Bill Summary for S 739 (2019-2020)

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Summary date: 

May 27 2020

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
Senate Bill 739 (Public) Filed Thursday, May 14, 2020
Intro. by Perry, Searcy, Sawyer.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

Modifies the proposed definition of personal delivery device (PDD) set out in GS 20-4.01 to define the term to mean an electronically powered device intended for transporting cargo (previously, for transporting cargo without regard to intent provided) that is equipped with automated driving technology that enables the operation of the device with or without the remote support and supervision of a human (previously, limited to remote support and supervision of a human). Also adds that the PDD cannot exceed a weight of 500 pounds, excluding cargo, a length of 40 inches, and a width of 30 inches.

Makes the following changes to proposed Article 10B, Personal Delivery Devices, of GS Chapter 20.

Authorizes a business entity to operate a PDD if the entity is authorized to conduct business in the State under specified GS Chapters (was, if registered with the Secretary of State). Makes conforming changes throughout to remove references to registration, including the annual registration and fee provisions. Expands the definition provided for business entity to include a limited liability company.

Concerning PDD operation, specifies that the requirement for the PDD to be monitored by a human that is an agent of the business entity, able to exercise remote control over navigation and operation of the PDD, requires that the business entity's agent be at least 16 years old and charged by the entity with the responsibility of monitoring and operating a PDD. Requires the PDD to be operated in a manner that complies with the Chapter's provisions applicable to bicycles when the device is operating on a highway or bicycle lane, in addition to those applicable to pedestrians when the device is operating in a pedestrian area. No longer qualifies the pedestrian provision compliance with exclusionary phrasing when the nature of the provisions cannot apply to the PDD. Changes the maximum speeds permitted for PDD operation from 12 to 10 mph in pedestrian areas, and from 20 to 35 mph on highways.

Eliminates the prohibition against local government regulation of the hours and areas of operation of a PDD inconsistent with the Article. Now allows local governments to reasonably regulate PDD operation on a highway or pedestrian area for reasons relating to public health, safety, or welfare, subject to an opportunity from business entities. Explicitly bars local governments' outright ban of PDD operation. Specifies that this provision does not affect law enforcement or local government authority to enforce State laws relating to PDD operation.

Adds that the immunity from liability does not apply in instances of gross negligence.

Eliminates the Article's enforcement provisions.