published Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Tennessee: Committee OKs English-only driver's license test

NASHVILLE _ Senate Transportation Committee members today approved a bill requiring that state driver’s licenses be administered only in English.

But first they adopted a compromise amendment aimed at soothing concerns from Volkswagen and other businesses.

The measure, which passed 8-1, originally required the written portion of the exam be given in English only but now requires all portions of the exam to be administered in English.

However, the amendment also creates major exceptions for persons legally authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to be in the country for a “specific purpose, including, but not limited to, investing, overseeing investment, providing needed services to companies ... in Tennessee.”

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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Nashmusic said...

Today was a great day for our country and for Tennessee.

Most members of this committee stood up for our country with an 8-1 vote, with state Senator Barnes of Clarksville voting no.

Senator Barnes stated that many spouses of the military stationed at Ft. Campbell cannot or will never be able to learn English and therefore passing this legislation is unfair to them. Are you kidding me?

A spouse married to a member of our U.S. military not wanting to or caring to learn English?

That spouse wants to reap the benefits of our country, our military and all that goes along with that BUT doesn't care to learn English.....Please!

This legislation is about public safety. All the rhetoric about foreigners and executives and especially their spouses is a weak argument. Those people who are legally here with a valid visa can currently drive with their licenses.

Despite the opposition and the Catholic church, which has a slew of its own issues, offering unsubstantiated and scare points, this issue ensures that all motorists who want to drive will either step up to the "steering wheel" and learn English or not be granted a license. A senator asked about those who are hearing impaired but there wasn't anyone from the department of safety to address the inquiry.

In addition to this being a public safety issue, the state cannot spend upwards or in excess of $ 250,000 to cover the exam in other languages when our children's curriculum is being cut from offering arts, music and physical education.

Moreover, it was discussed in the Senate transportation committee that our very own Tennessee Highway Patrol and troopers are in danger each and every day not from criminals, but that the communications system is below standard or adequate to provide troopers the means to communicate with the command center.

If you live in Tennessee and are concerned that the safety of motorists and Tennesseans is being pushed aside for being friendly or accommodating to foreigners, then contact your state legislator at the General Assembly.

We have laws to deal with someone who causes an injury or death because they drove impaired or recklessly. There isn't a method for someone to address a friend's, a relative's injury or death because a motorist couldn't understand an English written road sign. Are we to give them a free pass to be friendly?

Act now or forever hold your peace.

Eddie Garcia

March 23, 2010 at 5:59 p.m.
Sailorman said...

Wait for it Eddie - all the culturally sophisticated yahoos are loading up their "you're a racist, xenophobe, ignorant, uncultured, unsophisticated redneck" slings and arrows. I'm sure I missed a few epithets but they'll no doubt be provided.

March 23, 2010 at 6:25 p.m.
kittymeow said...

This is a step on the right track! If you can prove you are here legally are providing benefit to our society, then the state will accommodate you. I would love to hear the talking points from the other side. This seems like a very fair bill.

March 23, 2010 at 8:37 p.m.
Wilder said...

Down in North Georgia drivers do not need a driver's license or automobile insurance, even though Georgia's laws requires that you have both. It is common knowledge that thousands of illegal aliens, who cannot read a word of Engish, are driving around totally unimpeded by law enforcement. Just add it to the long list of burdens that employers of illegal aliens place on the rest of us.

March 23, 2010 at 8:48 p.m.
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