Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Berman: Abolish Driver Responsibility Surcharge

One of Texas' most conservative legislators, state Rep. Leo Berman from my hometown of Tyler, today filed HB 299 "Relating to the repeal of the driver responsibility program." Bully for him!

I called Rep. Berman's office to ask about the bill and he answered the phone himself. He said he filed HB 299 because he considers it "Double jeopardy, triple jeopardy, even quadruple jeopardy" to require payment of surcharges for three years after the traffic ticket has been paid.

At least half a dozen constitutents from Smith County have approached him about the surcharges, said Berman, some of whom couldn't pay both the surcharge and the cost of insurance. He said he'd rather them pay their insurance bill and drive with liability coverage than pay the state and drive without it.

Berman said he's "not satisfied with the effort made" regarding new DPS rules governing the surcharges - particularly the fact that drivers currently paying them won't receive a break - and said it's time to abolish the program entirely.

See related Grits posts:

18 comments:

Texas Maverick said...

Wow, finally a leg who gets it. congrats to being open minded and taking the high road.

Anonymous said...

Lets see I get a ticket, the Judge sets a fine, I pay it, case over. Then DPS sets an administrative fine and takes an additional fee. Can you say privateer. As in "Black Beard was a P______".

Ham2mtr

Prison Doc said...

All the DRP has done is facilitate or otherwise increase the number of persons driving without a license. The sooner it is killed, or dropped to a reasonable fee like $50 or $100 the better.

Makes lots of sense but it is hard to be optimistic in view of upcoming budget shortfalls; DRP won't help that but it can be demagogued both ways.cor

R. Shackleford said...

I salute him.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Berman usually underwhelms me with a lack of logic and reasoning. But this is impressive.

Hook Em Horns said...

Grits, I totally agree 100 % with you and Mr. Berman. Having said that, it is highly unlikely the legislature will do anything in the upcoming session that would reduce money coming into state coffers.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Can't never could, Hook 'em.

Robert Langham said...

Good for Berman! Usually he's one of those Tuff on Crime guys. He's from Tyler where they write TWICE as many traffic tickets as any other city in the state. Maybe he could do something about THAT.

Randy said...

FINALLY!!! Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Hooray!

Anonymous said...

Great news and all reps need to get behind this NOW!!!!

titfortat said...

A common sense politician…… my faith in the possibility of responsibility has found probability in Tyler Texas, I love this guy and I’m telling Santa all about him.

The Stopped Clock said...

Y'all might want to look at Berman's other bills filed before deciding he's a "common sense politician."

This is more a situation where a stopped clock is still right twice a day.

Anonymous said...

Hey Grits,
Do you have any suggestions on what we common folk can do to help this bill pass?
Maybe you should organize something. I would be there.abibei

Anonymous said...

I was almost persuaded that Berman might be a "common sense politician" (see comment by titfortat). Then I saw in this mornings AGN that he has filed a bill requiring candidates for President or Vice President to produce their "original" birth certificate in order to be on the ballot in Texas.

I've never seen my original birth certificate. I have a certified copy which was good enough to get a passport. I'm convinced beyond reasonable doubt that I was born in Swisher County Texas on November 25, 1933.

I doubt if Leo Berman or any of the Texas legislators have ever seen their original birth certificates, but I think they should be required to produce them before they can vote on this silly bill.

Rev. Charles in Tulia

Gritsforbreakfast said...

11:32 and others who want to know how to help - my suggestion is to start by contacting your own state rep to ask them to sign on as an author of Berman's bill. (If you don't know who they are or need their contact information, go here.) If they have any questions, use Grits archives on the topic to research it or email me. (shenson@austin.rr.com)

If they say they'll look into it, keep checking back every few days to see what they decided.

If they say yes, great; shoot me an email with the intel. If they say "no," find out why, if you can, and again, shoot me an email with the intel. It'd be great if there were a bunch of members from both parties signed on as bill authors with Berman. Call your own representative and ask.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Charles, Happy Birthday next week. Mine is the following day. :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you too Scott. I'll have turkey for my birthday. You can have leftovers! :)