Let Them Drive

I’m glad Oregon lawmakers are considering passing a law that would ensure standard licenses are available to all drivers who can meet the requirements to drive regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. To obtain the standard license, all drivers would be required to pass a written safety exam and driver test, and provide proof of residency and insurance.

Many Oregonians do not have access to documents needed to get an enhanced drivers license. This includes the elderly, immigrants without legal status, low-income individuals, people who are houseless and survivors of domestic violence.

The standard license will help ensure that all Oregonians can access a license to drive and a legal way to identify themselves. In states with similar laws, traffic accidents and hit-and-run incidents have decreased, and the number of insured-driver rates has increased significantly.

The ability to drive legally is a need for many Oregon families as people take their kids to school, commute to work, and take care of family and neighbors in need. I hope you can agree with me that Oregonians shouldn’t have to live in fear of being deported or worry about their families being torn apart over a traffic stop.

I urge legislators to pass the Equal Access to Roads Act (HB2015).

Erica Barry