Monday, July 12, 2010

Timeline on upcoming Driver Responsibility rules, hearings

The next couple of months are shaping up to be important ones regarding proposed reforms to Texas' Driver Responsibility program. I'd already mentioned that the new DPS rules will be released this week, and the Texas Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee will meet in Plano on August 3 to "Review the possible increase in number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers resulting from license suspensions or indigence resulting from drivers' inability to pay Driver Responsibility surcharges in light of new Department of Public Safety rules."

Now the House Public Safety Committee has announced a hearing on August 10 here in Austin in which they'll disucss "Interim Charge #3: Monitor the Driver Responsibility Program and consider methods for overall improvement of the program." (The committee will also be discussing "Interim Charge #4: Study the statutory definition, duties, and authority of a Texas peace officer.")

When an earlier version of DRP indigency rules were published in March, it took just under two months for the agency to receive comments and hold a public hearing. So if we're speculating about a timeline, the public comment period on the next round of rules will likely begin by August, with a public hearing of some sort perhaps in September. Conceivably, if the rules pass muster and don't require substantial revisions, they could be formally adopted by the Public Safety Commission in October or November.


Anonymous said...

I am a convicted felon, multiple DUI'S. I am on probation have gone through extensive rehabilitation for my alcoholism, completed DWI/DRUG COURT, completed repeat offenders courses and Cognitive Education. I have been totally sober for almost 2 years I am current on all fines and probation charges.I ride a bike because my license is suspend I will be eligible soon to get my license back, IF? I can pay the surcharge fees,the structure of the payment program and the amount are certainly holding me back. My goal is to drive legal and sober in the state of Texas, if the state has rules that say I must pay that much eventually I will. However if there was a way I could come to a more affordable or easier payment arrangement I would be able to find better employment and get off of this old bike and now very tired legs.

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