According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report   "Unlicensed to Kill",   an average of a little more than 8,000 people were killed each year in driving-without-a-license crashes from 1993 to 1999. That's 20 percent of all fatal crashes. (By comparison, DUI drivers are involved in 32 percent). Some of the 8,000 people killed each year by unlicensed drives are listed below. Visit

"we enforce the law, not only to punish the lawbreaker,
but to validate the good behavior of those who choose to obey it."

Law Enforcement increased DUI checkpoints & vehicle impounds for unlicensed drivers

So why are people STILL driving without licenses?

Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa) & Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles)
want the impounds stopped. (AB 353, 1389 & 131)

Assemblywoman Fiona M (D - SF) introduced AB 1993 that would allow people caught driving without a license to call a licensed driver to retrieve their vehicle.

Allen argues sobriety checkpoints specifically target illegal aliens and are unfair. Cedillo has tried 7 times to get the bill passed. He is not elegible (fortunately) for another term.

Democratic Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, of San Francisco, said she wrote the bill so that illegal immigrants will no longer have to give up their cars because they cannot pay hefty impound fees. The bill passed in the assembly, but was (fortunately) defeated in the Senate.

Wake up Ms. Ma, Mr. Allen and Mr. Cedillo, people are dying in accidents caused by DUI drivers and unlicensed drivers - statistically 50% of all fatal crashes. Impounds and checkpoints save lives!

Now, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck put politics ahead of your safety. Both want to abolish the 30-day impounds. Don't agree? Tell the mayor how you feel. We made it simple to email the mayor and other elected representatives. Tell them your safety is more important than their political agenda.

This is quite a contrast to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who enacted felony penalty legislation for unlicensed drivers who injure or kill. "people will think twice before getting behind the wheel if they don't have a valid driver's license."

* Read the AAA study "Unlicensed to Kill" or the ABC News Summary

* Read the AAA sequel study Unlicensed to Kill - The Sequel 2003

A driver license indicates:

  • a written rules-of-the-road test, and practical driving skill test
  • a vision test
  • agreeing to comply with DUI & drug testing
  • a thumbprint and verified identity for driving history, traffic tickets and traffic accidents
  • you are eligible to purchase vehicle insurance -- no license, no insurance

It's not OK to drive without a license, whether in the US legally or not.

  • 8,000 people die each year in driving-without-license crashes (20% of fatal crashes)
  • Unlicensed drivers are 5 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash
  • Unlicensed drivers are 4 times more likely to be involved in hit and run crashes
  • There are over 1 million traffic warrants in the Los Angeles City and Los Angeles Count warrant system. (How do you identify and ticket a driver without a license?)
  • In California, over 1 million drivers are driving without ever being licensed, 720,000 have suspended licenses (14607.4 VC below)
  • Checkpoints Save Lives Driving without a license kills people

Los Angeles Police are instructed not to comply with the law, which requires officers to impound unlicensed drivers cars at DUI checkpoints. They feel it "unfairly targets" illegal immigrants. Other agencies are following the LAPD lead. Sobriety Checkpoints Under Attack .

The US Supreme Court disagrees. In Delaware v. Prouse, the court commented that agencies could "develop methods for spot checks" if a neutral formula were used to determine which cars were stopped.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees. In Salazar v. City of Maywood, et al. , District Court Judge S. James Otero denied class certification and ruled against the plaintiffs on summary judgment. Affirming, the 9th Circuit held: "Section 14602.6 applies only in very limited circumstances. The statute authorizes impoundment of vehicles for up to thirty days when an individual is found to be driving with a suspended or revoked license or without ever having been issued a driver's license. This limited application accords with the California legislature's determination that such a temporary forfeiture is warranted to protect Californians from the harm caused by unlicensed drivers — a determination we have no basis to reject."

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the official representative of LAPD Officers disagrees in a very clear opposing perspective to that policy in two articles on the dangers of unlicensed drivers;

"Disregarding state law proves deadly – again" read the article

"A dangerous and potentially costly departure from state law" read the article

Someone has to pay for the medical costs and property damage caused by the unlicensed, uninsured drivers involved in traffic accidents. Have you looked at the un-insured motorist billing on your insurance policy?

While the law seems pretty pretty simple;
  • A license is required to drive a vehicle (12500(a) VC)
  • The owner of a vehicle must determine that the operator possesses a license (14604(a) VC)
  • The owner must authorize the person to operate the vehicle (14604(a) VC)
  • Impounding vehicles of suspended or unlicensed drivers is mandatory (14602.6(a)(1) VC)
it does involve that the rules are actually followed. So, it appears that illegal immigrants will be exempt from traffic enforcement and immigration enforcement. Owners will be allowed to retrieve their vehicles without penalty, and allow their use again.

California Legislative Findings:
14607.4 VC The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

  • (a) Driving a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways is a privilege, not a right.
  • (b) Of all drivers involved in fatal accidents, more than 20 percent are not licensed to drive. A driver with a suspended license is four times as likely to be involved in a fatal accident as a properly licensed driver.
  • (c) At any given time, it is estimated by the Department of Motor Vehicles that of some 20 million driver's licenses issued to Californians, 720,000 are suspended or revoked. Furthermore, 1,000,000 persons are estimated to be driving without ever having been licensed at all.
  • (d) Over 4,000 persons are killed in traffic accidents in California annually, and another 330,000 persons suffer injuries.
  • (e) Californians who comply with the law are frequently victims of traffic accidents caused by unlicensed drivers. These innocent victims suffer considerable pain and property loss at the hands of people who flaunt the law. The Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that 75 percent of all drivers whose driving privilege has been withdrawn continue to drive regardless of the law.
  • (f) It is necessary and appropriate to take additional steps to prevent unlicensed drivers from driving, including the civil forfeiture of vehicles used by unlicensed drivers. The state has a critical interest in enforcing its traffic laws and in keeping unlicensed drivers from illegally driving. Seizing the vehicles used by unlicensed drivers serves a significant governmental and public interest, namely the protection of the health, safety, and welfare of Californians from the harm of unlicensed drivers, who are involved in a disproportionate number of traffic incidents, and the avoidance of the associated destruction and damage to lives and property.
  • (g) The Safe Streets Act of 1994 is consistent with the due process requirements of the United States Constitution and the holding of the Supreme Court of the United States in Calero-Toledo v. Pearson Yacht Leasing Co., 40 L. Ed. 2d 452.

