Just when you think they can’t get any dumber

Ga. Lawmaker Proposes Doing Away With Driver’s Licenses

ATLANTA — A state lawmaker from Marietta is sponsoring a bill that seeks to do away with Georgia driver’s licenses.

State Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, has filed House Bill 7, calling it the “Right to Travel Act.”

In his bill, Franklin states, “Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right.”

Franklin told CBS Atlanta News that driver’s licenses are a throw back to oppressive times. “Agents of the state demanding your papers,” he said. “We’re getting that way here.”

read the rest

How’d this whackjob get elected? I think we need to add an IQ test for the right to vote.

45 replies
  1. Steve A
    Steve A says:

    Actually, he’s mostly right and I wish it would become more commonly accepted. Where the dimbulb went off the tracks was in confusing the common law right to travel on the roads with the PRIVLEGE of doing so by a particular means that represents a potentially great danger to others exercising that RIGHT. It is a right we both assert pretty much each day and guard jealously.

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      yeah Steve, but I’m gonna bet in this guy’s alleged mind the right to travel on roads only extends to motorists.

  2. Mighk Wilson
    Mighk Wilson says:

    Kennesaw, Georgia passed a mandatory gun ownership law in 1982. Maybe they’ll make auto ownership mandatory, too.

    (But mandatory health insurance is of course a socialist plot.)

  3. Tom
    Tom says:

    Perhaps even more than an IQ test for the right to vote, an IQ test with minimum acceptable score for the right to hold elected office.

    Oh, and +1 to Steve A’s comment. Driving a motor vehicle, which can kill, maim, and otherwise foul up the day of so many other people around you (unlike the momentary time loss of a bicycle encounter) is a privilege. The right to use the roadways trumps that privilege–period.

    • Mighk Wilson
      Mighk Wilson says:

      I make that point to about 50 people a month who’ve had their licenses suspended. They’re court ordered to take our Alternative Transportation course.

      The only inarguably natural way for a human to move around in the public realm is on foot. Without that right there is no real liberty.

      Navigating a multi-ton device at high velocity is wielding a great deal of force. Doing so in public should require at least as much government oversight as cutting people’s hair for money, don’tcha think?

  4. Eliot Landrum
    Eliot Landrum says:

    Silly me, all this time I’ve been thinking that we need to make it even harder to get a drivers license. I had it all backwards!

  5. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    How about my right to drive a guided-missile launcher on the public highway? Right to travel AND right to bear arms all at the same time.

    I also see that Mr. Franklin has also introduced a bill requiring the State of Georgia to pay all its debts in gold or silver only. I wonder how that would work?

  6. Will
    Will says:

    I did find it interesting that of the blogs and such that I read, some are coming out against him and others for him, all over these recent laws he’s introduced to the georgia legislature.

    From the bill: (4) American citizens have the inalienable right to use the roads and highways unrestricted in any manner so long as they are not damaging or violating property or rights of others. The government, by requiring the people to obtain drivers’ licenses, is restricting, and therefore violating, the people’s common law and constitutional right to travel;

    I would agree that we have the inalienable right to use the roads and highways. But driving a car can easily kill or harm others. In essence taking the natural right of others to live. Therefore, the government has an interest in protecting the right to life of its citizens.

    I would also like to parallel the 4th amendment right to arms. In all 50 states, if you meet the objective requirements for driving, you shall be issued a license. In many states, gun possession is more highly restricted. In florida we have a “shall issue” law for concealed carry permits. Meet the requirements and you get one. In other states, they will look at personal references and if you have a documented need to carry. If you pass the judgement of both, you may still only be issued a carry permit to and from certain locations.

    Imagine if we only gave drivers licenses allowing you to drive between work, home and the supermarket, and only if you could prove you couldn’t get there any other way.

  7. Curly Suze
    Curly Suze says:

    Rather than provide everyone with drivers licenses, perhaps Mr Franklin merely means that every road large & small should physically protected, separate bicycle and pedestrian paths so that noplace is off-limits to them on foot or on bicycle?

