HARRISBURG – The state House in Harrisburg Tuesday approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Greg Rothman (R-Cumberland) that would enable the use of highly automated vehicles in work zones operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Rothman’s bill also would empower military vehicles to travel in platoons without fear of being cited with a traffic violation.
“I think we are seeing more and more that automated vehicles will play an expanded role in the construction industry,” Rothman said. “I want Pennsylvania to be a leader in this area by ensuring we have a law in place to address this issue.”
Rothman’s bill would empower PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to authorize areas where autonomous vehicles could operate within work zones. The vehicles then could operate without a human operator within those zones.
“My bill is about establishing a process to ensure autonomous work vehicles can operate safely and efficiently on state roads and the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” Rothman said.
Rothman’s bill also would allow military personnel to travel in convoys with up to three vehicles without fear of being cited for following another vehicle too closely.
“Military vehicles sometimes travel in convoys” said Rothman, who served nearly 10 years in the Marine Corps Reserve. “My bill would ensure military vehicles can travel in convoys on major Pennsylvania roadways without their drivers fearing they will get a traffic ticket.”
Rothman’s legislation – House Bill 1958
– now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
Representative Greg Rothman
87th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing