- 10 LC 34 2350
- House Bill 875
- By: Representative Franklin of the 43rd
- A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
- AN ACT
- To amend Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
relating to motor vehicles and traffic, so as to repeal Chapter 5, relating
to drivers' licenses; provide for a short title; to report the findings
of the General Assembly regarding the constitutionality of certain laws
relating to drivers' licenses; to provide for an effective date; to repeal
conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
- BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
- SECTION 1.
- This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Right
to Travel Act."
- SECTION 2.
- The General Assembly finds that:
- (1) Free people have a common law and constitutional
right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government
for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people
because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender
of an inalienable right;
- (2) In England in 1215, the right to travel was enshrined
in Article 42 of Magna Carta:
- It shall be lawful to any person, for the future, to
go out of our kingdom, and to return, safely and securely, by land or by
water, saving his allegiance to us, unless it be in time of war, for some
short space, for the common good of the kingdom: excepting prisoners and
outlaws, according to the laws of the land, and of the people of the nation
at war against us, and Merchants who shall be treated as it is said above.
- (3) Where rights secured by the Constitution of the United
States and the State of Georgia are involved, there can be no rule making
or legislation that would abrogate these rights. The claim and exercise
of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime. There can be
no sanction or penalty imposed upon an individual because of this exercise
of constitutional rights;
- (4) American citizens have the inalienable right to use
the roads and highways unrestricted in any manner so long as they are not
damaging or violating property or rights of others. The government, by
requiring the people to obtain drivers' licenses, is restricting, and therefore
violating, the people's common law and constitutional right to travel;
- (5) In Shapiro v Thompson, 394 U.S. 618 (1969),
Justice Potter Stewart noted in a concurring opinion that the right to
travel "is a right broadly assertable against private interference
as well as governmental action. Like the right of association...it is a
virtually unconditional personal right, guaranteed by the Constitution
to us all." The Articles of Confederation had an explicit right to
travel; and we hold that the right to travel is so fundamental that the
Framers thought it was unnecessary to include it in the Constitution or
the Bill of Rights;
- (6) The right to travel upon the public highways is not
a mere privilege which may be permitted or prohibited at will but the common
right which every citizen has under his or her right to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness. Under this constitutional guarantee one may,
therefore, under normal conditions, travel at his or her inclination along
the public highways or in public places while conducting himself or herself
in an orderly and decent manner; and
- (7) Thus, the legislature does not have the power to
abrogate the citizens' right to travel upon the public roads by passing
legislation forcing the citizen to waive the right and convert that right
into a privilege.
- SECTION 3.
- Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating
to motor vehicles and traffic, is amended by repealing Chapter 5, relating
to drivers' licenses, and designating said chapter as reserved.
- SECTION 4.
- This Act shall become effective upon its approval by
the Governor or upon its becoming law without such approval.
- SECTION 5.
- All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act