    (hint: if he wants to go all constitutional on this, ask him what the constitution says about automobiles, which didn’t even exist back then)

  8. NE2
    NE2 says:

    I’m actually pretty sure the constitution (both US and Georgia) says nothing about freedom to travel; courts have derived it from common law. Constitution 1, Tea Party 0?

  9. william balint
    william balint says:

    I see a great deal of lack of common sense in this thread.

    Can anyone provide ANY evidence that licensed drivers have less accidents than unlicensed drivers? This is an obvious requirement for anyone claiming that a “license” is necessary.

    Can anyone show that people killed by licensed drivers are any less dead that those killed by unlicensed drivers?

    Who here thinks that preemptive punishment is allowed by the Constitution, say like the 4th amendment?

    The ignorance and lack of rational thought by some people is amazing.

    They apparently believe that state issued permission makes one a safe driver. That premise has to be one of the most absurd I have ever seen.

    • Mighk
      Mighk says:

      The real purpose for licensing is not to make one a safe(r) driver; it’s to give the state the legal foundation to revoke the permission to operate a motor vehicle in the public realm if an individual shows that they cannot be relied upon to operate his or her vehicle in a safe manner. That’s why there is a point system. The license and the point system work hand-in-hand. The point system provides a uniform method of measuring driver behavior, and the license is the mechanism by which the state is empowered to keep dangerous drivers off our roads.

    • Mighk
      Mighk says:

      And to the point of the post and the original article: how would a state keep (or at least attempt to keep) dangerous drivers off the roads without a licensing system?

      • Hmmm
        Hmmm says:

        Easy, it’s called a criminal record. A more valid objection would be ‘what would we use for ID?’ and a valid answer would be you’d have to go to the former DMV building to get an ID card. I have one because I don’t have a driver’s license.

    • Christina
      Christina says:

      Point system aside… isn’t part of the licensing process to ensure that a prospective driver is properly aware of the laws that govern the road and that they have an acceptable minimum level of control of their vehicle?

      Obviously an individual can accomplish these things on their own without going through the licensing process, but if you get rid of and don’t enforce licensing, you are giving up entirely the assurance that everyone on the road knows the law and has a minimum level of control of their vehicle. Then suddenly it’s: maybe they do, maybe they don’t, wait until they have an accident and then we’ll find out.

      I personally don’t care for that, most licensed drivers are pretty inept/careless as it is already.

      You don’t need a license and a car to be ensured freedom of travel or to exercise your right to use the road your taxes paid for. You can take a bus, ride a bicycle, or call a cab.

      • fred_dot_u
        fred_dot_u says:

        Christina, I like your phrasing. I agree with your assessment, especially the part where you suggest that most drivers are inept. If driving required the training (and proof of training) that flying does, we’d all be in much better shape overall.

        Requiring a licensed driver to have a thousand miles or more on a bicycle before becoming a driver might go a long way to providing for better cycling conditions, but who am I kidding?

  10. Eric
    Eric says:

    “Can anyone show that people killed by licensed drivers are any less dead that those killed by unlicensed drivers?”

    Ooops, sorry. When someone wants to change the status quo, it becomes THEIR job to prove things, not the other way around. And the proof has to be so overwhelming, that it becomes obvious that the status quo needs changing.

    So let me explain how this works:
    1. Identify a problem
    2. Prove that the status quo is defective
    3. Offer a solution
    4. Prove that the solution will work

    See?

  11. Mr Smith
    Mr Smith says:

    MighK,

    You sure do sound convinced in your ability to interpret law. Must be a constitutional scholar no doubt. Gimme a break, totally agree with this person. Government restriction of a person right to travel is without a doubt unconstitutional. Then again, considering the avg american can name more of the characters from the Simpsons, than they can the rights guaranteed them under the bill of rights speaks volumes.

