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State Rep. Chris Campbell proposes expanding driving card access

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Representative Chris Campbell’s (D-West Lafayette) proposal to issue driving cards to undocumented Hoosiers failed to get a hearing in the House Roads and Transportation Committee this week.

House Bill 1138 would have allowed a person to attain a driver’s license or learner’s permit if they passed their driving test, regardless of lawful status in the U.S. If passed, Indiana would have joined 16 other states and Washington, D.C. with laws similar to Campbell’s proposal. 

“This is an issue of safety and human rights,” Campbell said. “Driving cards are a necessity for anyone to go to work, drop the kids off at school or drive to the grocery store. No one should have to live with the fear of deportation while performing basic day-to-day activities.

“This legislation is also proven to benefit our state. Currently, insurance policy holders must cover the $64 million in damage claims due to unlicensed and uninsured immigrant drivers. We could change that with this legislation, saving Hoosiers an average of $25 on their premiums each year. Our state could additionally see its economy grow by as much as $23 million with people no longer fearing their drive to work.

“Other drivers could feel safer on the roads as well. After passing a law similar to this proposal, New Mexico saw traffic fatalities fall 23%. Indiana would see hit and run rates drop by 3.6%, bringing it below the national average.  

“My proposal is an obvious win-win for our state and I am extremely disappointed that my colleagues on the Roads and Transportation Committee do not recognize the life-saving benefits this bill could enact.”

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