Texas Bill Could Get Rid Of Driver Responsibility Program
One of the most hated programs in Texas is the driver responsibility program, which imposed annual fines on drivers for violations which, if unpaid, would lead to license suspensions. A bill that is currently in the Texas House could bring this program to an end.
According to The Houston Chronicle, House Bill 2048 by Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, would raise all traffic fines in the state by $20, tack on $2 to insurance bills for all Texans, and increase the cost of a drunken-driving conviction by as much as $6,000.
But the part of the bill that is garnering the biggest interest among residents is the immediate relief drivers with suspended licenses could receive if the bill passes.
If the driver responsibility program fees are all that is holding things up, suspended licensees will be eligible for reinstatement when the bill takes effect, likely Sept. 1. - via The Houston Chronicle
The program was started in 2003 as a way to boost funding for trauma care by imposing financial penalties on those most likely to find their way to an emergency room: erratic and dangerous drivers.
The unintended consequence of the program was that the escalating fees would trap many in a cycle of debt, and those who could not pay the fines had their licenses suspended.
As of 2016, the Texas Department of Public Safety said 1.4 million Texans had suspended licenses as a result of the driver responsibility program. Of those, 378,000 could not afford the payment plan set up for them. - via The Houston Chronicle.
This put many Texas drivers at a severe disadvantage because if they didn't have access to a vehicle to go to work, they couldn't make money to pay the fines to clear their suspensions.
Do you think its time to bring the Driver Responsibility Program to an end? Vote below, then sound off in the comments.