License to Drive

Alabama-drivers-licenseI recently learned about a new anti-government movement called traveling, or “the right to travel.” Included in that phrase is the so-called “right” to drive – without a valid license. Adherents of this movement claim that the right to travel, i.e. drive, is a vital part of sovereignty, “as fundamental to our existence as the right to breathe.” They also claim that the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized this right. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether one is a passenger or sitting behind the wheel. He or she has the inherent “right” to travel. See the links below for more information.

Can anyone in the U.S. drive without a license? Has the Supreme Court recognized such a right? Have we signed away our sovereignty by registering our vehicles, obtaining driver’s licenses, and buying auto insurance? The answer is no. This movement is built on the sand of flawed reasoning, thanks in part to a document hoax. Citizens have freedom of movement, but this phrase refers only to the right to travel on a public road – as a passenger – on foot or on a bicycle, bus, car, subway, train, or plane. Driving is not an inherent right. It’s a privilege and it comes with responsibilities. Therefore, driving without a valid license is illegal in all fifty states. See and for proof.

No one under fifteen should drive due to height restrictions; most can’t see behind the wheel without a bumper seat. As a result, each state has a minimum driving age between fifteen and eighteen. People under the influence of alcohol shouldn’t drive either; blurred vision and impaired decision-making make them dangerous. As a result, each state has a legal alcohol limit. Other restrictions include vision (contacts/glasses) and the use of cell phones. Drivers who violate them should have their licenses suspended or revoked. If I were a state legislator, I’d create even more restrictions. First, I wouldn’t issue a driver’s license to any minor or handicapped person. The former would have to wait until they turned eighteen. The latter would have to be content with traveling as passengers. Second, I’d force senior citizens (60+) to pass a driving test with each license renewal. Why? Some of the most dangerous drivers today are minors, seniors, and the handicapped. Minors are too fast, the others too slow.

Should any U.S. citizen be allowed to drive on a public road without a license? Should I be forced to “share the road” with ten-year-olds, alcoholics, cell phone addicts, and my great-grandmother? The answer to both questions is no.

Driving roadAlthough we fund highways with our tax dollars, we don’t design, build, and maintain them. The government does, by hiring contractors and workers. Therefore, they own the highways and they have the right to decide who drives on them. People who don’t like these rules can build and drive on roads on their private property. But once they drive onto a public road, they must abide by its rules – obtaining a valid license, obeying posted speed limits, stopping at red lights, etc. The government also has a vested interest in public safety, so it creates and enforces traffic regulations. Anyone driving on a public road without a valid license is a Molotov cocktail. Even if they have a valid license and aren’t breaking the law, non-attentive or speeding drivers can injure themselves or others. Driving is dangerous; it requires one’s full attention. Why would anyone make roads even more unsafe by treating driving as a right, regardless of age and experience?

The written, visual, and road tests required to obtain – and sometimes renew – a driver’s license act as gatekeepers. The same is true for auto insurance. People who don’t like these gates should obey the law rather than campaign to remove gates altogether, which is selfishness and anarchy. Lawbreakers who demand the “right” to drive think only of their freedom, not others’ safety. If they can’t obtain a license or insurance, then they should remain passengers. Getting behind the wheel of a car without a valid driver’s license can lead only to disaster.


One thought on “License to Drive

  1. Pingback: License to Drive — Arts & Culture | Things Past

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