117 of the 8000+ Yearly Fatalities Involving Unlicensed Drivers

  • Veteran On-Duty LAPD Motor Officer Killed By Woman WIth Expired License Since 2005 04/10/2014read more
  • Unlicensed Teen Hit and Run Drivers Bad Left turn Kills 22-Yeer-0ld Man  03/12/2014read more
  • Unlicensed Drunk Driver With Two Priors Kills Man in Oxnard Hit and Run  01/26/2014read more
  • Driver in fatal Orange County collision is unlicensed, police say 07/20/2013read more
  • Four-year-old Child Likked By Unlicensed Teen In NYC 06/27/2013read more
  • Tow Truck Driver in Fatal Los Angeles Crash Was Unlicensed  06/12/2013read more
  • Driver in Calif crash that killed 5 unlicensed 05/29/2013read more
  • 4-Year-Old Girl Struck and Killed by UnLicensed Driver Fleeing Police 05/23/2013read more
  • Speeding, Unlicensed Driver Kills Senior Citizen, Walks With Misdemeanor 05/16/2013read more
  • Mother of Two Killed After Unlicensed Driver Crashes Into Cars 05/16/2013read more
  • Motorcyclist Hit, Dragged, Killed by Unlicensed Driver  05/05/2013read more
  • 21-Year-Old Woman Killed In Hit-And-Run By Unlicensed Cab Driver 05/04/2013read more
  • Pa. Police Officer Killed In Crash with Unlicensed Driver 05/02/2013read more
  • Pedestrian Miguel Ceja, 75, killed in Santa Ana by driver with Suspended License 01/10/2013read more
  • Highway Patrol says unlicensed 17-year-old female was driving in fatal NC crash 11/22/2012read more
  • Man Killed in Crash with Unlicensed Teen Driver in Santa Ana 10/23/2012read more
  • Four Teens Die in Horrific Crash Involving Unlicensed Driver 10/08/2012read more
  • Three-year-old boy enroute to hospital killed in car crash with unlicensed driver 09/21/2012read more
  • Mom and 2 Daughters Killed by Suspended License Driver in Los Angeles During LAPD Enforcement Ban 08/30/2012read more
  • Jefferson County man killed in unlicensed DWI crash 07/29/2012read more
  • DUI Illegal Alien Eduardo Soto-Ramirez With Suspended License Runs Red Light, Kills Woman 07/19/2012read more
  • Sheriff’s Dispatcher, Dominic Durden Killed in Collision With Unlicensed Driver 07/12/2012read more
  • Nurse and Mother of Four Killed by Unlicensed Illegal Alien Aurucelli Braga, 32 In Canton Car Crash 06/26/2012read more
  • Unlicensed Illegal Alien With 4 Prior DUI’s, Ramon Hernandez Kills Unborn Child In Santa Fe Car Crash 06/10/2012read more
  • Unlicensed driver arrested in crash that killed boy 05/08/2012read more
  • 6-year-old Boy Killed by Unlicensed Driver in Milwaukee Crash 04/22/2012read more
  • Motocross Racer Conner Penhall Killed by Unlicensed DUI in Los Angeles 04/05/2012read more
  • Unlicenesed Driver Arrested in Los Angeles Crash That Killed Motorcyclist 03/29/2012read more
  • Unlicensed 19-year-old Erik Garcia Charged in Fatal Hit & Run Kiliing 5-year-old 03/25/2012read more
  • Unlicensed Illegal Alien Gets 15-year Prison Sentence for DUI Crash That Killed Mother and Daughter 03/09/2012read more
  • Woman Killed by Long Time Unlicensed Driver  03/08/2012read more
  • US Postal Worker Killed by Unlicensed Driver Just 1-Day After LAPD Implements Lax Enforcement Policy 02/29/2012read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Gerardo Cazarez, 20, with 8 Prior Suspensions, Kills 56 Year-old Woman Returning from School 02/24/2012read more
  • With 4 Prior Unlicensed Driving Convictions, Jorge Valencia-Figueroa Kills 24-year-old Motorcyclist in Cloverdale, CA 02/24/2012read more
  • Unlicensed Father Kills His 4-year-old Son in Sacramento Road Rage Incident 02/11/2012read more
  • Unlicensed Hit&Run Driver Kills Women in Los Angeles Crash Had Two Prior Tickets 02/11/2012read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Booked in Crash That Kills 32-year-old Woman in Los Angeles 02/10/2012read more
  • Three Dead In LA, CA Crash Where The Unlicensed Driver Was Cited Just 30 Days Prior, Still Kept Driving Her Car 02/06/2012read more
  • Unlicensed Illegal Alien Kills Man, Injures Woman In Head-on Tampa, FL Crash 02/04/2012read more
  • Unlicensed Illegal Alien, Francisco Martinez, Charged With Murder, Hit&Run, DUI In Aug 2011 Moorpark, CA Crash That Killed Unborn Child  02/03/2012read more
  • Pompano FL man With Suspended License charged in DUI crash killing Young Woman 01/24/2012read more
  • Suspended License Driver Kills Two in Fiery NJ Crash, Mother Also Charged for Allowing Unlicensed Driver to Use Her Vehicle 01/18/2012read more
  • Unlicensed DUI Charged in Crash Killing 8-Year-old boy and Injuring Mom as They Walked 01/16/2012read more
  • DUI Texas Driver With Suspended License Kills Mother and Son in Fiery Crash 01/12/2012read more
  • 61-Year-Old Bicyclist Killed by Unlicensed Driver in San Bernadino, CA 01/10/2012read more
  • Man Killed in His Driveway by Unlicensed Truck Driver 01/08/2012read more
  • Cab Driver Killed Standing In Parking Lot by Unlicensed DUI Driver 01/08/2012read more
  • Man Sitting on Bus Bench Killed by Suspended License Driver  01/07/2012read more
  • 14-Year-Old Brooklyn Boy Killed by Unlicensed 42-year-old Suspected DUI in Hit and Run 01/05/2012read more
  • Fatal Wisconsin Car Crash Kills 3 Teens, Including Unlicensed Driver  12/29/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Teen Killed in Greenacres, FL Car Crash 12/29/2011read more
  • Wrongway Driver Facing Previous DUI and Suspended License Charges Killed, 2 Injured in Eugene, OR Crash 12/25/2011read more
  • Three Prior Citations Fail to Prevent Unlicensed Florida Driver From Killing Nursing Supervisor in Firery Crash 12/25/2011read more
  • San Francisco Pedestrian Killed by Driver with Suspended License 12/24/2011read more
  • Three Teens Killed, Two Hospitalized in Unlicensed Driver Crash 12/22/2011read more
  • Elderly N.J. Woman Killed by Unlicensed Drunk Driver in Head-on Hit & Run Crash 12/18/2011read more
