Critics: Security Trumps Safety for New Driver License Rules

If you are not a U.S. citizen you'll need to prove you're in the country legally to get a Texas Driver License. The new rules went into effect the first of the month. Rod Rice reports that critics think Texas roads will now be less safe.
Supporters, including Governor Rick Perry, say this is a way to improve security and make sure the privilege of driving in Texas is not abused.

It's just election year posturing according to Lauren Izzo with the Texas Civil Rights Project. She says it will not address the issue of illegal immigration in any way.

"It's hard to imagine that much good could come out of this policy because the purpose of a driver's license is to drive, not to get into the country. The policy is not going to affect illegal immigration because the people are already here."

Izzo says what it will affect is the safety of everyone on the road.

"Because people need to drive and by denying a driver's license to people who are undocumented it will stop people who are still driving but don't have a license from getting insurance because you can't get insurance without a driver's license, so you're going to have more people on the road without insurance."

And more people she says, who have not had to prove they are competent behind the wheel and know the rules of the road. The things you have to know to get a license.

The Department of Public Safety estimates that as many as two-million Texas drivers may be immigrants and many of them may be here illegally.
Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...