Joan Claybrook is a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Jacqueline S. Gillan is president emeritus of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) announced last year that the District would be the corporate testing ground for Ford’s driverless vehicles. Throughout our careers in highway and auto safety, we have strongly and successfully advocated for the adoption of proven vehicle safety technologies such as air bags, rollover prevention systems and, more recently, rearview cameras that have collectively saved tens of thousands of lives and prevented millions of injuries. We do not fear new technology, but we do fear being guinea pigs for testing vehicles equipped with experimental technology and exempted, as current law allows, from existing safety requirements on crowded city streets.