Friday, April 2, 2010


A bill sponsored by State Senator Jack Murphy (R) just passed the Georgia Senate this week, which would make English the only language that someone can use to get a license. Currently, the Georgia driver's license exam can be taken in 13 languages.
Murphy, the chairman of the Public Safety Committee used the excuse of a "safety issue" stating that driver's that can't read road signs pose a danger to everyone. However, no data or evidence was provided to support this claim. People who speak a foreign language are competent in understanding the road signs, same as illiterate people. The only difference is in taking the exam and answering questions in English to sentences that they do not understand, not failure to recognize road signs.
As critics rightly point out, the bill is anti-immigrant and could stunt economic development. The critics, who call it the "Kia Go Home Bill", tie it to the Korean automaker that opened up a manufacturing plant in Georgia with a billion dollars investment, and has a sizable Korean workforce.
SB67 was actually proposed during the last legislative session but did not pass. During a surprise resurgence of this bill, without putting it on the calendar, Murphy succeeded in back dooring these amendments.
The bill only affects permanent residents and exempt temporary license seekers. The bill does not account for illiterate Georgians. If permanent residents who legally reside in the country indefinitely cannot pass the driver's license test, the reality of the situation is that many will drive without a license, thereby not being able to obtain insurance, and will pose a greater risk to all Georgians driving on the road. I sincerely hope the governor will veto the bill, although I doubt it based on his personal history.

No comments:

Post a Comment