Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to sign a bill allowing the states’ undocumented immigrant drivers to apply for driver’s licenses is a wise move that will make our roads safer for all of us.
We need to know who is on our roads, and whether they have passed a driving test to show they are knowledgeable when it comes the rules of the road.
Granting drivers licenses comes with the added benefit that there is a greater likelihood that many of those now driving without auto insurance will now find it beneficial to purchase some.
We believe that drivers whose presence on our roads is documented have more to lose if they don’t follow the law, especially those who have been denied licenses for a long time.
Many law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Los Angeles Police Department, have supported the issuance of licenses to undocumented immigrants as a practical solution to the growing problem of hit-and-run accidents involving cars and pedestrians. When people have a license and insurance, they are less likely to flee the scene of an accident if they can prove they have a license and insurance.
The state’s coffers will also benefit from the legislation as more people register their vehicles.
We don’t know if the granting of licenses to all Californians will push immigration reform in Washington, but passage of this bill, which has been approved in 13 other states, is sure to change drivers’ attitudes about vehicle ownership, registration and obeying traffic laws.
It could also have the added benefit of showing those who oppose immigration reform that legalizing the status of people in the country without authorization comes with many benefits.
The fear expressed by some law enforcement officials that licenses could be used as identification for air travel makes no sense to us, since the license will have a special mark indicating it is not valid for anything but driving. Regardless, we believe it’s better to have travelers with valid identifications rather than false ones because it gives the traveling public a greater measure of security. Besides we don’t believe the DMV will start issuing licenses to people without a valid address or other identification.