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For the first time that I have seen in any publication...

July 01, 1985

For the first time that I have seen in any publication, Stanton Peele mentioned keeping reckless sober drivers off the roads, and I congratulate both Peele and The Times.

A drunk driver is a reckless driver and should be jailed and then prevented from driving. But a sober reckless driver is also dangerous, and while he may not deserve jail, that person should not be allowed to drive.

Of the 50,000 people killed in the United States each year in highway accidents, half the total is caused by drunk drivers and half by sober drivers. The drunk driver is surely the main offender, but sober reckless drivers should not escape punishment, and should, as Peele says, be kept off the roads.

The fact is that driver license tests in all 50 states are not rigid enough, and that is why the United States has so many bad drivers. Poor drivers abound in every state, and getting injured or killed is just as tragic in Maine as in Hawaii.

Reckless drivers, drunk or sober, must be curbed, and it is up to citizens and voters to force states to remove bad drivers from roads by starting to administer stricter driving tests.

JOHN J. MOTLEY

Los Angeles

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