Texas Senate OKs bad-driver bill

| 6/3/2003

Legislation that would require Texas’ habitually bad drivers to pay hefty fines to help fund the state’s trauma care centers and highway projects passed the Senate May 28.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Taylor, earlier passed the House.

HB3588, which has been pushed by Gov. Rick Perry, would generate about $150 million a year for the state’s trauma centers and a similar amount for roads, News 8 Austin reported.

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.

Drunken driving offenders would face additional fines of $1,000 annually for up to three years.