    More laws, imposition and expansion of government power hurts everyone. The original laws in this country were obviously intented to curtail governmental authority. Though that’s been gravely eroded, to the point that the constitution has more value as a historic artifact. Than any actual authority as a legal document.

    • NE2
      NE2 says:

      The constitution says nothing about the right to travel, and certainly nothing about the right to travel by any certain mode. The former comes from common law, and the latter doesn’t exist except in the minds of a few loonies. Yawn.

    • Mighk Wilson
      Mighk Wilson says:

      We agree there should be as few laws as possible.

      But you did not answer the essential question. A primary role of government is public safety. How do you propose Georgia, or any other state, keep dangerous drivers from continuing to get behind the wheel?

  12. Ed Riggans
    Ed Riggans says:

    “Personal liberty, or the Right to enjoyment of life and liberty, is one of the fundamental or natural Rights, which has been protected by its inclusion as a guarantee in the various constitutions, which is not derived from, or dependent on, the U.S. Constitution, which may not be submitted to a vote and may not depend on the outcome of an election. It is one of the most sacred and valuable Rights, as sacred as the Right to private property…and is regarded as inalienable.” 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, Sect.202, p.987.

    “Personal liberty — consists of the power of locomotion, of changing situations, of removing one’s person to whatever place one’s inclination may direct, without imprisonment or restraint unless by due process of law.” 1 Blackstone’s Commentary 134; Hare, Constitution__.777; Bovier’s Law Dictionary, 1914 ed., Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed.

    “The use of the highways for the purpose of travel and transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common and fundamental Right of which the public and the individual cannot be rightfully deprived.” [emphasis added] Chicago Motor Coach vs. Chicago, 169 NE 22; Ligare vs. Chicago, 28 NE 934; Boon vs. Clark, 214 SSW 607; 25 Am.Jur. (1st) Highways Sect.163.

    “The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by horse drawn carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city can prohibit or permit at will, but a common Right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” [emphasis added] Thompson vs. Smith, 154 SE 579.

    “The right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, is a common right which he has under the right to enjoy life and liberty, to acquire and possess property, and to pursue happiness and safety. It includes the right, in so doing, to use the ordinary and usual conveyances of the day, and under the existing modes of travel, includes the right to drive a horse drawn carriage or wagon thereon or to operate an automobile thereon, for the usual and ordinary purpose of life and business.” Teche Lines vs. Danforth, Miss., 12 S.2d 784; Thompson vs. Smith, supra.
    There is no dissent among various authorities as to this position. (See Am.Jur. [1st] Const. Law, 329 and corresponding Am. Jur. [2nd].)

    Now.. Can anyone discredit this guy for doing the right thing ??

  13. Ed Riggans
    Ed Riggans says:

    The attempted explanation for this regulation “to insure the safety of the public by insuring, as much as possible, that all are competent and qualified.”

    However, one can keep his license without retesting, from the time he/she is first licensed until the day he/she dies, without regard to the competency of the person, by merely renewing said license before it expires. It is therefore possible to completely skirt the goal of this attempted regulation, thus proving that this regulation does not accomplish its goal.

    Furthermore, by testing and licensing, the state gives the appearance of underwriting the competence of the licensees, and could therefore be held liable for failures, accidents, etc. caused by licensees.

  14. Ed Riggans
    Ed Riggans says:

    It would seem that this is indeed a matter of both common, and constitutional law.
    There are myriad precedents that do in fact uphold this position. Further, it would
    Appear to me that the overwhelming majority of these uninformed comments cannot
    withstand even elementary level scrutiny. What a sad comment on our society.

  15. Mighk Wilson
    Mighk Wilson says:

    AAA says 1 in 10 drivers is driving without a license, and 1 in 5 fatalities involves an unlicensed driver. That means unlicensed drivers are twice as likely to cause traffic deaths as licensed ones.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/one-in-10-motorists-drives-without-a-license-expert-says/1189901

    Just as our legal system presumes we are innocent until proven guilty, our traffic licensing system assumes we are reasonably competent drivers until there is evidence — citations, crashes — to prove otherwise. But without a license or points system it’s far more difficult to track a driver’s performance.

