County Attorney: No Charges Against Uber in Fatal Arizona Pedestrian Crash
YAVAPAI COUNTY, AZ. – According to an online news report from foxnews.com, the Yavapai County Attorney has announced that no charges will be filed against Uber in connection with a fatal pedestrian crash that happened in March 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. The crash involved a self-driving vehicle owned by Uber and killed a 49-year-old woman.
On March 5, Yavapai County Attorney Shelia Polk stated that ridesharing company Uber would not face charges for the pedestrian fatality, which was considered the first fatal collision in the country involving an autonomous vehicle. In making the announcement, Polk said it was unlikely that video footage from the crash — obtained from the dash of the self-driving Uber vehicle — accurately portrayed the events of the collision.
It is not completely clear what Polk’s office believed was inaccurate about the video, but Polk suggested that the Tempe Police Department work to obtain additional evidence regarding the circumstances of the crash. Polk did not say whether prosecutors were considering charges against the human safety driver who was inside the Uber vehicle at the time of the deadly accident.
Footage from a camera pointed inside the Uber vehicle on the night of the crash shows that the driver was looking down prior to the accident, and footage from a camera pointed outside shows the pedestrian walking in front of the vehicle. Investigators found that the driver had been watching a television show on her phone. They concluded that if she had been looking at the road, she would have had time to apply the vehicle’s brakes and avoid the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board also investigated the accident and found that the automatic braking system in the Uber vehicle had been disabled because Uber wanted to prevent erratic braking. The company was instead relying on human drivers for emergency braking.
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