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Majority Leader Aguiar-Curry Bill To Protect Traveling Public, Trucking Jobs Passes Assembly Floor with Bipartisan Support

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Assembly Majority Leader Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D- Winters) announced that Assembly Bill 2286 (Aguiar-Curry, Friedman, and Kalra) passed the Assembly Floor with a bipartisan vote of 63-4. AB 2286 requires that autonomous vehicles (AVs) over 10,000 pounds have a human safety operator present during initial testing and deployment to ensure the technology is working properly and to respond to any incidents and emergencies when the vehicles fail to operate properly on public roads.

“I’m proud to have passed the first hurdle in this year’s process with another resounding bipartisan vote.  The legislature must maintain its role in protecting the safety of and employment of tens of millions of Californians,” said Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters). “I’m dumbfounded that the opposition makes the arguments that this bill limits the opportunity for them to cut ‘costs.’ Those ‘costs’ are humans in the trucking industry, and the price Californians public will pay for tech companies’ mistakes is our families,’ friends’, and neighbors’ safety. Our professional truck drivers are the stewards of our highways, not entries on a balance sheet. They have actually testified publicly that the industry cares more about profits than the safety of our constituents on public streets and highways.”

“The Teamsters know the trucking industry, and for Big Tech and AV companies to try and push huge autonomous trucks on California roads without a driver behind the wheel isn’t just dangerous – it’s going to kill tens of thousands of good jobs and hurt middle-class families,” said Chris Griswold, Teamsters International Vice President At-Large and President of Teamsters Joint Council 42. “We applaud the California Assembly for their overwhelming support for AB 2286 and prioritizing the wellbeing of California drivers.”

“For the past year, California regulators have allowed Big Tech to treat our state as a lawless playground, ignoring the widespread safety incidents caused by dangerous autonomous vehicles. Guardrails are long overdue, and that starts with AB 2286,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters International Western Region Vice President and President of Teamsters Joint Council 7. “The Teamsters are not going to back down in the fight to protect good union jobs and public safety. It's time California lawmakers sign AB 2286 into law.”

“Tech companies pushing driverless big rigs are wreaking havoc on the livelihoods and safety of all Californians. There are hundreds of thousands of trucking jobs that will be lost due to automation in our state if we allow it,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Chief Officer of the California Labor Federation, representing 1,300 unions and 2.3 million union members. “The Legislature has shown strong bipartisan support for this legislation because safety and good jobs are issues everyone can get behind.”

“Driverless trucks/busses are dangerous and don’t belong on California roads or highways without a human safety operator on board. The risks of autonomous passenger vehicles are well-documented, and the risks of heavy-duty autonomous vehicles would be even worse,” said Louie Costa, Director of the California State Legislative Board for the SMART-Transportation Division. “We cannot allow tech companies to trade our safety and jobs for increased corporate profits. Public transportation ridership has been slow to recover post-pandemic, and safety concerns add to the longstanding issues that discourage people from using public transit. Imagine how safe the public would feel without a human safety operator on board.”

AB 2286 balances technological advancement and the public good.  This bill allows AV technology to continue expanding in California but requires the presence of a human safety operator in any AV over 10,000 pounds that is driven on public roads. The operator must have any relevant state and federal certifications for operating the vehicle. This bill also requires that disengagements and collisions of heavy-duty AVs are reported to the DMV. The bill will go next to the Senate, where it will be heard in additional policy committees.


Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake, Colusa, Napa, and Yolo Counties and part of Sonoma County.