February 2, 2011
For media inquiries contact Phil Kent (404) 226-3549
Presented by ProEnglish
ARLINGTON, VA – “Georgia must strengthen its official English law,” says ProEnglish board member Phil Kent of Atlanta, “that’s why I’m testifying today in support of H.B. 72 requiring that Georgia’s driver’s license examinations be given in no languages other than English.” He is scheduled to speak before the Georgia House of Representatives Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee at 3:00 p.m. today before the panel votes on the legislation.
Rep. James Mills, R-Gainesville, introduced H.B. 72, Kent says, “because Georgia foolishly allows state driver’s license exams to be given in 14 different languages including Arabic, Bosnian, Cambodian, Chinese, Laotian, Spanish and Vietnamese. Not only is this a violation of Georgia’s official English-in-government law, but it poses a clear safety hazard to Georgia motorists.”
“All of Georgia’s highway warning and hazard signs are written in English, so it is easy to understand the danger posed by drivers who cannot read English,” Kent will testify. He will also warn lawmakers that “giving driver’s license exams in foreign languages increases the risk of cheating and makes it very difficult to prevent or detect fraud.”
“This legislation will not affect Georgians putting out the welcome map to visiting international businesspeople, tourists or students. H.B. 72 simply requires that all PERMANENT residents take their driver’s tests in English. The bill does not apply to those here on temporary visas for the first 10 years they are in Georgia. It honors driver’s licenses of international business executives, tourists and foreign students,” Kent says.
“The people of Georgia deserve to have H.B. 72 passed because it would end confusing and dangerous unofficial multilingualism and reaffirm the melting pot tradition that has served this state and nation so well,” Kent concludes.