To the Editor:
As a resident of McHenry County, I urge our legislators and Secretary of State Jesse White to support Highway Safety and Mandatory Insurance legislation for all in Illinois. Law enforcement, businesses and hospitals support this bill. It is a common-sense solution for everyone who drives in Illinois.
About 250,000 immigrant motorists call Illinois home yet are unable to get licenses and insurance. This costs all of us $64 million in damage claims. Forty-two percent of fatal crashes in Illinois last year involved unlicensed drivers. We could benefit from New Mexico and Washington state’s experiences in requiring all motorists to get drivers’ licenses. Those states have strong procedures in place to verify identity and residence and guard against fraud and abuse.
Other benefits this bill would provide: Routine stops can be used to check traffic records. First responders and health care providers will be able to speedily identify patients and implement the electronic medical record system. Drivers will be likelier to remain at the scene of an accident. Limited court time and jail space will be freed up from those there only for driving without a license or insurance. Accident numbers involving uninsured motorists will decline, as will their costs, and insurance rates will drop for all. More organ donors will be available.
Please join me in urging our state legislators and secretary of state to support this important bill.