Safety over Politics; Keep All Drivers in New Mexico Licensed!

Safe Road Fact

Uninsured drivers are a liability for everyone on the road.  14% of all accidents are caused by uninsured drivers, costing over $10.8 billion in insurance losses per year (National Association of Insurance Commissioners 2007).

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Safe Road Fact

Unlicensed drivers are a threat to public safety. They are more than twice as likely to cause a fatal accident than licensed drivers (California MVD 2012).

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Safe Road Fact

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the US. Unlicensed drivers are involved in one of every five fatal crashes. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety 2011)

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  • “Before the driver’s license law went into effect, we were having difficulties identifying undocumented immigrants. This measure has allowed us to prove the identity of motorists, suspects and witnesses. Since 2003, my department has seen a reduction in uninsured motorists, crashes and pursuits, and we’ve also seen a drastic reduction in hit and run accidents.There’s also been more follow-through in court when we issue citations to motorists.”

    Ray Rael

    Santa Fe Police Chief
    (Testimony at Legislature Jan. 29, 2013).
  • “By not requiring immigrant drivers to be licensed, the state will lose one of its most effective DWI enforcement mechanisms. Law enforcement relies on licenses to track offenders and sentence compliance, including the interlock requirement. Repealing the current law will exempt tens of thousands of drivers from these requirements.”

    Patricia Serna & Javier Martinez

    North Central Based Community Services & Partnership for Community Action
    (Op/ed in ABQ Journal Jan. 20, 2013).
  • “Our prosecutors, defense and immigration attorneys, law enforcement officials, and business owners need to be able to locate witnesses, criminals, victims, clients and customers.  Our current law allows us to do that in New Mexico.”

    Rebecca Avitia

    Immediate Past President, NM Hispanic Bar Association
    (Press Release Jan. 24, 2012).
  • “It is necessary to preserve these licenses for immigrant victims of domestic violence. Without a government issued ID, victims are often unwilling to report domestic violence crimes and have trouble getting protection orders against their abusers. Victims also need transportation to escape their abusers as well as to promote their financial independence.”

    Linda Siegle

    New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence
    (Press Release Jan. 26, 2012).
  • “Repeal of the current driver license law would detract from limited state resources at a time of economic crisis. We want our law enforcement and court resources focused on the apprehension of dangerous criminals, rather than on the detention of normally hard-working immigrants….the Roman Catholic Bishops of New Mexico endorse state-enacted policies that would permit migrants to become full members of their communities and our nation.”

    NM Conference of Catholic Bishops

    (Op/ed ABQ Journal Aug. 15, 2011).
  • “The League of Women Voters supports New Mexico's driver's license policy because it provides immigrants with proper identification and preserves public safety. We hope lawmakers focus less on the political rhetoric and consider the practical benefits of the policy.”

    Meredith Machen

    President, League of Women Voters of New Mexico
    (Press Release Jan. 24, 2012).
  • “In many ways the law allowing drivers' licenses for immigrants is a victims rights measure. Prior to the law victims who were involved in auto accidents with non-licensed immigrant drivers had no remedies since unlicensed drivers cannot be insured. I also found that in dealing with cases that required treatment or counseling immigrant families could not legally drive themselves to the various required appointments. ”

    Michael E. Vigil

    Retired NM District Court Judge
    (Testimony at Legislature January 29, 2015).
  • “An immigrant who is in an abusive relationship lives in society’s shadows with the daily stress and fear of deportation. There is the added weight of lack of language access, lack of transportation and of course an even greater lack of resources to protect themselves and their children. That is why having the ability to have a driver’s license offers critical safety options to survivors.”

    Antoinette Sedillo Lopez

    Executive Director, Enlace Comunitario
    (Op/Ed in ABQ Journal January 11, 2015).
  • “As the frontline for healthcare, we cannot understand the rationale behind taking away from parents the ability to drive their children to the doctor's office, to the health clinic, to the hospital or even to pick them up when their child becomes ill at school. Taking away licenses has the potential of creating a public health disaster for some of the most vulnerable in our community.”

    Lorie Maclver

    President, District 1199NM of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees
    (February 11, 2015).