July 3, 2013

New Drivers Out of Luck During Minnesota Shutdown

“The prolonged government shutdown in Minnesota is affecting more than just state workers, the Associated Press reported July 13. Driver’s license testing has been put on hold throughout the budget crisis, leaving many young drivers out of luck. Current drivers are able to get their licenses renewed through county offices, though.
The Minnesota state government’s non-critical services have been shutdown since July 1 due to a budget disagreement between Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican Senate leaders. As of July 14, no talks are scheduled between the two sides as the crisis dragged into its third week.
Kinya Gilbert, a 15-year-old Minnesota resident, completed her driver’s education classes the day before the shutdown on July 1. She planned to take her written test, required to receive her learner’s permit, but those plans are put on hold until the budget crisis is resolved.
“”I have swimming every day after school,”" said Kinya. “”I’ve been taking the bus and riding my bike, but it would just be better to drive.”"
Driver’s license testing centers are closed throughout the state. Young drivers looking to get their permits and licenses are out of luck. Even the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services website has been disabled while the budget impasse continues.
Those already licensed can get them renewed, however. There are more than 150 locations statewide for Minnesotans to get their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations renewed.
Heenepin County, the state’s largest, has eight locations. Drivers can get their paperwork and processing completed, but the actual plastic license itself may have to wait until the crisis is resolved. After some initial confusion in June, a ruling from District Judge Kathleen Gearin deemed motor vehicle computer systems a critical service and they are being manned by county workers.
The day before before the shutdown on July 1, licensing centers throughout the state experienced long lines as residents feared the offices would be closed. Once word spread that the renewal centers would remain open, business returned to normal.
“”It was the longest line I’d ever seen here for anything, and people looked kind of tired and frustrated,”" said Minnesota resident William Olive, about the long lines at his local renewal center on June 30.
He returned the next day, not sure the offices would be open. He was able to receive his new license tab within minutes.
Minnesotans looking for a licensing center should visit the Minnesota Deputy Registrar Association at mndep.com/locations.php.”

“The prolonged government shutdown in Minnesota is affecting more than just state workers, the Associated Press reported July 13. Driver’s license testing has been put on hold throughout the budget crisis, leaving many young drivers out of luck. Current drivers are able to get their licenses renewed through county offices, though.

The Minnesota state government’s non-critical services have been shutdown since July 1 due to a budget disagreement between Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican Senate leaders. As of July 14, no talks are scheduled between the two sides as the crisis dragged into its third week.

Kinya Gilbert, a 15-year-old Minnesota resident, completed her driver’s education classes the day before the shutdown on July 1. She planned to take her written test, required to receive her learner’s permit, but those plans are put on hold until the budget crisis is resolved.

“”I have swimming every day after school,”" said Kinya. “”I’ve been taking the bus and riding my bike, but it would just be better to drive.”"

Driver’s license testing centers are closed throughout the state. Young drivers looking to get their permits and licenses are out of luck. Even the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services website has been disabled while the budget impasse continues.

Those already licensed can get them renewed, however. There are more than 150 locations statewide for Minnesotans to get their driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations renewed.

Heenepin County, the state’s largest, has eight locations. Drivers can get their paperwork and processing completed, but the actual plastic license itself may have to wait until the crisis is resolved. After some initial confusion in June, a ruling from District Judge Kathleen Gearin deemed motor vehicle computer systems a critical service and they are being manned by county workers.

The day before before the shutdown on July 1, licensing centers throughout the state experienced long lines as residents feared the offices would be closed. Once word spread that the renewal centers would remain open, business returned to normal.

“”It was the longest line I’d ever seen here for anything, and people looked kind of tired and frustrated,”" said Minnesota resident William Olive, about the long lines at his local renewal center on June 30.

He returned the next day, not sure the offices would be open. He was able to receive his new license tab within minutes.

Minnesotans looking for a licensing center should visit the Minnesota Deputy Registrar Association at mndep.com/locations.php.”

Find out more, visit:

Minn. government shutdown puts lives on hold – AP

Minnesota shutdown costing millions – Politico.com

Balanced Budget Amendment – Wikipedia

Minnesota state shutdown reaches beer – KARE 11

Miranda Cosgrove Gets Drivers Permit

Miranda Cosgrove Gets Drivers Permit

“Miranda Cosgrove, who plays the lead role of Carly in Nickelodeon’s smash hit “”iCarly,”" recently tweeted that she got her driver’s permit. Cosgrove, who recently celebrated her 18th birthday in May, was a key star in another Nickelodeon hit, “”Drake & Josh,”" and played the role of Megan Parker who was younger sister to the title characters Drake Parker and Josh Nichols. Cosgrove has done a lot of other television acting, along with acting on film and movies such as “”School of Rock,”" in which she played the character Samantha Hathaway. She has also done voice over work in “”Despicable Me,”" giving voice to the character of Margo.

Miranda Cosgrove’s announcement about getting her driver’s permit happened only one day after her friend and “”iCarly”" cast mate Jennette McCurdy, who plays the role of Samantha “”Sam”" Puckett, received her drivers license. Both of these terrific actress reside in California, and thereby have to follow all California guidelines and laws regarding obtaining and maintaining driver’s licenses and permits.

