Thursday, July 08, 2010

Driver Responsibility rule re-write due out next week

Having participated in their "working group" on the subject, I got word via email from the Texas Department of Public Safety that: "We will be proposing the revised rule [on the Driver Responsibility Program] to the Public Safety Commission at their next meeting on July 15, 2010."

After attending the working group meeting, I'd reported that "there was a consensus on adding amnesty and incentive programs to the indigency program suggested previously, as well as on simplifying the indigency application process modeled on methods commonly used in courts and hospitals." Next week we find out whether and how that behind-the-scenes consensus translates into rule language.

Stay tuned ... we won't discover till then what they're actually proposing.

Related: See "Back to the drawing board: DPS rewriting Driver Responsibility rules."


John said...

Sweet. Lets not count our chickens before they hatch(saying to myself).

Gritsforbreakfast said...

You're damn right on the chicken counting, John! There's no telling what will wind up in there. The vibes all seemed positive, but ¿Quien sabe?

A reserved and cautious optimism is perhaps hesitantly justified, but let the chickens remain uncounted!

John said...

Hey Grits... Once they are proposed, and assuming they are benificial, what is the next step towards accually enacting these rules???

Don said...

and what would be the earliest anybody could see some actual changes?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Well, they'll publish the rules in the Texas Register, have another public comment period and maybe a hearing, then the rules could be in place and operable, hopefully, by the end of the year. conceivably sooner but I wouldn't count on it. There'll be a little lag time for implementation as well.

Part of the goal was to roll them out by year's end because historically most people paying off their surcharges do so between February and April when they get their tax return check. So ideally it'd be great if an Amnesty program were available so they could use that opportunity to get out from under their DRP fees.

Anonymous said...

you're up against
and their ilk.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

FWIW, 6:36, they haven't been engaged and didn't show up at the public hearing. I think they may be exclusively red-light camera focused.

Anonymous said...

Between red light cameras, surcharges and omni fees, working people are really taking it in the neck. Hope the surcharge can be lowered for first time DWI to a more appropriate level, say $1k over 3 years unless you cause an accident. If you want to raise money for trauma center, add a penny to the cost of a beer since beer is often cheaper than soda pop. I worry about the influence private for profit firms have in passing legislation that allows them to get a cut of surcharge fees, omni and red light cameras.

Casey Chambless said...

Hey Grits, I am sorry for using your blog as a sounding board, but I really want to get something off the ground.

I can't seem to find a good FB group on this topic. Everyone seems to start a group, get like 20 members, then stop posting. I'd like to get the kids energized and writing letters.

As I have been fighting these fines personally for almost 4 years now, I promise to dedicate myself to the cause. Please check out!/group.php?gid=131110183591298&ref=search

Okay, enough advertising. From the responses I got from my representatives and senators, I feel like I am getting a reach around. Florence Shapiro, who I believe had a hand in its creation, is all about criminalizing K2 (the new legal pot disguised as potpourri). She says little to nothing on the pertinent issues and focuses on the "word of the day" stuff. The only threats I see out there from the legislature is the guy from El Paso who is upset that like most of his constituents are wanted by the police. Why would they bother fixing up their system if they don't have pissed of politicians breathing down their necks.

Also, I live in the City of Plano. I consider it the red light camera capital of Texas. These things are so bad, I have actually gotten into a minor accident due to the flash of the things at night causing temporary blindness. Interesting rumor running around here - They say they have disconnected the system due to loss in revenue.

I for one have not received one of my weekly violations from the city for one of their infamous erroneous right turn on red citations. Could it be true that cities are reaching a tipping point? Given that the violation tickets are less than an officer written citation and a third party takes a piece of the action, I wouldn't be surprised that they changed their ways.

The fact that drivers got so fed up they actually changed their habits has to be affecting the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Anyone in particular that can be contacted regarding this thing? I and some friends would like to send 'em some letters/faxes to put our two cents in.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

When the rules are officially published in the Texas Register there will be a formal comments period. I'll let you know the deets when I get them.

scott said...

WTF is one to do if you get a ticket in a po-dunk town like PALO PINTO? There are NO LAWYERS who wish to be contacted for business. A ticket, long gone alias for an out of date registration on a trailer is outstanding, and I can only find one lawyer. It seems to me $350 is a bit much to pay an atty, especially when they insist on a money order, no cards, no checks.

For this, they suspend one's license. It seems the county don't care enough to do anything.

Jonny said...

Please keep us up to date on this.

I must have broken a mirror in September of 2003 when this nightmare started. My 7 years of bad luck should be over soon.

I've been to jail 15 or 16 times since I received my first surcharge. I am what politicians are calling "a new breed of criminal". When spending time in city jail, one tends to learn new things and meet new people. I played dominoes with inmates facing charges anywhere from manufacturing controlled substances to aggravated murder.

My point is everytime I drove I was treated exactly the same as them, a habitual criminal. I spent 20 days serving eight concurrent tickets in January and haven't driven since. I would not mind doing six months to satisfy my surcharges but alas, the nation-state of Texas wants much, much more.


Anonymous said...

ok Grits, I am here from another web site. I am wanting to fight the law, I have been on line looking thru the bill of right's. We are getting hit with Double Jeopardy and Excessive Fines...I have till 9-14-2010 to pay the fine, or I cannot drive..