FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.
July 2015 (6)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (2)
April 2015 (3)
March 2015 (5)
February 2015 (1)
January 2015 (1)
December 2014 (9)
October 2014 (2)
September 2014 (2)
August 2014 (2)
July 2014 (1)
June 2014 (2)
May 2014 (2)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (2)
February 2014 (3)
January 2014 (3)
December 2013 (2)
November 2013 (2)
October 2013 (3)
September 2013 (5)
August 2013 (3)
July 2013 (3)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (4)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (5)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (3)
December 2012 (5)
November 2012 (2)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (2)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (3)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (6)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (3)
January 2012 (5)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (3)
October 2011 (3)
September 2011 (3)
August 2011 (2)
July 2011 (2)
June 2011 (3)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (3)
March 2011 (5)
February 2011 (3)
January 2011 (3)
December 2010 (2)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (4)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (3)
March 2010 (3)
February 2010 (1)
January 2010 (3)
December 2009 (4)
November 2009 (4)
October 2009 (2)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (4)
July 2009 (5)
June 2009 (3)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (3)
January 2009 (2)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (3)
October 2008 (3)
September 2008 (3)
August 2008 (2)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (5)
March 2008 (4)
February 2008 (5)
January 2008 (3)
December 2007 (2)
November 2007 (5)
October 2007 (4)
September 2007 (4)
August 2007 (5)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (4)
May 2007 (5)
Patrol

Unlicensed Drivers: A Public Safety Menace

LAPD impound policy allowing unlicensed drivers to recover their vehicles sooner than 30 days still rankles police union.

January 02, 2013  |  by Los Angeles Police Protective League

Photo courtesy of 7-how-7/Flickr.
Photo courtesy of 7-how-7/Flickr.

Editor's Note: This blog post first appeared on the Los Angeles Police Protective League's website.

We've been warning for a long time that suspended or revoked and unlicensed drivers were a public safety menace. That's why we opposed the LAPD directive not to impound for 30 days vehicles of unlicensed drivers. The politics-above-public-safety policy puts innocent people at risk of being injured and killed on Los Angeles streets.

City officials choose not to believe the very police officers who investigate vehicle crashes in Los Angeles and instituted a policy that ignores state law. Perhaps they now will listen to the DMV.

The LAPPL welcomes a new study by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, "Fatal Crash Rates for Suspended/Revoked and Unlicensed Drivers," which found suspended or revoked and unlicensed drivers are much more reckless on the road than validly licensed drivers. The study found that unlicensed drivers are nearly three times more likely to cause a fatal crash than licensed drivers. The study also found that unlicensed drivers are more hazardous than drivers with suspended or revoked licenses. Some of the key findings of the DMV study are:

  • Compared to validly licensed drivers, suspended, revoked and unlicensed drivers are 2.60 and 2.73 times more likely to cause a fatal crash relative to their exposure.
  • The largest percentage of suspended, revoked, and unlicensed drivers involved in fatal, two-vehicle crashes is those aged 20 to 29.
  • For drivers aged 19 or younger in fatal, two-vehicle crashes, the percentage that consisted of unlicensed drivers was almost four times higher than the percentage that was suspended or revoked.
  • The actual number of unlicensed drivers in California is unknown because these drivers are unknown to the DMV until they are involved in a crash or convicted of a traffic violation.

There are two fundamental reasons why vehicle impounding of unlicensed drivers is smart law enforcement. First, an unlicensed driver willing to ignore the law is, at least temporarily, less likely to further violate this law because he or she will not have access to the impounded vehicle. Second, the cost and inconvenience of recovering an impounded vehicle discourages people without licenses from driving. That is precisely why the state legislature enacted the 30-day hold law.

Don Rosenberg started the website Unlicensed to kill to bring attention to the horrendous problem of unlicensed drivers after his son Drew was killed by Roberto Galo, an unlicensed driver. His traffic safety whitepaper details the issue and points out that last year 7,500 people were killed by unlicensed drivers. Rosenberg was the first to point out that nationally 11% of all police reported crashes involve a hit-and-run collision, while in Los Angeles, 44% of all traffic collisions are due to hit-and-runs.

LA Weekly's excellent investigation, "L.A.'s Bloody Hit-and-Run Epidemic," exposed what they call an epidemic of hit-and-run crashes in the city of Los Angeles that number over 20,000 a year. According to the story, nearly half of all the crashes in L.A. are hit-and-runs.

L.A.'s policy of skirting state law substantially reduces the disincentives against the unlicensed and unlawful operation of a vehicle. It is our hope that in the new year, the DMV study will be the impetus for city officials to revisit this issue and in so doing, show that they are serious about putting public safety first.


Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

John a Ohtomacchi @ 1/3/2013 12:06 PM

What we need in thus case is a look at duties they ran on. If they fail then fire them or put in their duties stricter clearer rules. Tired of (this congress in particular -as we tolerate and protect incompetence). Lets start with getting rid of ALL lifetime jobs. Supreme Court. Vp Cheney went on duck shooting trip with justice Scalia just before vote about the famous meeting of VP and ENRON and such business leaders -Quoting that this meeting was "None of Americas Bysinesx(held at VP HOUSE A IN WASHINGTON. YOU read about outcome and paid for gas increases and lied about imposed electric raises.

John @ 1/11/2013 1:10 AM

John a Ohtomacchi: you sir are psychotic. Your incoherent rant might make sense to burnt out California hippies, however Police Magazine is a publication for more reality based individuals.

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent Blog Posts

What I Learned Being the Daughter of Police Officers
My mother, father, and stepfather are all (now retired) police officers. I thought I'd...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine