11 March 2011

Will Someone Please Tell Me Why This is a Good Idea?

The Missouri House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require that driver license examinations be conducted only in English or American Sign Language. Why? Why do this?

If your answer is something like, "Hey, this is America, and we don't want illegal aliens getting driver licenses", then would your answer change if I told you that no one can obtain a driver license unless they can show proof of legal status and work authorization before applying?

If your answer is something like, "Hey, this is America and if you can't speak English you should get out?", then would your answer change if I told you that there are lawfully-present temporary aliens who are allowed to work, need to travel to work, and can't get auto insurance unless they have a driver license?

If your answer is something like, "Hey, we're in recession/depression and we shouldn't spend extra money to produce tests in other languages", then would your answer change if I told you that Missouri already offers the tests in other languages and that the cost is basically nil, and that the cost of insurance premiums to cover the losses due to uninsured motorists dwarfs the cost of these tests?

If your answer is something like, "Hey, for road safety we need drivers to be able to read road signs, which are in English", then would your answer change if I told you that safety signs and lights are easily identifiable by shape and color, and that even those who don't speak English fluently can figure out that "stop" means "pare" or "alto" or whatever their language is, and that, if safety is your goal, the deaf are exempted and get a sign language test though they can't hear lots of noises that would make their operation of a motor vehicle much safer?

Anyone? Because I think this has nothing whatsoever to do with the ability to drive a car.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Timman, for a Christian understanding of this issue.

America was the great melting pot for the world - and this bill was driven totally by fear, which is the opposite of love.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is AMERICA and we speak ENGLISH. Learn it or leave.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 17:30. Totally disagree. English is for Shakespeare-reading snobs in England, the people whose lawyers wear those funny wigs. (Worse yet -- I hear they are called "solicitors." That word right there tells you a LOT, doesn't it!) What we need here in America is to speak good plain American. Speak American! And vote for our tea party, too! (Wait a minute...That sounds kind of English....Those people drink a lot of tea...So never mind. Just speak AMERICAN!)

Tinman, though I disagree with you 97.8% of the time, I want to commend you on this post. Took courage to write it.