This came in as a news tip here at the paper Tuesday, and it appears to be true.
On Dec. 8, a cop in Fairfax County pulled over a truckdriver from Maryland and charged him with driving while not speaking English well. His court date is Jan. 26.
You can look it up here (after you enter the correct CAPTCHA code). Go to Fairfax County District Court and lookup the driver’s name: Mauricio Guardado-Miranda
Under “Charge information” it states: Doesn’t speak English well”
Under “Code section” the docket cites: 49CFR391.11
And here is the relevant part of what that the Code of Federal Regulations says about that:
“(a) A person shall not drive a commercial motor vehicle unless he/ she is qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
Except as provided in Sec. 391.63, a motor carrier shall not require or permit a person to drive a commercial motor vehicle unless that person is qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
(b) Except as provided in subpart G of this part, a person is qualified to drive a motor vehicle if he/she:
(1) Is at least 21 years old;
(2) Can read and speak the English language sufficiently to converse with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records. . .”
And that’s the ONLY charge against the guy. It kind of makes you wonder why the copy pulled the guy over in the first place.
As a waggish editor here in the newsroom said: “If that’s a crime then half the people in Southwest Virginia are guilty of it.”