Bill Could Require Tests

ST. MARYS — A proposed bill in the Ohio House could mean motorists would have to brush up on current traffic laws before renewing an operator’s license.

House Bill 400, introduced by Youngstown Democrat Robert Hagan, would require anyone renewing an operator’s license to take and pass a written test required by those applying for a permit and take and pass the road exam every other renewal. The bill, which was introduced in December, has been assigned to the Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

“I think it’s unnecessary,” St. Marys Police Chief Greg Foxhoven told The Evening Leader. “I think we have some good laws on the books and if they are concerned with the driving habits of the public, we have laws that don’t seem to have some teeth so you’d think they’d put some teeth into those laws that exist. I just think this is a non-issue.”

One pitfall of the legislation Foxhoven said he noticed is the chance of possible discrimination.

“How do you tackle something like that,” Foxhoven said. “Is there an age cut-off and how do you do that without discriminating. I just think this is not a good thing.”

Another option could be requiring those with certain infractions to take the tests. However, Foxhoven said that could be difficult to track.

“I think if there were certain serious offenses, like OVIs and reckless operations, maybe at that point you could, but I still think you’ll find some people who have these records who will allege you are discriminating against them,” Foxhoven said. “But there would be a paper trail where you’d be able to ID these people.”

Foxhoven likened the proposal to one passed several years ago that sent out notifications to residents asking for proof of insurance.

“It was finally stopped because they said it wasted millions of dollars,” Foxhoven said. “I think they need to take a hard look at this and maybe the committee will table it for now.”

Calls placed to Hagan and the Ohio State Highway Patrol seeking comment were not returned as of press time.