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Asian Drivers May Face Heightened License Requirements Under Assembly Bill 21

Published December 15, 2012

Updated December 16, 2012


Asian women have proven irresistible on the wedding alter -- but deadly on the road.The State Assembly went into the night debating whether to require Asian drivers to satisfy extra tests before obtaining a driver’s license.  If Assembly Bill 21 passes, Asian drivers in California will be required to undergo an additional driving test intended to ensure their ability to navigate difficult traffic. 


“The time has come for the state to guarantee that Asian drivers are prepared for our crowded roads,” said Assemblyman Roger Platt, an Anaheim Republican.  Platt co-sponsors AB 21 along with 32 other Republican and 9 Democratic Assemblymen.

The time has come for the state to guarantee that Asian drivers are prepared for our crowded roads.”

Chairwoman of the Assembly Committee for Transportation and West Covina Democrat Dorothy M. Rogers said that Asians should not be singled out.  “No group deserves to have higher standards to drive a car,” she said.  “This is an unfair attack against a very responsible and model American ethnic group.”

The Assembly considers AB 21 during a time when traffic congestion in many urban areas in California reaches a fever pitch and Asian drivers often seem to make driving missteps.  A recent study by USC Professor of Urban Planning Arthur M. Knocks found that Asians do appear to drive less efficiently than their peers.  “Asians seems to have problems staying alert and making right turns on red,” said Prof. Knocks.  “Their ability to judge spacial distances appears limited.”  Release of the Knocks study in November helped fuel the drive to pass AB 21 through the Legislature.

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