DPS approves driver responsibility program changes

POSTED: Friday, October 22, 2010 - 11:31am
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:53am

From Texas Department of Public Safety:

The Texas Public Safety Commission adopted proposed changes to the Driver Responsibility Program rules during their meeting today. The adopted rule will be published in the Texas Register as a final rule in November, and will consist of the following reduction programs:

The Amnesty program:
• Will apply to individuals who have been in default, and the Department will determine the time in default for each amnesty period
• Will reduce amount to 10 percent of total surcharges owed, not to exceed $250
• Will rescind suspension for those who receive amnesty while payments are being made

The Indigency program:
• Will apply to individuals at or below 125 percent of poverty level, using a sworn affidavit
• Will reduce amount to 10 percent of total surcharges owed, not to exceed $250
• Will rescind suspension for those who receive indigency while payments are being made

The Incentive program will apply to individuals above 125 percent and below 300 percent of poverty level, using a sworn affidavit.

Individuals will pay a reduced amount if all three years are paid in full:
• Reduced to 50 percent of what’s owed if paid within 30 days after notice
• Reduced to 60 percent if paid within 60 days after notice
• Reduced to 70 percent if paid within 90 days after notice
OR
• Reduced payments for continued compliance
• First year, pay 100 percent
• Second year, reduced by 50 percent
• Third year, reduced by 75 percent

The programs will be phased in over several months, with the Amnesty program being implemented during tax season. The Indigency program will be implemented immediately after the Amnesty period ends. The Incentive program will be evaluated for implementation.

In other Commission business:

• The Commission dedicated the Texas Fusion Center, a new state-of-the art facility housing federal, state, regional and local law enforcement agencies at DPS Headquarters. The Fusion Center’s Watch Center is a 24/7 unit that works with federal, state, regional, and local law enforcement agencies and serves as the state repository for homeland security information and incident reporting. The Watch Center provides real-time intelligence support to law enforcement and public safety authorities, and consolidates information and data on suspicious activities and threats from all jurisdictions and disciplines, as well as the public. During emergencies or periods of increased threat, the Center may ramp up to receive and process additional information.

• The Commission approved a plan to consolidate 32 radio communications offices into 22 offices over the next several months. Affected offices are Sherman, Texas City, Beaumont, Ozona, San Angelo, Childress and Harlingen. Most communications employees will be transferred to other locations; other staffing reductions will be handled through attrition as much as possible. Closing these locations as communications offices will save DPS an estimated $1.1 million. Highway Patrol offices in those cities will remain open.

• The Commission voted 4-0 to name Chuck Norris and Aaron Norris as Honorary Texas Ranger Captains. They will receive special commemorative certificates marking the honor.

“The ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ television series ran from 1993 to 2001 and reflected well on law enforcement in general and on the Department of Public Safety in particular,” said Steve McCraw, director of the DPS

The Norrises join other notables including John Wayne and President George H.W. Bush as Honorary Texas Ranger Captains.

News

Comments News Comments

Post new Comment