Summary: In California, after a DMV study on the issue, legislators are considering allowing undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses.
UPDATED 18 January 2013
According to a report by Ben Poston in the Los Angeles Times, the study shows that unlicensed drivers are nearly three times as likely to cause a fatal crash as licensed drivers, and that meeting the modest requirements for a drivers license could significantly reduce traffic fatalities. In addition, unlicensed drivers are often uninsured; insurance companies paid $634 million in claims for collisions involving uninsured motorists in 2009. Uninsured motorists are more likely to leave the scene of an accident as well, according to a study in 2011 from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The undocumented immigrants are here; they won’t stop driving. Better to provide some oversight than none.
The Times includes a reader survey with its article. Readers who responded to the survey (totally unscientific, because the respondents are not a well-designed sample, and are self-selected) are opposed to the idea in significant numbers:
The comments on articles on the Times‘ web site are filtered, it says. Even so, the general tone for this article is quite negative. This comment from “Macho Podolski” is typical:
i have an solution how to deal with illegals. create a mega open prison out of catalina island. send them all there.
Or this from “Ricardoh”:
Simply deport every illegal alien caught driving along with any family members and maybe they would stop driving.
Or this from “fruit-tree”:
LA Times is a bankrupt piece of left-wing propaganda. Unfortunately they think they are journalists. They support illegals because they are the only ones using their newspaper as toilet paper.
Or this from “Move On”:
Simple solution: A no-limit bounty of $1,000 given to anyone that turns over an illegal to the border patrol.
This whole problem will be solved in less than 1 year thanks to good ol’ CAPITALISM.
$20 billion to rid this nation of the 20 million stinking illegals within our borders would be the best money ever spent by Washington.
Or this from “lancey dickless”:
There is no Goldang debate about it. I see illegals all the way in Seattle Wa area and they live in section 8 get welfare work under the table as lawn mower operators . Their usless brats take up room in the public schools then drive around all night keeping workers from getting enough sleep, on and on and on and on there is never enough hassles with a bunch of Illegal Alian’s. Me I don’t want to send them to Tijuana I want to load their arses up and ship them to china so they can get their Nike Sneakers by actually working for them most of them have newer used cars and their women stay home cook clean and take care of their bills and social lives and the poor guy trying to go to College there is no way they can even begin to compete. Go to a Local McDonalds they laugh in the faces of single white guys looking for employment Load em up and ship back to the border of Panama in Mexico on busses not airplanes.
But enough fun with the comments.
In the article, unfortunately Poston engages in the worst of he-said-she-said journalism by including comments from Bob Dane of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). FAIR is characterized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. They’ve never met an immigrant they wouldn’t love to hate.
PRI’s The World carries a report by independent producer Dan Weissman on changes in licensing practices in Illinois. (Audio only.) Unfortunately Weissman also contacts FAIR for comments.
Some Washington State legislators want to require proof of lawful status before issuing Washington drivers licenses, according to a segment on KUOW News by Liz Jones. Washington now issues them without that proof. (On the KUOW website, the segment is titled “Wash. Lawmakers Want Citizenship Checks For Driver’s Licenses,” but the text refers to “lawful status.”)