Thursday, February 13, 2014

One in Eight!

When I found out you didn't really need to use a No. 2 pencil on standardized tests (it just had to be No. 2 or darker), it shook my world. Finding out this week that one in eight Minnesota drivers is driving without a valid license is more important and just as foundation-shifting.

Statewide since 2008, there have been nearly 310,000 convictions for violations related to driving without a valid license

The 2008-2013 convictions include learner's permit violations, as well as convictions for driving with a suspended, revoked, cancelled or disqualified license or no license at all. The records also show thousands of repeat offenders - drivers who have been convicted more than twice of some type of driver's license violation.

Drivers in the seven-county metro area accounted for more than half of the total convictions.
More than 300,000 convictions in six years -- 50,000 a year! Almost a third of them in Hennepin County. And way too many of them are repeaters who somehow manage to keep driving.

According to the Star Tribune's blog post about the stats, "motorists with invalid licenses are twice as likely as those with valid licenses to be involved in a fatal crash." Not too surprising.

Having no license means you have no insurance, either, of course.

Is this true in other states, or is Minnesota somehow particularly full of rule violators? I would have thought we would have fewer scofflaws than the average state (given the Lake Wobegon effect). But maybe not.

I hope other states don't have so many dangerous drivers on their roads.

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