Safe Driving

The “Save Driving” bill would instruct the Registry of Motor Vehicle not to check immigration status as a condition for issuing licenses. I do support the bill and I am, in fact, a co-sponsor of it.

It is a controversial concept and I get a lot of email on both sides of it. Most recently, there is a campaign going along the lines below. Basically, I think that licensing of drivers and registration of motor vehicles are both things that we want to happen. Unlicensed drivers are not well trained. Unregistered vehicles are likely uninsured. I generally feel that it is in our best interest to integrate into our social fabric everyone that the federal government is allowing to live in our state.

Subject: Please Promote Road Safety! Support Bill H.3285

Dear [Senator________ OR Representative ____________],

I am contacting you from [ Type Your Town Here ] to ask that you support the Safe Driving Bill, H.3285. This bill would ensure that more MA drivers can be trained, licensed, and insured — making our roads safer for all drivers. By allowing all drivers a path to take a driver’s exam and go through the licensing process, we could increase driver knowledge of traffic laws, decrease fatal car accidents, and ensure that first responders are able to identify those they assist when accidents do occur.

It is a fact of life that some people need to drive, whether to take their children to school or to get to the hospital in an emergency, and people are already driving without a license — though they want to follow the law. This bill ensures that when residents need to drive, it will be with adequate knowledge of the rules of the road and under circumstances that are safest for us all.

I believe that you share my commitment to a safer Commonwealth. Please urge members of the Joint Transportation Committee to issue a favorable report for the Safe Driving Bill.

Thank you very much.

[Type your name here]

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

7 replies on “Safe Driving”

  1. Kudos Will – clearly, licenses drivers will perform better on our roads and if provisions are made to provide undocumented immigrants with the appropriate training and licensing standards, perhaps the overall road safety will improve. Basically it can’t hurt.

    Some people seem to think that agencies, such as the DMV, the IRS the bank and your local Stop and Shop should serve as arms of INS. Let’s let each agency focus on it’s core mission, they’ll do a better job and everyone will be better served.

  2. I do not support this bill. The taxpayers of this state already carry a huge financial burden with the number of Illegals already here. We should be making things LESS attractive to law breakers not make things more attractive.

  3. To Jim’s point: I feel that one of the big problems with our legal system right now is that — in the name of enforcement — we tie too many regulations together, so that if a person or business as one kind of problem, they have a whole lot of problems.

    My work with people in poverty in this state has taught me that their lives are very much like the life of a business manager — bound up in a great many regulations that are hard to comply with.

    For example, if a person is convicted of drug dealing, they lose their driver’s license for three years. That means that when they get out of jail, they can’t drive and that limits their employment options. The result, of course, is recidivism.

    In the same way, I think it is a mistake to give people who have documentation problems additional problems with the RMV.

  4. Will,

    I have no formed opinion on this bill, but I really wish legislators wouldn’t give bills these catchy newspeak names.

    How will this force these people to get insurance? Insurance is tied to registering a car, not the license. Further, how will this really make them safer drivers? You say they’ll be trained but driver training even for citizens is an absolute joke. Few legal drivers understand right of way laws in MA and that one thing would go a huge way towards making roads safer, let alone if they all obeyed traffic signals and signage.

    If you want to make it so all aliens can get licenses, ok, fine. However, claiming it will make them safer drivers is quite a stretch.

  5. I suppose a licensed driver is likely to be more safe than an unlicensed driver, but that’s damning with faint praise. If you want to make driving more safe, training as offered here would go a long, long way. When my daughter is old enough, she’ll be taking a course like this (in fact she already wants to).

    Further, I fail to see how this bill would prevent a tragedy like this:

    Guaman was found guilty of manslaughter. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I think MA is soft on crime. This verdict (from a judge, not a jury) doesn’t help that perception.

  6. I agree that training is one of the most important things we can do to improve safety.

    And we also have to send strong messages against drunk driving by anyone. I tend to feel that preventing persons without documentation from driving legally makes it more likely that they will engage in unsafe driving, including drunk driving. We need to pull more people into our licensing and drive education system.

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