  • 60-Year-Old Woman Killed By Unlicensed Driver In Los Angeles 12/18/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Teen, Jesus Ochoa, Kills Friend in Lake Elsinore Crash 11/18/2011read more
  • Uninsured, Unlicensed Driver Charged in Fatal Orange County Crash 11/18/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Charged in Death of California Boy, 2 11/09/2011read more
  • Man With Suspended License Kills 2 Childern - Charged With DUI 10/28/2011read more
  • Motorcyclist Killed in Crash With Boston Univ. Professor Robert Zelnick Driving With Suspended License 10/07/2011read more
  • Husband witnessed wife killed by unlicensed driver in Charlotte NC  10/07/2011read more
  • Cops Say Unlicensed Illegal Alien Driver Hit, Dragged 11-Year-Old Bicyclist 09/28/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Kills 4 in Camarillo, CA crash 09/19/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Illegal Alien Charged in Crash That Killed Motorcyclist 09/01/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Gang Member Charged With LA Murder After Vehicle Impound 09/01/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Illegal Alien Nicholas Guaman Charged with Murder, Hit & Run and DUI in Motorcycle Crash That Killed College Grad 08/11/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Illegal Alien Kills 4-year-old Boy in Santa Rosa, CA Crosswalk Hit & Run 08/18/2011read more
  • 2 Killed When Their Car Is Hit By Unlicensed Driver in Stolen Vehicle  07/31/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Kills Baby, Injures Pedestrian and LAPD Officer 07/16/2011read more
  • One Woman Dead, One Injured By Unlicensed DriverOne Woman Dead, One Injured By Unlicensed Driver 07/21/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Pays the Price for Killing Laurence Renard: $500  07/13/2011read more
  • Manhattan Pedestrian Struck and Killed by Unlicensed Driver  07/12/2011read more
  • Driver with Suspended License Kills Pedestrian on Queensbridge 07/07/2011read more
  • Unlicensed driver kills 18-year-old, injures three near Interstate 4 06/30/2011read more
  • Yolanda Casel. 78 Killed, Daughter Injured by Repeat Offender Unlicensed Driver - $500 Fine Levied in NY 06/30/2011read more
  • Morrisville man killed in fiery motorcycle wreck in Bordentown, illegal alien flees the scene 06/20/2011read more
  • Houston Police Officer Kevin Will Killed Instantly By DUI Illegal Alien Gang Member Johoan Rodrigues 05/29/2011read more
  • Speeding Driver With Suspended License Kills Bicyclist 04/14/2011read more
  • Oakdale Teen Killed in Crash; Unlicensed Driver Arrested  04/10/2011read more
  • Child Killed by Drunk, Unlicensed Driver  04/05/2011read more
  • Hamilton Woman Killed by Drunk, Unlicensed Driver 04/04/2011read more
  • Police: Teen Killed In Crash With Unlicensed Driver 03/31/2011read more
  • Florida Highway Patrol: Boy Hit, Killed By Unlicensed Driver  03/10/2011read more
  • Illegal Alien, Manuel Zamora, Kills Drive In Opposing LAne and Kills Auto Passenger 02/11/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Killed Turda Rov  01/07/2011read more
  • Father Of Sons Killed In Wreck Had Suspended License, and 8 Prior Convictions 01/07/2011read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Strikes, Kills Pedestrian 12/16/2010read more
  • Woman Hit, Killed by Unlicensed Driver 12/15/2010read more
  • Motorcycist Son of Home Media Publisher Killed in Accident with Repeat Unlicensed Driver 11/16/2010read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Charged In Death Of South Carolina Firefighter 11/16/2010read more
  • Unlicensed driver jailed after teenager’s death 10/19/2010read more
  • Illegal Immigrant Kills Virginia Nun, Critically Injures Two Others  10/04/2010read more
  • Unlicensed Brooklyn Mom Gets 60 Dsy for Hit &Run Killing 27-Year-Old Executive 09/05/2010read more
  • Driver Arrested in Motorcyclist”s Death was Unlicensed  07/19/2010read more
  • 2 Boys killed in a crash with an unlicensed driver 04/23/2010read more
  • Unlicensed driver in fatal I-5 crash in Newhall Pass behind bars 04/13/2010read more
  • Unlicensed driver held in crash that killed 5  04/13/2010read more
  • Man On NY Siedewalk Killed By Truck Driver With Suspended License 01/07/2010read more
  • Oakland boy in fatal crash unlicensed, in stolen car, cops say 12/31/2009read more
  • Corrections Officer with Suspended License Runs Down, Kills Woman in Brooklyn 11/03/2009read more
  • Underage, Unlicensed Driver Kills Colorado Racer  05/20/2009read more
  • Illegal Alien with Suspended License Kills 4 Year Old Girl in Nebraska 05/14/2009read more
  • Unlicensed 14-year-old dies in an accident 04/23/2009read more
  • Legislators take on unlicensed immigrant drivers - Teacher Killed by Unlicensed Illegal Alien 04/08/2009read more
  • Florida suspended license driver kills Broward County passenger 03/30/2009read more
  • Unlicensed 18 Year Old Driver Kills Self, Two Others in Wreck 07/07/2008read more
  • Outrage after elderly, unlicensed driver who killed a (traffic control) flagperson avoids jail time  02/25/2008read more
  • Unlicensed driver arrested in 3-year-old’s death 02/07/2008read more
  • Unlicensed Driver Arrested In Death Of Boy 08/12/2008read more
  • Youth with suspended license kills 2, injures himself in crash 12/07/2007read more
  • Murder Charges Await Unlicensed Driver Wanted in Hit & Run Accident Killing Two 08/03/2007read more
  • Unlicensed Illegal Alien - Juan US Ralios Charged in Crash Killing Ohio Man 01/07/2012read more
  • CHP Motorcycle Officer Gregory Bailey Killed By Unlicensed DUI Illegal Alien 02/25/2006read more
  • Police Chief’s 20-year-old Son Killed by Unlicensed Driver 12/01/2005read more
  • Kristy Wanek, 31, Killed By Unlicensed Driver in Wisconsin  01/01/2005read more

