Driver cards should help keep roads safer

Alan Bates

Sen. Alan Bates

I was proud to vote recently in favor of extending drivers cards to undocumented Oregon residents: This is a safety issue, a jobs issue, and helping more qualified drivers get to work, get to the store, and take their children to school safely is simply the right thing to do.

This bill will give more Oregonians the opportunity to drive legally and safely, including the elderly, low-income Oregonians, and undocumented residents. For example, it would help an elderly couple who has simply lost track of documentation, or a young person who has lived here their entire life but who is still undocumented.

Issuing drivers cards allows the DMV to ensure drivers have valid insurance, which will save lives and reduce costs for drivers who are impacted by currently-uninsured and -unlicensed drivers. It cannot be used as proof of identity. Furthermore, drivers cards will help more Oregonians get to their jobs safely, which drives productivity for all Oregon businesses.

Secondly, many drivers currently aren’t able to get any sort of certification from the DMV, creating a dangerous situation on Oregon’s roads. This bill helps make sure that people can get to and from work safely, and that drivers on our streets are properly trained and follow the law.

Encouraging properly trained, insured and accountable drivers on Oregon roads has brought together Republicans and Democrats, business owners, agricultural communities, law enforcement and advocacy groups. This is a great step in the right direction for Southern Oregon’s families, businesses and agricultural communities.

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