Texas governor signs funding bill

| 10/22/2003

Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill Oct. 16 freeing up $1 billion expected to be collected through traffic fines to help fund trauma care centers and broaden the state’s ability to build trade corridors, according to local media.

The funds are expected over the next five years under the Texas Driver Responsibility Program, which increases fines on habitually bad drivers.

HB2, approved by lawmakers during the recently completed special legislative session, is a cleanup measure for a new transportation law that took effect Sept. 1.

The new law ensures that trauma centers receive their intended traffic-fine revenue, News 8 Austin reported. Previously, all the revenue wasn’t appropriated as required in the state budget.

Under the new program, which takes effect Jan. 11, 2004, drivers who are ticketed for three moving violations or causing two accidents within three years will pay an additional $100 in license renewal fees, the Houston Chronicle reported. More offenses would mean higher fines.

Other offenses, such as repeat drunken driving violations, will result in additional fines up to $1,500.

It also puts at least $100 million into the Texas Mobility Fund beginning in fiscal year 2006. That fund will provide an additional state financing option for road projects.