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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional
Review / DEVELOPMENTS IN ORANGE, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO
AND VENTURA COUNTIES

Sheriff Orders Crackdown on Unlicensed Drivers

September 14, 2000

ORANGE COUNTY — Alarmed that a quarter of all collisions that caused injury or death in Orange County last year involved unlicensed drivers, the Sheriff's Department on Wednesday announced a crackdown that officials hope will reduce accidents.

Officials are so concerned about the problem that Sheriff Mike Carona has ordered teams of officers to monitor the activities of unlicensed drivers who repeatedly violate suspensions, hoping to catch them in the act of driving.

Using a database listings hundreds of unlicensed motorists in the county, deputies will make unannounced visits to problem drivers' homes.

The program is the most extensive of several crackdowns on unlicensed drivers in the county because it targets drivers in all 11 cities patrolled by deputies. Although Santa Ana, Garden Grove and other cities have programs, state officials said, most of the county's cities do not. There are an estimated 100,000 unlicensed drivers in the county.

In the mostly South County cities patrolled by deputies, officials said, unlicensed drivers make up a disproportionate share of those involved in accidents. Unlicensed drivers last year were involved in a quarter of the 1,600 collisions causing injury and death, and 20% of the 770 hit-and-run accidents, officials said.

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