The bill also would set speed limits (20 mph on roads, bike lanes and shoulders and 4 mph on sidewalks or paths), establish safety standards (they must have brakes and lights) and require them to be monitored by someone who is capable controlling them at any time. It specifies that the owner of the device would be responsible for any violations, and it would require them to have $250,000 in liability insurance.
Georgia would become the 21st state to authorize personal delivery devices. At a recent hearing, Rep. Todd Jones, R-Cumming, the bill’s sponsor, said he believes delivery robots will evolve rapidly in coming years.
“It’s not every day where we, as the General Assembly, have an opportunity to look into the future like this,” Jones said.
Not everyone is a fan of the legislation. HB 1009 would allow local governments to ban delivery robots on sidewalks, bike lanes and paths — but only at night. Bicycle and trail advocates say local governments should be able to ban the devices in certain places during daylight hours.
“Local citizens and their governments built those sidewalks, bike lanes and multiuse paths,” said Duane Ford, chair of Newton Trails Inc. “They should get to determine what sort of users can be on the trail and when.”
The bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Brian Kemp.