Have you looked at your driver's license lately? If you're beyond your teenaged years, you probably have not. So, take it out now, and give it a good look. What's on it? Your photograph, the name of your state of residence, a state symbol. There's your name and legal address, your date of birth, and a number assigned by your motor vehicle department. There's a signature from an obscure state official and perhaps a code that indicates that you are an organ donor, and maybe something that says you need to wear glasses when driving. There's one more thing, isn't there? Your signature. You had to sign the form when you received it, and the signature was then transposed to the actual license. The license isn't valid or legal, until you sign it.
When you sign a license, what exactly are you agreeing to? Well, as near as I can tell, it simply means that you agree to the MA implied consent law. If you are caught for suspected drunk driving, you agree to take a breathalyzer test. Refusing to do so means an automatic suspension of your license. Of course, the lawyers (check their ads in the yellow pages. There are lots of them) can fix this.
I'm just wondering if it would be possible to strengthen the meaning of this signature on this form. Say that by signing, you agree to obey all motor vehicle safety laws, and to operate in a civilized, proper manner. Failure to do so will mean the agreement has been broken, and the license may be suspended or revoked.
I bring this up because many believe that increasing fines for bad drivers will make roads safer. That's not a bad idea, but I'm not convinced that aggressive, "I'm a tough guy!" motorists are afraid at all of large fines at all. They are afraid of losing their licenses though. Am I wrong about that?
Good idea / bad idea?