A proposed traffic amnesty program would help Hoosiers pay back debts and reinstate suspended licenses. It could allow more than 400,000 Hoosiers to become legal, licensed drivers once again.
Nearly one in 10 Hoosiers have suspended licenses because of financial reasons – not safety violations – according a report from students at Indiana University.
The traffic amnesty program would provide a short-term solution in a payment program through the courts.
Indiana Institute for Working Families senior policy analyst Andrew Bradley says the issue impacts often low-income, minority Hoosiers.
“It’s keeping them from being able to participate in the workforce which is now a problem for Indiana’s employers,” Bradley says.
Bradley says it behooves Indiana to tackle this issue in both long-term and short-term lenses.
“If Indiana comes up with a combination short- and long-term solution, we can clear some of the backlog of some of those 400,00-plus Hoosiers who can’t drive,” Bradley says. “And then, we can start putting in a forward-looking solution, so that we can deal with this problem as it arises.”
Democratic Rep. Robin Shackleford brought the proposal to a legislative study committee.
“This half a million people it’s affecting, we want to make sure can get back to work,” Shackleford says.
Shackleford says she plans to offer the proposal in the 2018 legislative session.