The state of Missouri has just passed a measure that would require all driver license tests in the state can only be given in English or American Sign Language. The supporters of the bill’s reasoning is primarily for safety reasons. Making sure drivers can read road signs and communicate with emergency and law enforcement personnel were two reasons mentioned.
Many state Democrats strongly opposed the bill saying that the new law would lessen the amount of people able to receive a drivers license, and that it was about who drives not how. Currently, the state offers drivers license tests in English and 11 other languages, and permits the use of a translator. But many Republican legislators maintained that it made common sense to require English comprehension of drivers in a state where the overwhelming majority of people communicate in English.
Republican representative Rick Brattin responded to the bill’s opposition by saying, “If you want to come to our state and drive under our laws, you have to speak our language.”
During the hearings a St. Louis citizen who came to the United States from Mexico 18 years ago testified against the bill saying, “It was a great opportunity for me to prove to myself that I could do good in this country…I was able to start, to have the opportunity to prove I could do better in time.”
What are your thoughts on the topic? Should the test only be administered in English?