For Gregg Harper, the Issue of Driverless Cars Is Personal

The Washington Examiner discusses the SELF DRIVE Act with Marc Scribner.

Livingston Harper always wants to be on the move. At least that’s what his father, Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., says.

Livingston, 28, wants to go to ball games, the book store — a place he loves — or to the local restaurant where he works Monday through Friday.

But for Livingston, going to these places requires the help of his parents, sister or brother-in-law.

The 28-year-old was born with Fragile X syndrome, a condition that causes intellectual disabilities. During Livingston’s childhood, Gregg Harper told the Washington Examiner his son was late to walking and late to talking, “but if you met him, you’d want to take him home with you,” he said.

Livingston was one of the first two students to graduate from the ACCESS program at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Miss., which is designed to help students with disabilities with the transition to college, Harper said.

Today, he works during the week at a local restaurant in Mississippi.

But getting to and from work, and all the other places he wants to go, is difficult for Livingston. He can’t drive, so he’s dependent on others to take him places.

But that could all soon change for Livingston, as Congress has begun to make progress on legislation to allow more self-driving cars on the road.

This month, the House passed by voice vote a bipartisan bill providing the federal government with a framework for developing regulations for driverless cars.

“It’s a positive first step for the federal government,” Marc Scribner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Examiner. “This would constitute the first effort to modernize our auto safety regulations to account for autonomous vehicle technology.”

Scribner said the SELF DRIVE Act signals Congress is “now awake, and they’re going to be looking at this more closely.”

Read the full article at the Washington Examiner.