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A driverless beer truck recently made the 120-mile run from Fort Collins to Colorado Springs. What does this development mean for truckers passing through Mojave and Barstow?

Driverless truck company Otto said that a human driver was on standby the entire time, and while that’s technically true, the driver was in the sleeping berth and would have been unable to take the controls in an emergency. Colorado is one of the few states that does not require a driver behind the wheel, which explains why the California company road-tested the driverless truck in the Rocky Mountain State. Company officials said the driverless truck completed the same run about a half-dozen times under the supervision of highway patrol officers, and since there were no incidents, the company got to take its training wheels off. Colorado Department of Transportation Executive Director Shailen Bhatt said it was “incredibly boring and incredibly terrifying at the same time, to watch a driverless car carry a load of freight—and potentially your career—at a pretty sedate speed down the road.”

Observers estimate that human error causes 94 percent of all traffic collisions.

Truck Driver Citations

Currently in California, autonomous vehicles must have human drivers behind the wheel who can drive in an emergency. The federal guidelines are a little bit broader, so that may change sooner or later. But whether there is an actual or standby driver, there will always be a vehicle owner, and the vehicle owner gets the citations.

Even forward-thinking visionaries envision autonomous trucks as vehicles that drive themselves on highways and use human drivers in town, specifically for loading and unloading. That means that the already strictly-enforced overweight laws will be even more strictly enforced. Inspectors are supposed to give drivers the chance to offload cargo or redistribute the load before they issue tickets, but that does not always happen.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-349-9300 or email to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.

Truckers who go through Mojave should watch out for overweight citations, whether a computer is driving the rig or not. At Bigger & Harman, we fight these tickets.
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