    Our problem is that we’ve built our urban areas such that it’s very difficult to get around without a motor vehicle. So those who’ve lost their licenses feel as though they have to keep driving.

    • william balint
      william balint says:

      It saddens me that people post things as if they had read them and were capable of understanding them.

      “While some never had licenses at all, others lost them — more often for financial reasons than for behavior behind the wheel.

      Failing to pay parking tickets, neglecting child support payments or skipping a court hearing can trigger a suspension.”

      Who wants to argue the position that someone who failed to pay a ‘PARKING TICKET’ is a bad driver. Enter AAA. ‘Mighk Wilson’ has his license to exist from the government suspended because he failed to pay a parking ticket. Mighk Wilson then got into a fatality accident. AAA now claims that ‘Mighk’, who lost his license, for forgetting to pay a ticket which had NOTHING to do with his driving skills, is a ‘BAD DRIVER’ and the reason we NEED licenses.

      Talk a circuitous argument. Common sense and critical thinking ability are truly gone from the human race.

      • Mighk Wilson
        Mighk Wilson says:

        Since 2006 I have been teaching a class on Alternative Transportation for people with suspended licenses; over 2,500 people. Have some of them lost their licenses due to issues besides driving behavior? Yes. But the majority of them are simply BAD DRIVERS. Those who’ve lost their license due to non-driving matters tend to get them back quickly.

        • william balint
          william balint says:

          That is a shame really Mighk. You see the government can not require me to have a ‘license’ to travel in my automobile. And luckily for me, they have never passed a law that says I must have one when going about my own private business. In fact, they are quite clear that I do not need one. No one I know EVER has to deal with traffic tickets for the simple fact I know the law, far better than the courts, lawyers and cops. It truly frightens me when I see people that actually believe our servants can control my actions absent harm. Look up, for instance Indiana IC 9-21–1-6 and you will find that Traffic laws (and all other statute) are rules for GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES and Property. The fact that People suffer from superstition and actually believe that government is an authority over us in general is dumbfounding to me. And yet most of you submit to it for no reason whatsoever. You think my private automobile is a ‘motor vehicle’? (18 U.S.C. 31 (6) & (10)) You think I ‘transport’ (carrier) persons (passenger: One who pays a fee to be transported) and cargo (property transported for gain)? And if my private automobile is NOT a ‘motor vehicle’, then any ‘statute’ (legal follows procedure and not substance), then the requirement of possession of a ‘license’ to ‘operate’ (for hire and pay) a ‘motor vehicle’ can certainly not apply to one who is NOT ‘operating’ a ‘motor vehicle’ in the ‘transportation’ of ‘persons’ and ‘property’ can it? Law is LAW and that is the law 🙂 As the saying goes, ‘Ignorance of the law is no excuse’. Read U.S v. Guest (1966). It is one of my favorite cases on the matter. It is a wonderful thing when the Supreme Court tells you to file charges against any party that tries to infringe on my right to travel in my private auto using 18 U.S.C. 241. You see, police commit FEDERAL Crimes everyday. Wonder why more people do not use the LAW. LOL Peace.

  16. Ed Riggans
    Ed Riggans says:

    Alternative transportation is fine where viable alternatives exist.
    Where I’m from, the closest bus station is about 15 miles away.
    Further, I work in excess of 45 miles away from my home. Do u
    Assert that I should bankrupt my family trying to get to work
    day? The cost would be extremely prohibitive. Further, I
    Have had my license suspended, because I failed to pay a $300+
    Seat belt ticket. Please tell me how not being able to pay north
    Carolina made me a bad driver. Lastly, I would have to see the
    actual data that supports their claim. It would seem to me there
    Is some type of misrepresentation in that assertion.

