El Paso Times - State database

El Paso Times - State database

There are 4 comments on the El Paso Times story from Dec 19, 2007, titled El Paso Times - State database. In it, El Paso Times reports that:

Texas Department of Insurance estimates show that up to 20 percent of cars on the road in the Lone Star State are uninsured.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at El Paso Times.

Since: Aug 07

Deer Park/ Friendswood

#1 Dec 20, 2007
Where exactly in Texas can you find mass transit? Metro does not go beyond the Houston city limits. How do you get to work? To get groceries? Get your kids to school or the doctor? What if you have a family emergency?

Thanks to a severe lack of sidewalks (even though it is one of the most basic parts of our infrastructure), people are risking their lives as they are forced to walk along side busy roads or in the street while walking to work, school, etc..
The harsh surcharge penalties leave many otherwise law abiding citizens, with suspended licenses. This leads to an increase in hit and run incidents as people are afraid of going to jail for driving (even if it was an accident and they could help the person by staying).

If you have a financial emergency and miss a payment, how is charging you more going to help the situation? The program actually creates more uninsured drivers and thanks to the Driver Responsibility Program, more unlicensed drivers (who couldn't afford extensive fees created to balance the budget in 2003).

If money is not an issue, then the DRP Surcharges are not an issue. However, many other Texas Drivers simply cannot afford the outrageous fines (which are in addition to whatever you pay in court). The law is unfair and unconstitutional, and amounts to the very essence of double jeopardy, as well as imprisonment for debt.
Insurance rates have skyrocketed and many people face feeding their kids or paying the bills. If it is the law to have insurance, than it should be more affordable.

Preventing people from working creates more costly problems in Texas. My complaints about the surcharge program~ you can have a clean record and get one ticket for an expired driver's license, then go to court, take care of it, and more than a year later, receive a surcharge that you had never heard of before, not even in court. If you cannot pay, then you lose your license or go to jail. Most people have no idea that they even owe money in the first place.

Offenses like an expired DL or missing one insurance payment is not directly related to Trauma care costs. Illegal immigration and individuals without heath insurance are the real factors. Also, just because you miss one payment does not mean that you are not covered, so the insurance verification program is fining or arresting people illegally. See legal def. of 'proof of financial responsibility'.

If the state was truly concerned with drivers having insurance, they would not try to extort more money out of someone just because they were having trouble making a payment on their insurance. The surcharge is only prolonging the time that people may risk driving uninsured. The surcharges are also going to pay for the Trans Texas corridor.

Who receives money from the surcharges?

www.txdps.state.tx.us/director_staff/public_i...
Each surcharge collected by the department under this law will be remitted to the Comptroller, on a monthly basis. Trauma centers and county and regional emergency medical services will receive 49.5 percent of the collected money, and the Texas Mobility fund will receive 49.5 percent of the collected money. The money that goes to trauma centers will be handled by the Texas Department of Health, while the **Texas Department of Transportation ** will handle money going to the **Mobility fund**, which funds highway projects, including the **Trans-Texas Corridor**. The remaining one percent of the collected money will go to DPS for operation of the Driver Responsibility program.

The DRP legislation is engineered to generate revenue for the Trans-Texas Corridor. It was established to coincide with the law authorizing the TTC.

Great Study- www.nedlc.org/center/license.pdf
christie penn

El Paso, TX

#2 Jan 11, 2008
It is amazing. I just read the above statment. and posted a statment on the page just befor i entered this one. And it states what i just said. I didn't even know about the surcharge. And now i see im not the only one. This is just wrong. And the fact that i just posted that fact is wut is shocking to me. We are all getting taken adantage of by our state. What in the world is going on!!!
jane

Kapolei, HI

#3 Oct 26, 2008
christie penn wrote:
It is amazing. I just read the above statment. and posted a statment on the page just befor i entered this one. And it states what i just said. I didn't even know about the surcharge. And now i see im not the only one. This is just wrong. And the fact that i just posted that fact is wut is shocking to me. We are all getting taken adantage of by our state. What in the world is going on!!!
All I have to say is: watch Zietgeist people!!! I left Texas in 2006 having paid my traffic violations to ensure I would be able to re-license in the state I am in now. I even have a letter stating the payment of that obligation. Then, when trying to obtain my current state license I find out I need to call some phone number and its a collection agency saying I have a three year surcharge responsibility. SERIOUSLY,$260 times three years to pay ON TOP OF my already paid $250 ticket for not having current insurance. Why not just ticket me for that amount of over $1050.00 at first? Also, how is this legal anyway-to tack on an "extra monetary punishment" after the fact? I already pay an increased rate of insurance and associated "miscellaneous fees" and state taxes...what is the justification and what is statute defined purpose for this surcharge? How could your legislature and representatives there have allowed this to happen? Surely, there has to be a good reason to impoverish drivers and increase the sense of debt. I sure hope someone out there is questioning and fighting this completely unreasonable and unconstitutional "surcharge"...seems like just another way the state (or controlling party)intends to fund the superhighway and future plans for the nation, and our bordering neighbors.
Aaron

Austin, TX

#4 Sep 10, 2009
Thank you for getting the word out about his horribly unjust law Tamara. I found out all about it when I received a ticket for ďno proof of financial responsibility. I actually had insurance at the time but didnít have my current insurance info in my vehicle. I went and asked to dispute the charge and meant to bring proof of insurance to the court date they set a few months ahead but I completely forgot about the whole thing. A few months later I received a letter in the male that I had missed my court date and the fine just about doubled. I was pretty upset with myself for missing the chance to show proof of insurance and had no choice but to pay the fine and be done with it, right? Wrong.

When I paid the fine I incurred a surcharge fee. I had no idea what this surcharge fee was until I tried to renew my license one day and was told it was revoked for an unpaid surcharge fee. I can barley pay my bills much less the cost of the ticket, the court fees, and the surcharge fees. All when I had insurance at the time.

I live in Austin which typical of Texas cities has a horrible bus system leaving me with absolutely no physical way of getting to work using public transportation. With no license I canít get insurance either now. It was either loose my job or drive with no license or insurance until I can pay off these surcharge fees. Letís hope we donít run into each other before then.

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