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House Judiciary OKs bills regarding autonomous delivery vehicles, posting nude images on the internet and medical cannabis facility surveillance

MORGANTOWN – The House Judiciary committee on Monday took a first step in the state regulation of autonomous delivery vehicles. It also approved bills regarding unauthorized posting of nude images and regarding video camera in medical cannabis facilities.

HB 4675 deals with two types of low-speed autonomous delivery vehicles: mobile carriers and personal delivery devices.

Both are electrically powered. Personal delivery devices – PDDs – carry goods and cargo and are what we are seeing delivering pizza and Amazon packages in some places. Mobile carriers are smaller, designed to carry personal property.

A PDD is remotely controlled or monitored by an operator. Under the bill, it must carry an identifying marker or plate. It has no weight limit. It may travel on roads or sidewalks, with a maximum speed of 12 mph on sidewalks and 20 mph on roads.

A PDD is not considered a vehicle but the owner must carry $100,000 liability coverage. Local governments may not regulate them in a manner inconsistent with this bill, including restricting operation hours and zones.

Mobile carriers must have an operator stationed within 25 feet. They will not require markers or plates, They are confined to sidewalks and crosswalks, at a maximum speed of 12.5 mph. They must weigh no more than 100 pounds, excluding cargo.

Members asked some detail questions but only one concerned policy: A delegate wondered how this bill would work with or against laws regarding PDDs impeding traffic by traveling too slow. Committee counsel wasn’t sure.

It passed in a voice vote. The bill came to Judiciary from Technology and Infrastructure and goes next to the House floor.

Nude picture bill

SB 452 was recommended by the Uniform Law Commission, which helps states draft laws to keep them up to date and uniform. A few years ago the Legislature made it a criminal offense to post nude pictures of someone online without their permission. This bill creates a civil action for the victim to sue for damages. There is a four-year statute of limitations.

It passed the Senate unanimously at the beginning of the month and now heads to the House floor.

Cannabis bill

HB 4743 updates code regarding video surveillance at medical cannabis businesses.

It says the Bureau for Public Health may require that a medical cannabis dispensary, grower or processor facility maintain motion activated video surveillance. If so, the business must retain the recordings for not more than 180 days, unless otherwise required for investigative or litigation purposes.

It passed in a voice vote and goes to the House floor.

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