You likely know a fellow Texan whose drivers license has been suspended by the egregious and unjust Texas Driver Responsibility Program (TDRP).
Never heard of it? If you drive, or depend on someone who does, you need to learn about it.
Over 1.3 million Texans have had their drivers license suspended, and not necessarily due to being irresponsible. They pled guilty or no contest to traffic violations, paid their fines, and moved on, rightfully believing that was the end of the matter.
Until they are later detained for another violation, possibly a minor infraction like a defective brake light or failure to signal. They then find themselves in shock at being handcuffed, arrested and taken to jail, totally unaware their license had been suspended for failure to pay an unknown delinquent surcharge on the previous violation.
Collection notices for the surcharges may not have caught up with them if they had changed addresses or the notices had been designed to resemble junk mail.
This scenario has been playing out for over 14 years and it is time for Texans to repeal the legislation responsible for this travesty against fellow Texans.
Judge Edna Staudt has long been a voice calling out in the wilderness for the Texas legislature to take action. She has seen firsthand the devastation this misguided program has had on families and individuals, especially those with limited or no resources to fight the system.
“Citizens who lose their mode of transportation because of delinquent surcharges lose their jobs, sometimes their homes and face immeasurable obstacles to take care of themselves and their family.”
Judge Edna Staudt
“’It’s taking money from people who are not criminals,’ Staudt said. ‘Then they keep on driving because they have to feed their family, they have to get to work, they have to get around.’ ”
Hoppe,C.O. (2014, August). Critics of traffic surcharge get little traction.
The Dallas Morning News.
Retrieved from: http://www.dallasnews.com
“Justice of the Peace Edna Staudt of Williamson County, in Central Texas, said she also deals with many frustrated Texans who are affected by the program.
“Staudt said she believes the program is unconstitutional because it penalizes drivers twice for the same violation.
“’If you get a DWI, you go to jail, pay the fine. If you can’t afford to pay, you can do community service hours. The surcharge is an additional punishment,’ Staudt said.”
Chen,C.O. (2014, April 14). Despite Changes, Driver Surcharge Program Faces Continued Opposition.
The Texas Tribune
Retrieved from: http://www.texastribune.org/
Join Judge Staudt in continuing the fight to repeal this misguided program. Leave a comment below so you can be reached with more information on how you can make a difference.