English-Only Bill for Driver Tests Passes Missouri House Committee

7 years 4 months 9 hours ago Wednesday, February 16 2011 Feb 16, 2011 Wednesday, February 16, 2011 9:36:13 PM CST February 16, 2011 in Continuous News
By: Bradley Galbreath

JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians had strong reactions Wednesday to a bill passed in a Missouri House committee that would require all written driver's license tests to be in English. According to Missouri Highway Patrol official Captain Tim Hull , the test is currently offered in 12 different languages. The bill passed the House Transportation Committee yesterday with an 8-3 vote.

Hull said that as of December 13, people took 515,735 written driver's license tests and 194,310 behind-the-wheel driving tests in 2010.

MU International Center Director Jim Scott thinks the roads will be safer if the House passes the bill.

"It's a public safety issue to make sure people who are driving know the law here and can also read the signs," Scott said.

Scott also believes there is a give-and-take relationship when it comes to the rules of the road for international travelers.

"I travel a lot and wind up driving in many places, and so I have to learn the law if it's in France, if it's in Ireland, if it's in South Africa," Scott said. "So I think it's only fair for people to take those tests."

Hull said that regardless of whether the bill becomes law, driver's license officials will continue to to read the test in English if people have trouble reading the language.

The bill will now go in front of the House Rules Committee before the entire House votes on it.

 

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