Thursday, April 16, 2015

Driver's License Suspensions and the Cycle of Debt That Follows

Having your drivers license suspended for DUI, unpaid tickets, unpaid legal fees or any number of
other reasons is definitely an inconvenience. But for many who rely on driving to get to jobs they can't access otherwise, a license suspension is the start of cycle of debt and, often, poverty.

Many people who cannot afford to pay the fines to get their licenses back drive anyway, in order to make a living. Every time they're caught and face more repercussions, new fines are added on top of old and, as repeat offenders, these people are sometimes jailed, causing them to lose the jobs they were driving for in the first place.

Washington has apparently seen the impact and stopped suspending licenses for failure to pay nonmoving violations like expired registrations. The result?

Find out in this New York Times Article.


Charles Hansen said...

I was on a jury years ago for a man that tried to outrun the police, he had just got back his license and after we found him guilty he lost it again. That was the reason for the jury trial he wanted to keep his license and was hoping for a not guilty verdict from a jury. His story was just not believable.

SRTC Staff said...

I'm not convinced everyone should have the privilege of having a license. I have personally known people though who just messed up through doing dumb (not malicious) things and the hole just kept getting deeper as they drove to work without a license in order to pay fines. Kind of reminds me of the payday loans and how they say once you take one out, it's hard to ever actually repay the whole thing.

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SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.