by: Tenikka Smith Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One out of every seven drivers on the road in North Carolina does not have a license, according to a study by AAA.
The agency plans to use its research to push state lawmakers to take a tougher stance to get these dangerous and illegal drivers off the roads.
Tom Crobsy with AAA Carolinas said the staggering number of people without licenses also contributes to other serious problems.
"They're a danger, and they cost all of us money in insurance, in emergency personnel, and that's not even talking about the human cost," he said.
In an Eyewitness News undercover investigation in May, we followed several people charged with driving drunk, most of whom had their licenses taken away. But our crew found that did not stop many of them from getting back behind the wheel minutes after leaving the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.
"The law today, 'I've got a suspended license, for a year. I get
caught. They just add another year on it. I get in my car, drive away,' " said Crosby.
Right now AAA is working on finding a sponsor for tougher legislation
it hopes to put on the Statehouse floor in January.
"I'm driving without a
license. I get caught. First offense would be a stiff fine, a potential for jail," Crosby said of what the group would like to see. "If I get caught a second time, you take my car. That would cut down on it quite a bit."
Mecklenburg County state Sen. Malcolm Graham said AAA's findings are alarming and something worth taking into consideration.
"Obviously we need to make sure that those who are on the roads are abiding by the rules, that they are licensed," Graham said.