AUSTIN – The ACLU of Texas today praised the legislature for unanimously passing House Bill 2048, which eliminates the Driver Responsibility Program, and urged Texas Governor Greg Abbott to sign the bill into law. Once signed by the governor, it will end the program, wipe out any surcharges pending on the bill's effective date, and require the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to reinstate any driver's license that is suspended under the program. The bill also maintains funding for Texas trauma hospitals.
Nick Hudson, smart justice strategist for the ACLU of Texas, responded with the following:
“We are now one signature away from ending the disastrous Driver Responsibility Program and the nightmarish maze of fines, license suspensions, and incarceration it has created. We are grateful to the legislators and stakeholders who engaged in the painstaking negotiations that led to a unanimous vote in both chambers. We urge the Governor to sign House Bill 2048 to end the Driver Responsibility Program.”
The Driver Responsibility Program requires Texans convicted of certain traffic offenses to pay an annual surcharge on top of court fines and criminal penalties to maintain their driver’s licenses. As of January 2018, more than 1.4 million licenses were suspended for lack of payment due to the Driver Responsibility Program.