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(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – Members of Teamsters Joint Council 56 and Teamsters across Kansas are disappointed in Gov. Laura Kelly (D) for signing into law Senate Bill 313, legislation that expands the ability of autonomous vehicles to recklessly operate in the state.
Teamsters have worked for months opposing the measure, calling out the bill’s dangerous language that would put future autonomous vehicles on the road without human safety operators present. By signing it into law, Gov. Kelly has allowed Kansas to set a bad precedent that other states could follow.
“This bill was rushed through the legislature over objections from Republicans and Democrats alike,” said Daniel Avelyn, Teamsters International Vice President for the Central Region and President of Joint Council 56. “The Teamsters will continue fighting back nationwide against the implementation of any new technology that abandons public safety and destroys good-paying, quality jobs.”
Kansas Teamsters built bipartisan opposition to the bill capable of sustaining a gubernatorial veto. The union stressed the need for human safety operators, evidence-based liability dollar amounts, and transparency from autonomous vehicle companies regarding safety and crash data. The Teamsters are urging its bipartisan coalition of Kansas legislators to remain united for public health and good governance in the wake of Gov. Kelly’s irresponsible decision.
“We understand that autonomous vehicle technology is progressing, but we are facing a crossroads as a nation,” Avelyn said. “This technology can either be implemented responsibly to complement and supplement the work that our members do every day, or it can be done recklessly, risking the lives of our friends and neighbors, and upending the workforce as we know it.”