards or specifications.
- Requires mileage for official state travel to be calculated using the most commonly used maps, instead of the FDOT’s current highway map.
SB 1044 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.
AIF supports legislation that positively reforms FDOT to provide all Floridians with high-quality transportation infrastructure.
SB 1148 – Relating to Vehicles for Rent or Lease
On Wednesday, March 20, SB 1148 by Senator Keith Perry (R-Gainesville) was heard in the Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee and was reported favorably with 5 yeas and 3 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this legislation.
Currently rental car companies and car sharing services collect the rental car surcharge and sales tax from persons renting vehicles. App base car rental services called “peer to peer car sharing companies” are growing throughout the country, and AIF supports the new ways Floridians can access transportation. However, the P2P companies do not remit either tax required by the state. The proceeds from the rental car surcharge paid by consumers who rent vehicles goes to build and maintain the state’s infrastructure, which is very important to Florida businesses statewide. This bill ensures the entities renting vehicles in the State of Florida play by the same “rules of the road.”
SB 1148 will now move to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.
AIF supports the proposed measures in this bill to hold all rental car services accountable, regardless of how the vehicle is accessed.