A new report by the State Department of Motor Vehicles to us stands as confirmation that our stance that all drivers of automobiles in the state must be licensed in order to protect the public is right on target.
To get a driver’s license in California, you must first pass a written test as well as a behind the wheel driving test. Doing so ensures at least a minimum level of competency to operate a vehicle on public streets. Every driver in California should be required, and allowed, to meet that obligation.
Anything less puts us all at risk, a fact confirmed in the DMV’s latest report.
According to the Department, unlicensed drivers are nearly three times as likely to cause a fatal crash.
While many proponents of driver’s licenses for undocumented drivers see it as a moral issue, we see it as a safety issue.
Too often unlicensed drivers don’t have the basic skills they need to be able to understand or even care about traffic laws and motorists safety. We see it everyday, and pay for it in higher insurance premiums.
The prospect of getting a driver’s license after meeting licensing and insurance requirements is a price that most unlicensed drivers, including those in the country illegally, would be willing to pay if given the chance.
In our view, a vast majority of the drivers who flee after hitting a pedestrian or another vehicle do so because they are driving illegally. Yes, some of them are driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, so a driver’s license might not make any difference in those cases. But it would make a difference in those cases where the accident was really an accident, and the driver is licensed.
So we hope that those who are opposed to giving a driver’s licenses to someone solely on the grounds that are undocumented, will they take a closer at the DMV study findings and see that their stance is one that puts all of us at greater risk of being harmed by an unlicensed driver.