State Watch


Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit of Alphabet, has obtained permission to test fully automated cars on California’s public roads. The company, the first to receive a driverless permit in the state, plans to keep its vehicles in the neighborhoods of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and Palo Alto, according to a report by  Waymo’s permit includes day and night testing on city streets, rural roads, and highways with posted speed limits of up to 65 mph. Arizona also allows Waymo to operate driverless cars.


All-terrain vehicles and other four-wheel utility vehicles can now legally operate on gravel roads in Des Moines County, Iowa. The county began considering the move after receiving petitions in March containing more than 1,000 signatures. ATVs and UTVs also will be allowed on paved roads to get from one gravel road to another. Among the restrictions reported by Tri-States Public Radio: ATV use is prohibited between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.; vehicle operators must be 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license; vehicles cannot be three-wheelers; vehicles may not be driven in ditches; maximum speed is 35 mph; passengers are prohibited. Those wishing to operate an ATV on a county road must buy an annual $25 permit.


House Bill 548, which would allow motorcyclists to wear earplugs while riding, passed the state House and has been referred to the state Senate Transportation, Commerce and Workforce Committee. Ohio is one of a few states where earplugs are prohibited while riding.