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Letters: Driver's licenses and safety

September 17, 2013

Re "State's license bill is driving debate," Sept. 14

I agree with Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood: If someone is in the country illegally, it makes no sense to give him the legal ability to drive.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck states that AB 60, the bill in California that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, represents "a big step forward in making our roads safer," and that such licensing would reduce the number of hit-and-runs because insured illegal immigrants would have less fear of being caught for driving without having insurance.

Get real, Chief Beck. A license is no guarantee of concomitant insurance. Plus, we need fewer, not more, people on our roads.

Linda L. Mann

Los Angeles

Sheriff Youngblood of Kern County does not understand the law he is sworn to enforce. He "challenged the idea that giving undocumented immigrants driver's licenses would eliminate insurance issues in hit-and-run or other collisions."

First, driver's licenses are not given. Those seeking to obtain one have to apply, pay fees and pass a test.

Second, for a driver who is insured for damage by an uninsured motorist, the insurance company asks for the name, address and license number of the person at fault in an accident. This happened to my wife and me twice in the last 10 years, and both times my insurance company didn't pay damages, citing the lack of a license number.

The sheriff should ask LAPD Chief Beck what he thinks.

Jaidev Rao

Los Angeles

Just because you give a license to someone does not guarantee that they will operate a vehicle safely or stick around after a hit-and-run accident. There are lots of licensed drivers who should not have a license and who flee the scene of an accident.

The argument that giving licenses to illegal immigrants makes us safer is a specious one.

David Etheridge

Los Angeles

Amid the opposition to giving driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, a few truths seem to be overlooked.

These people pay sales taxes with every purchase of groceries, clothing and home goods, as we all do. They pay taxes every time they fill up at the pump. They are very hard workers; several I know don't take a day off — ever. And they do not receive welfare nor do they commit welfare fraud, as do so many of our "legal" citizens.

AB 60 will also create new and valuable tools for law enforcement, as the licenses will contain names, addresses, birth dates and pictures to aid in criminal investigations.

Instead of viewing the issue through eyes narrow with skepticism, perhaps we should open our eyes wide and see the big picture.

Lisa Williams

Santa Clarita

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