The Highway Safety Coalition thanks the chief sponsor of the highway legislation Senate President John Cullerton and cosponsors; Senators John Miller, Ron Sandack, and Tom Johnson for passing SB 957 today. By a vote of 41-14-1 the Senate passed highway legislation to require that all Illinois motorists, including undocumented drivers, get licensed, tested and insured. The bill now moves to the House for a vote.
We celebrate the genuine bipartisan support that SB 957 received to reach smart and sensible solutions to keep our roads and families safe. It is encouraging to see both Democrats and Republicans working together to move past the immigration rhetoric to find concrete solutions that will benefit our immigrant families.
Illinois is home to approximately 250,000 immigrant motorists who are unable to get a driver’s license and insurance. Unlicensed and uninsured immigrant drivers cost us all $64 million in damage claims. Last year 42% of all fatal crashes in Illinois involved unlicensed drivers, and nationwide, unlicensed motors are five times more likely to be in a fatal crash than licensed drivers. Washington and New Mexico already require all motorists, including undocumented immigrants, to get driver’s license.
“Licensing and insuring all immigrant drivers will ease burden on jails and courts, which are currently drained by holding people solely for driving without a license or insurance,” said Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran.
The highway safety legislation was co-sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton and, in the House, by Assistant Majority Leader Edward Acevedo. The legislation enjoys strong bipartisan support from political leaders: Governor Pat Quinn, Former Governor Jim Edgar, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, among others, who endorse the legislation as a sensible solution to keep our highways safe and families secure.
“As business leaders in Illinois, we know that our entire state is more prosperous when everyone is able to contribute to our economy,” said Joe Khayyat, Executive Director, Illinois Green Industries Association. “That includes immigrants, documented and undocumented who work hard, run businesses, buy homes, and wield enormous purchasing power.”
We are grateful for the leadership by, Minority Leader Christine Radogno, State Senator Bill Brady and Former Governor Jim Edgar. A special thank you to Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, who testified in favor of SB 957 and for his continued commitment to our families.
The Highway Safety Coalition encourages House Speaker Michael Madigan to show the same bipartisan spirit in the House this week to pass this sensible and reasonable legislation to protect our highways and families. This legislation will provide $3.75 million in new revenue, ease the burden on jails and courts, assist first responders and healthcare providers, and increase the pool of urgently needed organ donors.