Target: Assemblyman Luis Alejo and the California State Senate
Goal: Grant anyone who pays taxes the ability to obtain a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status.
The state of California has approximately 2 million unlicensed drivers on the roads, the majority of whom are undocumented immigrants. These undocumented men and women rely on automobile transportation just as any other documented citizen would, yet they are unable to obtain a driver’s license. This has become a public safety issue as well as an economic one. Allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses would protect the drivers, their families, and other motorists, as well as helping to decrease the costs of uninsured motorist claims.
According to a recent report by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, unlicensed drivers are almost three times more likely to cause a traffic fatality than drivers who have a license. It is clear that requiring individuals to pass both a written and driving exam greatly helps to reduce fatal car accidents. In 1994, California passed a law that requires proof of legal residency for all licensed drivers, which led to a greater increase in the number of unlicensed drivers on the roads. If more drivers had licenses, the chance of traffic fatalities would decrease, and it is likely the number of hit-and-run accidents would decrease as well.
The inability of undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver’s license is not only a safety issue, however. According to a 2009 report from the state, insurance companies paid out $634 million in claims that involved uninsured drivers. If undocumented immigrant drivers had the ability to acquire a license, the number of insured drivers would likely rise, further increasing the safety of the roads and decreasing the insurance companies’ costs.
Undocumented men and women have become an integral part of our nation’s communities and economy. Granting any driver—regardless of immigration status—the ability to obtain a license will make the roads safer. Sign the petition below to show your support for Assemblyman Luis Alejo’s bill entitled The Safe and Responsible Driver Act, which would allow anyone who pays taxes to acquire a driver’s license, including undocumented immigrants.
Dear Assemblyman Luis Alejo and Members of the California State Senate,
As approximately 2 million unlicensed individuals drive on the roads of California, it has become clear that policy changes need to be made in order to increase safety on the streets. Unfortunately, the majority of these drivers are undocumented immigrants who have no legal option to obtain a driver’s license. These undocumented men and women rely on automobile transportation just as any other Californian would; they need cars to get to work, take their children to school, and bring groceries home to their families. Allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses would protect the drivers and their families, other motorists, and help decrease the costs of uninsured motorist claims.
According to a recent report by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, unlicensed drivers are almost three times more likely to cause a traffic fatality than drivers who have a license. Allowing undocumented immigrants who pay taxes the ability to acquire a driver’s license would drastically reduce the likelihood of traffic fatalities. Not only would it increase public safety, but it would enable unlicensed drivers to buy auto insurance, thereby decreasing the millions of dollars insurance companies pay in claims related to unlicensed drivers.
We fully support Assemblyman Alejo’s Safe and Responsible Driver Act. Many undocumented men and women pay taxes—taxes that pay for road maintenance and help fund the paychecks of government employees. By granting them the right to a driver’s license, the roads will simply be a safer place to drive.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Karin Dalziel via Flickr