There may be a new reason for not getting a drivers license these days & it has nothing to do with the price of gas or the environment.
It would appear as if the DMV (Department of motor vehicles) is being used by many other non-related state agencies and possibly even some private corporations to collect debt or impose hardships on its citizens. To be sure, the DMV carries a very big stick, but is it fair to use that stick on people whose debt, fine or crime had absolutely nothing to do with ones driver privileges? Some people don’t think so and that includes the DMV themselves. Please read this excerpt from THE WIRED below.The driver’s license has become something it was never intended to be: a badge of good citizenship. Pay your bills to city and state, pay your child support, don’t get caught using drugs, and the state will let you keep on trucking. Screw up, and they’ll clip your wings. And for those who don’t get the message and stay on the roads? In most states, getting caught driving without a license, or with one that’s been suspended or revoked, means handcuffs, a trip down to the local jail, and having your car towed to the pound. In other words, it’s serious shit. Most businesses and state agencies have a problem with outstanding debt. Bounced checks, IOUs, stolen credit cards – it all adds up. Some organizations write off anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of their debts as “uncollectable.” Most agencies, that is, except for the DMV. “We don’t have debt,” says Lewis, who oversees all of the Massachusetts Registry’s computer and information systems. Last year, the Massachusetts Registry collected more than US$660 million in fees and fines; less than $600,000 came back as bounced checks – a whopping 0.1 percent. “How can you afford to stiff us?” Lewis asks rhetorically. “Whatever it is you have, we’ll take it. We’ll pull your driver’s license. We’ll take your title. We just don’t have bad debt.” Lewis pauses a moment to consider his words, then shrugs, his point made: At the Massachusetts Registry, “we walk a very fine line with incredible power over people.” Increasingly, lawmakers around the country are employing that power to enforce public policies that have nothing to do with driving or motor vehicles. Lewis and his counterparts in other states aren’t happy with the change, but there’s little they can do when legislatures hand down new rules. “Every governmental agency is looking for every means possible to…enforce the regulations and policies in front of it,” says Barry Goleman, President of AAMVANET, a computer network run by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators that links together the computers of the United States’s 51 motor vehicle agencies. And increasingly, says Goleman, those state agencies are turning towards the DMVs as a source of data about the state’s citizens, a way of providing services, and ultimately, a means of enforcing policy. The DMVs fit the bill perfectly. On one hand, the DMV database lists virtually every man, woman, and teenager of each state more accurately than the state’s own census or tax roles. (Even people who don’t drive usually end up getting “identification” cards, issued by the state DMVs, so they can do simple things like write a check or buy an alcoholic drink.) On the other hand, the DMV has a unique means of forcing citizens to comply with state edicts. In short, the DMV is a one-stop-shop for state agencies that want to reach out and affect our lives. Ironically, this concentration of information, power, and responsibilities has received scant attention from traditional privacy and civil libertarian advocates. The American Civil Liberties Union, Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen, and even Robert Smith, editor of the esteemed The Privacy Journal, performed an exercise in collective buck-passing when called to comment for this article. The only group that has made any statement on the issue at all is the American Automobile Association: “Problems or violations of the law not having anything to do with the operation of a motor vehicle should not result in the loss or suspension of a driver’s license,” says AAA spokesperson Geoff Sundstrom. Instead, it has been motor vehicle administrators themselves who have been honking the horn, warning that their agencies are becoming Big Brother incarnate. The only problem is that nobody is listening.
For the complete article click “The government is using your driver’s license to play Big Brother” then tell us how you feel about this.
I for one, had never given this much of a thought. But having lost my own drivers license for a period of time about four years ago I became very much aware of not only the hardships of getting around without a driver’s license but of the incredible bureaucracy, absolute power and lack of common sense surrounding the DMV and its regulations and requirements.
Well sometimes bad things can have good results. For me not having a driver’s license took me back to one of my favorite past times which was bicycling. From there I began to explore the world of electrically assisted bikes and I haven’t looked back since. No car, no problem. Two wheels are better than four and a whole lot cheaper. At the bottom of this page are a few quick reads that might get you thinking about the economics of writing verses driving.
And if this sparked your curiosity about E-bikes why not give me a call and come on over to the EZgo-Now E-bike shop. I have some terrific deals right now on cash and carry E-bike conversions as well as E-bike kits from the number one kit builder in the USA EBikeKit.com. CLICK HERE FOR Summer Sales.
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