DMV says licensing illegals will reduce collisions
January 16, 2013
A California Department of Motor Vehicles study is recommending that the state license illegal immigrant drivers. [LA Times]
The DMV study determined that unlicensed drivers, the majority of whom are illegal immigrants, cause nearly three times as many crashes as licensed drivers. It suggested that California could reduce its total of several thousand yearly fatalities by testing and licensing all drivers.
Immigrant rights groups agreed that licensing illegal aliens would make the roads safer. Los Angeles Central American Resource Center board president Angela Sanbrano told the LA Times that denying driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants “really goes against public safety.”
“The current law forces people who would otherwise be properly licensed to drive without one,” Sanbrano said.
Supporters of licensing illegal immigrant drivers also point to the cost of uninsured motorist claims. State data shows that insurance companies paid out $634 million in 2009 for collisions caused by uninsured drivers.
But, opponents of illegal immigrations say the state should not use statistics to encourage people to break the law.
“One study shouldn’t trump the obvious — if you don’t want illegal aliens in the country, why do you want to encourage them to be on the roads?” said Bob Dane of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. “It just defies common sense.”
The DMV study included 23 years of data on fatal accidents.
Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo introduced a bill last week that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses if they show they pay taxes.