  17. Ed Riggans
    Ed Riggans says:

    Well I’ve found a Rutgers University study, that utterly crushes
    your argument !! To wit :

    Most suspended drivers (64 percent) have more than one active suspension. Less than six percent of all suspended drivers are suspended for purely driving-related reasons. The vast majority of drivers are suspended not for habitual “bad driving,” but for a variety of compliance reasons stemming from one or more motor vehicle infraction, parking tickets, or failing to maintain proper insurance. Only a small percentage of drivers, less than five percent, are suspended for purely non-driving, non-motor vehicle related reasons. It is noteworthy that most suspended drivers (59 percent) have zero motor vehicle violation points. However, it should also be noted that some serious driving offenses, such as DUI and driving while suspended do not result in the assessment of motor vehicle points. Instead, in most cases, these violations carry substantial fines and mandatory suspension periods

    It would seem to me, that you are profiting from the drivers license scheme. And as such, I’m understand why you
    Would want to defend it. 😉

  18. william balint
    william balint says:

    Ed, read this case and understand that ‘Guest’ is not the name of a party but rather the capacity of the plaintiffs. Pay particular attention to (fn 17) http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0383_0745_ZO.html

    “… [T]he exemptions provided for in section 1 of the Motor Vehicle Transportation License Act of 1925 (Stats. 1925, p. 833) in favor of those who solely transport their own property or employees, or both, and of those who transport no persons or property for hire or compensation, by motor vehicle, have been determined in the Bacon Service Corporation case to be lawful exemptions.
    In re Schmolke (1926) 199 Cal. 42, 46.

    “”It is obvious that those who operate motor vehicles for the transportation of persons or property for hire enjoy a different and more extensive use of the public highways. * * * Such extraordinary use constitutes a natural distinction and a full justification for their separate classification and for relieving from the burden of the license tax those who merely employ the public highways for the transportation of their own property or employees.”
    Bacon Service Corporation v. Huss, 129 Cal. 21, 248 P. 235, 238.” (State v. Karel, 180 So. 3 at 8.)

    “Fundamentally it must be recognized that in this country “Highways are for the use of
    the traveling public, and all have … the right to use them in a reasonable and
    proper manner, and subject to proper regulations as to the manner of use.” (13
    Cal.Jur. 371, sec. 59) “The streets of a city belong to the people of the state, and the
    use thereof is an inalienable right of every citizen, subject to legislative control or such
    reasonable regulations as to the traffic thereon or the manner of using them as the
    legislature may deem wise or proper to adopt and impose.” (19 Cal.Jur. 54, sec. 407)
    “Streets and highways are established and maintained primarily for purposes of travel
    and transportation by the public, and uses incidental thereto. Such travel may be for
    either business or pleasure … The use of highways for purposes of travel and
    transportation is not a mere privilege, but a common and fundamental right, of
    which the public and individuals cannot rightfully be deprived …[A]ll persons have an
    equal right to use them for purposes of travel by proper means, and with due regard for
    the corresponding rights of others.” (25 Am.Jur. 456-457, sec. 163; see, also, 40
    C.J.S. 244-247, sec. 233.)”
    Escobedo v. State of California (1950), 35 Cal.2d. 870, 875-876.

  19. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    Interestingly enough, Canada’s constitution explicitly grants mobility rights. See:

    http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html#h-43

    But notice that driving a car is certainly not called out as a right. Quite to the contrary, every province clearly states that driving is a privilege, not a right. One example is Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act. See:

    http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90h08_e.htm#BK60

    I have copied an excerpt below.

    Since driving is a privilege, not a right, suspending or cancelling a driver’s licence is not a punishment. And therefore there is no right to any form of trial.

    A wide variety of people, ranging from police officers to medical doctors to Ministry of Transportation officials can and do routinely suspend driver’s licences.

