Tim James is running for Governor of Alabama. His recently unveiled ad is running into quite a lot of criticism, though. In it, James states something to the effect of, “Why does the state offer the Driver’s License exam in 12 foreign languages? This is Alabama. We speak English here. If you want to live here, learn to speak it. We’ll only offer the test in English if I’m governor. It just makes sense. Does it to you?”
On his website, he cites a 2004 Bureau of Labor report that connected a 72% increase in work / traffic related deaths to the driver’s inability to read traffic signs written in English.
I’ve often wondered about this. If you need to read the test in a different language, will you be able to drive safely? What about the people who are just not good “test takers” no matter how intelligent they are? Those that do better taking oral exams rather than written? Should the rules be adjusted for their sakes?
James’ critics say his ad is all about politics, racism, etc. and that Alabama will lose federal funding if they only offer the test in English. Currently, the test is offered in English, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Korean and Vietnamese.
Does this make sense to you?