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 1 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 400,000-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.