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License Check

June 25, 1986

On May 30, a tour bus crashed in the Lake Tahoe area killing 18 of its passengers and injuring many more.

At least one report stated that the driver had a driver's license from more than one state. If this is true it is not an isolated case. More than one state license is obtained usually by people having multiple tickets, a suspended license and sometimes includes one or more drunk driving convictions.

It is time for a nationwide computerized record of all licensed drivers. In order to implement such a system all states should make the inclusion of the person's Social Security number a mandatory requirement for driver's license renewal. The Social Security number should then appear on the face of the driver's license with the other descriptive information. The national computing system should be filed by Social Security number, which would give immediate access to all duplicate licenses.

However, this course of action is not going to solve the problem of unskilled drivers or the total number of accidents (18.3 million in 1983 and 18.8 million in 1984).

The driver's license is not a right but rather a privilege and as such each person needs to accept responsibility for his/her own actions. Otherwise, the rising yearly costs--about $3.3 billion --will have an enormous impact on the lives of all of us.

NANCY McHENRY

Huntington Beach

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