In the state of California a learner’s permit, also called an instructional permit, can be obtained by anyone over the age of 15 1/2 years old. To acquire a learners permit there are a few requirements that must be met. Any individual wanting to obtain this permit must submit an application which includes a parent’s signature. This signature is mandatory to because it provides documentation that parents assume liability in case of accident. The applicant must submit a thumb print and social security number. They must also pass a traffic laws exam and a vision test. Drivers receiving a learner’s permit must have 50 hours of supervised driving with a licensed adult driver, and 10 of those hours must be done at night.

According to a study of 2,294 young drivers, more than half say that they have at one time or another barely avoided an accident. 70% of teen drivers say that they have narrowly avoided an accident. Nearly 50% say that it has happened on more than one occasion, and 43% admit that it has happened multiple times.

These numbers are eye opening, and considering that each and every year more and more new drivers are taking to the streets, it is essential that new drivers be prepared. According to the same study mentioned above, only a small number of teens admitted to using cell phones, texting, being distracted, or speeding as the likely cause, while the majority of those young drivers blamed weather conditions or other drivers.

Cosgrove admits in a Seventeen magazine interview that her mother was quite happy that she did not get her permit at the same time that her friends did. She says that her mother wanted her to drive, but would still get scared to death each time Miranda drove off with her friends. With these statistics and the number of teen traffic related fatalities each year, one would imagine that her mother is not alone in fearing for the safety of her child on the road.”

Read more:

nickutopia

Miranda Cosgrove Gets Her Drivers Permit

Many Teen Drivers Have “Near Miss” Incidence

Driver’s Permits In California

Drivers License and DUI Checkpoints

The Outlook News, in Santa Monica, California, reported on local and state efforts to reduce alcohol related deaths over the July 4th weekend, mirroring efforts across the country. DUI checkpoints were set up throughout Santa Monica, with special efforts made this year to prevent motorcycle accidents.

Drivers License and DUI Checkpoints

Increased vigilance, including four checkpoints this year in Santa Monica, has paid off in recent years for the police in California. From 2007 to 2009, California traffic fatalities fell by nearly 25%, with DUI related deaths falling 16%. Overall, traffic deaths in California are at their lowest point in more than six decades.

Recently, however, a rise in motorcycle fatalities in California has alarmed officials. Motorcycle deaths spiked from 204 deaths in 1998, to 560 by 2008, a rise of over 175%. Despite a decrease to 394 motorcycle deaths in 2009, California is still one off the top three states in motorcycle fatalities.

Over half of these deaths involved drivers under the age of 25, without a proper motorcycle license. In an effort to stem the rise in motorcycle deaths, California has initiated special Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operations, with officers deployed to areas frequently prone to motorcycle accidents. In addition to their sobriety tests and license checkpoints, police remind drivers to be alert for motorcycles, especially when turning or changing lanes.

In related news, Apple announced that they have banned iPod and iPad applications that give drivers an early alert to police DUI checkpoints. Four U.S. Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), urged Apple to remove the applications from their App Store. PhantomALERT was the app singled out by Senators, but the Apple App Store ban extends to any applications that include databases of known DUI checkpoints. Trapster, a similar checkpoint application, has so far avoided the ban by removing its DUI checkpoint functionality, but still warns drivers about police speed traps and red-light cameras.

RIM, makers of the Blackberry, moved in March to remove the offending applications from their BlackBerry App World. As of the beginning of July, Google has held firm and applications like Mr. DUI, Buzzed and Checkpoint Wingman could still be downloaded through the Google Android Market website.

New Texas Law Requires Drivers License Applicants to Prove Citizenship

A law just passed by the Texas State Legislature will link getting a driver’s license to a person’s citizenship or immigration status. Under the new law, anyone applying for or renewing their driver’s license will have to prove that they are either a citizen or present in the country legally. The law creates special licenses for temporary visa holders, tying the expiration date on their license to the expiration date on their visa. It also instructs Texas Department of Public Safety DPS to create a database of individuals who successfully prove their citizenship so that they do not have to do so each time they renew their license.

New Texas Law Requires Drivers License Applicants to Prove Citizenship

This was the third time this year that law makers tried make the controversial DPS policy into law. It failed as part of an omnibus homeland security bill and as part of a sanctuary-cities bill that was introduced during the Congress’s special session. This time, members of the Texas House of Representatives passed the legislation, SB 1, on June 28th as an amendment to an education funding bill that would balance state’s budget. The same legislation was also approved by the State Senate.

According to a report on the Houston Chronicle’s website, many Texans have concerns about the new law. Luis Figueroa, the legislative affairs attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, says that the policy has kept people with complex immigrations statuses from getting driver’s licenses, and that he is not sure whether the new law will change that.

Others worry that the law will lead to discrimination. Rep. Armando Walle, D-Houston, said to the Chronicle, “Why do I have to be questioned about my citizenship? You know I’m an American. Would they question someone that’s blonde haired and blue eyed?” Vikrant Gandhi, a market researcher and consultant from San Antonio, worries that his wife will be treated differently because her driver’s license identifies her as a temporary visitor. The two are considering moving to Colorado. Others worry that if it harder to get a driver’s license in Texas, more people will drive without one, and, without car insurance.

Supporters of the bill, such as, Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, who introduced the legislation in one of the earlier bills, say that the new law will address many of the concerns people had with the original DPS policy. The law instructs DPS to make temporary visitors license look similar to other drivers licenses and it requires DPS offices in large cities and border areas to employee clerks who are to review immigration documents.