The end of the parking ticket? Motorists in self-driving cars should NOT be held criminally liable if they exceed the limit or crash (but need to stay sober), say government legal experts
- Government experts made the legislative proposals in a new report
- They set a framework for a complex shift of legal responsibilities when self-driving vehicles hit the road – probably within a few years
- According to the proposals, the person in the driver's seat would be referred to as the “responsible user” and would not be held responsible for errors in the vehicle such as speeding
Drivers will be renamed "Responsible Users" when automated vehicles drive on UK roads and will not be criminally liable in the event of an accident, government experts have suggested.
You have established a framework for a complex shift in legal responsibilities when self-driving vehicles hit the road – probably within a few years.
The cars would be programmed to travel with passengers on board – who can intervene in an emergency. A Law Commission report suggested that the move could spell the end of the speeding ticket as the responsible users are no longer blamed for mistakes in their car.
However, the person in charge of the vehicle must remain below the alcohol limit in case they have to take the wheel.
Drivers will be renamed "Responsible Users" when automated vehicles drive on UK roads and will not be criminally liable in the event of an accident, government experts have suggested. You have established a framework for a complex shift in legal responsibilities when self-driving vehicles hit the road – probably within a few years. In the picture: A BMW with self-driving technology takes to the streets
The report says that responsibility for what is currently being treated as a car crime – including fatal accidents – should be transferred from the driver to the manufacturer of the vehicle or its software.
The changes make it possible for responsible users to watch or read films while traveling – and even for the traditional driver's seat to be phased out from future vehicle designs.
The report states: “According to our proposals, when a vehicle is classified as self-driving and the ADS (automated driving system) is activated, the person in the driver's seat becomes the responsible user rather than the driver.
& # 39; This means that … the responsible user can lawfully carry out activities that drivers of conventional vehicles are not allowed to carry out, as this would distract them from driving. Examples are watching a movie or reading email. If there is a collision caused by a self-driving vehicle, the responsible user cannot be prosecuted for offenses such as negligent or dangerous driving. The responsible user could not be prosecuted for a variety of other crimes such as exceeding the speed limit. "
It increases the prospect of automated vehicles or AVs that will be rejected by the public. It said: “At some point someone will be killed or seriously injured by an AV. The victim will be a real person – their picture will appear in the media and evoke great compassion.
Transport Secretary Rachel Maclean released the report, saying Britain is "leading the way in regulating this technology (self-driving cars)" (file photo)
In these circumstances, developers, regulators, and politicians need to stand up for AVs and come up with numbers that show an overall decline in injury rates.
& # 39; This may not be an easy sale. Robust data is needed. & # 39; Self-driving cars are already being tested on UK roads with a safety officer on board. Transport Secretary Rachel Maclean launched the report, saying: "The UK is leading the way in regulating this technology, supporting innovation and putting safety at the heart of everything we do."
The Law Commission said the 4.5 million car crimes committed on the UK's roads each year would become "regulatory matters" if cars were to drive themselves. Infringements would instead be remedied by a security guard at the vehicle manufacturer.
It said, "Automated vehicles should be much more lawful so much of this enforcement may no longer be necessary." A responsible user must be qualified and ready to drive according to the plans. It will remain a crime not to have a driver's license or to be unable to drive through drinks or drugs.
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