Bad drivers would pay for care under Texas bill

| Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is pushing legislation to go after habitually bad drivers with hefty fines to help finance the state’s trauma care centers and highway projects.

The measure would raise a projected $1 million over the next five years for the state’s trauma centers and a similar amount for roads.

HB3588 passed the House earlier this month and has been sent to the Senate for consideration.

About 33 percent of the state’s trauma patients lacked insurance in 2001, costing trauma care centers $181 million, Perry said in a statement.

“The need for additional funding at our trauma centers is clear,” he said. “Among the 10 largest states, Texas has the highest fatality rate for speeding-related accidents and alcohol-related accidents.”

Under the plan, the state would tack a $30 surcharge on some driving violations and impose new fines on repeat offenders.

Drivers cited for three or more moving violations or for causing two accidents within three years would pay an additional $100 to renew their licenses. More offenses would mean higher fines.

Repeat drunken driving offenders would face additional fines up to $1,500.

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