[Marxism] Kerry, Camejo, & Immigrants - when it comes to the crunch

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Sat Jul 3 03:22:00 MDT 2004

Well in memory of Nader's 1965 report  "Unsafe at Any Speed", let's have a
look at this. In the USA, 90% of residents over 16 hold a drivers license of
some type. Some research suggests a 16 percentage point differential in the
incidence of car ownership between whites and blacks, and a 9 percentage
point differential of car ownership between whites and Latinos (Steven
Raphael, Goldman School of Public Policy, Berkeley, 2000).

Of all fatal traffic accidents in the USA (excluding non-fatal casualties),
one in five involve unlicensed drivers (Griffin and DeLaZerda, 2000). The
number of these fatalities averages over 8,000 a year, equal to about 2% of
all fatal traffic accidents. Unlicensed drivers include those whose license
was suspended, revoked, expired, canceled, or denied, as well as those who
never had a license.

A person who has never had a driver's license is, in the USA, nearly five
times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than a licensed
driver. Many unlicensed drivers are also uninsured. Nationally, uninsured
motorists cause nearly one in seven of all accidents and more than $4.1
billion in insurance losses per year. The proportion of invalidly licensed
drivers varied widely by state, from one in 16 in Maine to one in four in
New Mexico.

In the USA, a person with a suspended or revoked license is more than three
times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than a licensed driver.
Just over a quarter of drivers in fatal collisions recorded at least three
license suspensions in the preceding three years, and about 70% of drivers
who have had their driving privileges revoked continue to drive anyhow. The
incidence of drivers with abberant license status is highest in Western
states, but fatal crashes involving drivers with revoked licenses in
California is below the national average.

A 1999 study shows characteristics of drivers stopped by the police:
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/cdsp99.pdf  The total number of
non-fatal traffic accidents is about over hundred times more than fatal
traffic accidents.

In Ohio, police immobilize the vehicle of unlicensed drivers for a length of
time depending on the severity of the offence (see Voas, R. B., A. S.
Tippetts, and E. Taylor. Temporary vehicle Immobilization: Evaluation of a
program in Ohio. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 29(5): 635-42. 1997b. And
Voas, R. B., A. S. Tippetts, and E. Taylor. Temporary vehicle impoundment in
Ohio: A replication and confirmation. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 30:
651-55, 1998.).

The September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers and the
Pentagon prompted renewed calls for a national identification system. In
March of 2002, Republican Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona, an advocate of
tax relief and free trade and a critic of "welfare bludgers", introduced
H.R. 4043 which would bar federal agencies from accepting for any
identification-related purpose any state-issued driver's license, or other
comparable identification document, unless the state requires that such
licenses issued to non-immigrant aliens expire upon the expiration of the
aliens' non-immigrant visa.

However, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) is
urging the federal government to adopt one standard for drivers licenses
across all fifty states.  If implemented, uniform drivers licenses would
result in a de facto national ID card.

Many US state governments are considering legislation that would allow
qualified undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses for practical and
safety reasons, and in fact the American Immigration Lawyers Association
opposes limiting immigrants' access to driver's licenses based on
immigration status only. Denying driver's licenses to large segments of the
population, says AILA is "an inefficient way to enforce immigration laws and
prevent terrorism, and would make everyone in the community less safe".

Of the 61.6 billion commutes in the US to and/or from work each year, about
3.3 million Americans travel 50 miles or more one way to get to work - and
they commute these distances 329 million times a year. "Stretch commuters"
make 19 of every 20 trips in a personal vehicle like a car, truck or SUV,
but when the "stretch commute" distance goes beyond 200 miles, one out of
four such commutes changes to air travel.


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