    In particular, travelling at 50 km or more over the speed limit will result in the police handing this dangerous driver a 7-day on-the-spot licence suspension. As crime scene evidence, the car will also be impounded. See, for example:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1258438–car-clocked-at-222-km-h-on-hwy-401

    Driving a privilege

    31. The purpose of this Part is to protect the public by ensuring that,

    (a) the privilege of driving on a highway is granted to, and retained by, only those persons who demonstrate that they are likely to drive safely; and

    (b) full driving privileges are granted to novice and probationary drivers only after they acquire experience and develop or improve safe driving skills in controlled conditions. 1993, c. 40, s. 1.

    • william balint
      william balint says:

      @ Kevin Love

      That is interesting, but I have a question for you. If you are Canadian, there is only 2 things that concern you so far as Canadian statute is concerned. Please direct your attention to section 32 and section 52 of the Constitution act.
      http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html#h-50
      Application of Charter
      Marginal note:Application of Charter

      32. (1) This Charter ***applies***

      (a) ***to the Parliament and government of Canada*** in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and

      (b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

      It only applies to ‘Parliment and the GOVERNMENT of Canada’. Nowhere is it made applicable to private persons. Kevin Love is a flesh and blood man. KEVIN LOVE is a government usufruct (agent)

      Section 52 states that the ‘Constitution act’ is the SUPREME LAW.

      There is a guy up there that deals more with Queens Bench and Commons courts. You can find him via Google. His name is Dean Clifford. All that ‘statute’ is government rules for government employees. Despite that fact that you like ARE operating as a government officer, it is also likely you are not even aware of the legal presumptions being made by the courts and the government regarding the capacity you are operating in. Peace.

      • Kevin Love
        Kevin Love says:

        William,

        I do not quite understand your question. Although I served in the Canadian Forces for 16 years (Royal Canadian Regiment and Royal Regiment of Canada), I am no longer On Her Majesty`s Service, but have a rather boring job as an accountant.

        • william balint
          william balint says:

          Was not a question at all. I simply showed you that despite what you are taught to ‘believe’ your government can make not ‘law’ regarding you, the private person.

          You are the master of yourself. Unless you harm another, his property, or fail to perform under a LAWFUL contract, there can NEVER be a crime.

          Governments can only make ‘laws’ (regulations) for themselves. We are ABOVE them. The hierarchy is Creator>Man>Constitution>Government(created by the people through the Constitution) >Statute>Government Employee. You have a ‘certificate of birth’ that identified a government created legal entity, I.E.’KEVIN LOVE’. Even though this is NOT you (You are a MAN, a name is only a title so I do NOT have to call you ‘MAN’.) ‘KEVIN LOVE’ is a usufruct, a government creation, not a man. YOU, like most of us, through ignorance, step up in your ‘fiduciary’ capacity to take the blame for the government ‘usufruct’. In other words you have been taught to step up and take blame for things the government claims their ‘imaginary’ being did. All Common law countries are the same. The government can NOT tell us what to do ‘lawfully’. So 100+ years ago they figured out a ‘legal system’ (Legal is not synonymous with lawful) were by, through taught ignorance of law, you enter adhesion contracts (birth certificate,Social security,drivers licenses, etc, were by you WAIVE your creator granted rights and become obligated to perform under contract. Peace.

  20. Ed Riggans
    Ed Riggans says:

    I see that the overwhelming majority of people will
    never understand their position in this society.
    The citizen is the master… Gov’t officials are the servants.
    It saddens me to see so many allow theirselves to be led
    around by their elected officials.

    Thank you William, I will check it out 🙂

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] a Georgia legislator says drivers licenses are unconstitutional because they interfere with your right to travel, because, you know, there’s no viable […]

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John R. Bennett and Georgia Bikes, Streetsblog Network. Streetsblog Network said: Today in crazy legislation: Georgia lawmaker says requiring driver's licenses is unconstitutional http://bit.ly/fav7M7 via Commute Orlando […]

Comments are closed.