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Licensed Drivers Up by Just 500 in 1993

March 26, 1994|DARYL KELLEY

The number of licensed drivers in Ventura County increased at the slowest rate in years in 1993, growing only half as fast as the rest of California, the state Department of Motor Vehicles reported Friday.

Ventura County had 475,500 licensed drivers by the end of December, up only 500 from a year before. That 0.1% increase compared to the 0.2% statewide figure, which was the lowest in California in decades.

Both figures reflect the recession-driven slow growth of the 1990s and show that the county has been hit hard.

After annual increases of several thousand licensed drivers in the 1980s, Ventura County's increase in licensed drivers fell from 3,900 new drivers in 1990 to 2,800 in 1991 and 800 in 1992.

The DMV figures bolster population estimates released recently by the state Department of Finance, which show the county grew last fiscal year at its slowest rate since annual record keeping began in 1960.

Planners said the county's 1992-93 growth of only 7,700 residents to 703,000 may have been the slowest since World War II.

Statewide, five counties actually lost licensed drivers in 1993: Totals dropped by 100 each in Sierra and Yuba counties, 500 each in Santa Barbara and Monterey counties and 41,500 in Los Angeles County.

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