Gwen Moore
Press Release

U.S. Rep. Moore Introduces Young Adults Safety Act

We’re seeing a growing pattern by cities across the country to use driver’s license suspensions as a means to punish those who fail to pay a municipal debt

By - Oct 23rd, 2015 10:27 am

“We’re seeing a growing pattern by cities across the country to use driver’s license suspensions as a means to punish those who fail to pay a municipal debt. Often, these penalties have nothing to do with traffic infractions or poor driving behavior and are imposed against those who have yet to even reach the legal driving age. These suspensions disproportionately impact minorities, including young African American males. According to one report, in 2011, African Americans received 69% of failure-to-pay suspensions in Milwaukee County. For young people, one of the dire consequences of such additional barriers to having a driver’s licenses is that, at a key part in their life, it can limit education opportunities, job opportunities and the ability to gain critical work experience.

“This alarming trend inspired me to introduce the Young Adults Safety Act, which would provide the capacity to help develop model programs to help low-resource teens and young adults acquire a driver’s license or regain their license after a suspension. Make no mistake: Those with a flagrant disregard for public safety don’t belong behind the wheel. This bill aims to develop and implement strategies to address the many barriers that low-income youth encounter in their efforts to obtain a license and drive legally.

“I can tell you firsthand that a valid driver’s license can be a means — and in some cases the only means given service cuts experienced by public transit systems in Milwaukee and  nationwide — to find gainful employment and thrive. I ask my congressional colleagues to pass this piece of legislation to help make our local roads and highways safer while empowering our constituents to build a brighter economic future for themselves and their families.”

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