Unlicensed Driving: A Major California Safety Problem -Raymond C. Peck
How many drivers are driving in California without a valid driver's license? This question was the focus of a recent paper authored by the California Department of Motor Vehicles' Research and Development Branch, which appeared in the January 1997 issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. The findings of the study are quite astounding: 8.8% of the drivers on the road during the periods and locations sampled had suspended or revoked licenses and another 3.3% had no record of any driver's license. The above estimates were based on an analysis of fatal accidents in California during the years 1987-1992 where one or more of the drivers were cited. Using a technique known as quasi-induced exposure, we calculated the proportion of non culpable parties in 2-vehicle fatal crashes who were suspended, revoked or unlicensed. The rationale underlying the induced exposure technique is straightforward: The incidence of being the "innocent victim" in fatal accidents caused by other drivers is primarily a function of exposure-i.e., the number of miles driven by a group and their proportionate representation on the road during the time and place of accident occurrences.

Although it is not possible to produce a volume estimate of the actual number of drivers who are driving with a suspended/revoked license or with no license, the results suggest that, during the time periods and locations of fatal accidents, roughly 12% (8.8% + 3.3%) of the drivers on the road do not have valid licenses. Perhaps even more significant is the high degree of culpability of unlicensed and suspended drivers in causing fatal accidents.

In California, slightly more than one million drivers licenses are suspended/revoked at any point in time. The fatal accident data base did not contain information on the types of suspensions and revocations that were being violated. Therefore, in a subsequent survey, the Research and Development Branch checked the driver records of the suspended and revoked drivers in a fatal accident sample for the year 1993. (end)

Aug. 11, 2011

keywords: unlicensed drivers, unlicensed to kill, deadly drivers, illegal immigration, fatal crash, suspended license, deadly crashes aaa foundation, traffic safety

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