Commerce Committee – Week 15, 2021


HF 304 – Personal delivery devices

HF 304 relates to personal delivery devices (PDD), such as Amazon’s “Scout” or FedEx’s “Roxo.” A PDD is a battery-powered land device that can operate autonomously but has human oversight and can be controlled remotely if the need arises. A PDD can detect obstacles, change speeds and stop, and is used by companies to deliver goods to customers who choose to use their service. PDDs are primarily used in urban environments and are designed to be operated where a pedestrian can walk, including crosswalks.

The bill requires the business to maintain general liability insurance coverage of at least $500,000 for damages arising from the operation of the device. Each PDD must be clearly marked with a name, unique identification number and contact information of the business operating the device. It must also have a braking system that allows a controlled stop at a safe distance, lighted lamps visible on all sides and additional lighting systems relating to weather conditions. The operator must comply with pedestrian safety and traffic laws and ordinances. If there is no reasonable access to a pedestrian area, a PDD may travel on a road with a maximum speed limit of 40 miles per hour, and the PDD speed cannot exceed 20 miles per hour or the speed limit of the road, whichever is lower. 

Penalties for violations are: 

  • Excess speed: scheduled fine of $30 to $135, plus $5 for each mile over 20 miles per hour.
  • Operators who fail to meet operation requirements: scheduled fine of $35 for each violation.
  • Operators who fail to meet identification marker and braking-system specifications: fine of at least $100, but not more than $1,000 for each violation.
  • Operators who fail to meet required lighting specifications: scheduled fine of $45.

As amended by the Senate, the bill also lowers the maximum speed of PDDs in pedestrian areas from 12 miles per hour to six miles per hour; requires PDDs to travel as far right as practicable when on a roadway; clarifies that claims for personal injury or property damage are subject to the laws applicable to such claims arising from pedestrian conduct; and allows a local authority to ban operation of PDDs on roads and pedestrian areas in its jurisdiction, if the operation constitutes a safety hazard.

The bill passed the House 90-1 and returns to the House for consideration of the Senate amendment.
[4/21: 46-0 (Excused: Mathis, Nunn, Schultz, Whiting)]