Driving legislation

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Consider this predicament:

For a Chickasaw County resident to get a license to drive on the state’s highways they have to drive out of the county to be tested and photographed to obtain that privilege.

But a bill before the Mississippi Legislature may soon require the Mississippi Department of Public Safety to have a driver’s license station in each county at least once a month.

We think it is good legislation.

Chickasaw County saw it driver’s license station close up shop last fall. Anyone around here seeking a driver’s license or seeking to renew one that is expiring now has to drive up to 100-miles round trip to Tupelo, Starkville or Aberdeen to have their photograph taken and sign the appropriate paperwork.

We applaud Houston Senator Russell Jolly and Okolona Representative Preston Sullivan for sponsoring bills to bring this service not only back to Chickasaw County but to all rural counties in their districts and across the state.

These two men have wisely teamed up to sponsor the bill for their respective chambers. The bills were written with identical language and — if lawmakers will leave it alone — it should pass both houses and quickly become law.

DPS said costs of maintaining offices in rural counties was one reason for the closings. The bill sponsored by Jolly and Sullivan would simply ask county supervisors to provide space for DPS personnel to set up their office once a month.

With today’s technology, DPS license examiners can easily rotate around the state conducting license exams, road tests and renewals.

Based on votes already taken in each chamber on the issue, it appears likely that this legislation will pass this session requiring DPS to offer driver’s license services in each county. Driver’s in Chickasaw County can only hope for the best out of Jackson.

Good government is based on good law.

Residents in Chickasaw County should never be forced into the Catch-22 situation where they can’t get a driver’s license because they have to drive outside the county to get it.

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