South Coast Residents Discuss Safe Driving Bill on Saturday, May 3 Meeting in Mattapoisett

Safe Driving Bill would help ensure all Massahcusetts drivers are tested, licensed and insured

May 5, 2014 BOSTON — On Saturday, May 3, South Coast residents gathered at the Mattapoisett Friends Meeting House to discuss the Safe Driving Bill, a bill that would remove immigration status as barrier to becoming a tested, licensed and insured Massachusetts driver, thereby improving road safety for all Massachusetts residents.

SafeDriveMattapoisett_016_editIn separate recent online polls conducted by Fox News and by Boston Herald columnist Michael Graham, the bill was favored by at least 70% of voters, and at the Safe Driving Bill hearing before the Joint Committee on Transportation on March 5, testimonies in favor of the bill ran from the Patrick Administration to doctors to numerou

s longtime Massachusetts residents, who together outnumbered the smattering of opponents by the hundreds.

The bill follows in the wake of eight states that have recently passed similar legislation, including Vermont and Connecticut. States with Safe Driving laws have shown decreases in both unlicensed drivers and fatal accidents, and immigrant advocates and safety experts alike point to numerous other reasons for the legislation's widespread support.

The Safe Driving Bill…

  • Saves Lives – By increasing traffic law knowledge, the Safe Driving Bill would reduce fatal road accidents and flight from accidents (and it would help first responders identify accident victims)
  • Saves Police Time and Resources – By reducing unlicensed driving, the Safe Driving Bill would free police to focus on their top priority, PUBLIC SAFETY.
  • Saves Court Resources — The bill would reduce the black market for false licenses, and reduce the number of people who appear for driving without licenses.
  • Deals with road safety and NOTHING else— This bill is practical. It does NOT give access to benefits; it does not give anyone a right to vote or work authorization.
  • Increases Compliance with Mandatory Insurance Requirements – the Safe Driving Bill would require all motorists to have mandatory liability insurance. As a result, states that have passed Safe Driving Bills have reduced their uninsured population.

After the hearing, the bill was extended and must receive a favorable report by May 15 by the Joint Transportation Committee, co-chaired by Representative William Strauss of Mattapoisett.