To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Most of us, especially in places like the Berkshires, need to drive. Families need to take children to school, go to doctor’s appointments, buy groceries, get work, buy daily necessities. All of us want to be sure the roads are as safe as possible.
Yet, many people in Massachusetts are prevented from getting a driver’s license based solely on immigration status, thereby forcing people to drive without a license. It’s crazy. This law simply endangers the roads for all of us. Do you want to drive on roads with unlicensed drivers?
A movement for safer roads is growing across the country and here in Massachusetts. Eight states (including Vermont and Connecticut) and Washington D.C. passed "Safe Driving Bills" in 2013 alone. The Massachusetts Legislature recently held a hearing on Massachusetts’ Safe Driving Bill, a bill sponsored by our own Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier. Her bill would fix a law preventing some drivers from becoming licensed solely based on their immigration status.
We need the Safe Driving Bill so we can all be assured our fellow drivers know the rules of the road and have paid RMV fees and insurance premiums. Who wants to be involved in an accident with an uninsured driver? Preventing some residents from taking a driver’s exam and carrying liability insurance harms us all.
Immigration-based limitations on driver’s license eligibility are counterproductive.
The writer is a former state representative.