At a minimum, the Lege would be wise to require the Department of Public Safety to implement another "amnesty" period for the Driver Responsibility surcharge. Their first one was barely publicized and they seem disinclined to sponsor another one, even though they have the authority. Nearly 100,000 drivers were able to regain their licenses thanks to the lat Amnesty program in 2011, but because it was poorly publicized, only 14% of those eligible applied.
DPS offered quite a few additional suggestions for reforming the program at a hearing last year. But for my money, at this point the best way to "improve" the misnamed Driver Responsibility Program would be to abolish it.
See prior, related Grits posts:
- Could Texas Driver Responsibility Surcharge become an election issue? Examining reform suggestions
- DPS announces 'incentive program' rollout on driver surcharges
- Be thankful: Incentive program all the fix we're getting for now on surcharges
- Lege committee looking to tweak Driver Responsibility program; incentive program about to gear up
- Piling on: TPPF offers more reasons to abolish Driver Responsibility surcharge
- House rep promotes abolition of Driver Responsibility surcharge
- Is 2013 the year legislators axe Orwellian-named Driver Responsibility surcharge?
- Did the Driver Responsibility Surcharge cause Texas' voter ID law to be rejected?
- Few defendants getting surcharges waived by judges based on indigence
- Grits to DPS: Enact incentive rules for Driver Responsibility surcharge now
- Amendment tells DPS: Implement incentive rules for Driver Responsibility surcharge
- Hospitals: Driver Responsibility surcharge an unreliable funding source
- What's the one thing John Whitmire and Leo Berman have in common?
- Declining DWI convictions and the unmitigated failure of the Driver Responsibility surcharge
- Federal suit filed to declare Driver Responsibility surcharge unconstitutional
- DPS Director: No public safety benefit from Driver Responsibility Surcharge
- Prosecutors altering charging decisions to avoid Driver Responsibility surcharge
- Driver surcharge boosting Texas joblessness
- Unexplored costs from DPS surcharge harm safety, the economy
- Driver Responsibility surcharge 'devastating' for court system
- Bill author says 'overly punitive' Driver Responsibility surcharge a 'mistake'