In this video, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon is speaking about what we here at License Restoration Services call the Suspension Snowball. At LRS, we’ve realized for years that license suspensions for non-safety concerns lead to increased unemployment and underemployment. This, in turn, converts police forces into “collection agencies” for fines and fees.
Our efforts to help end the Suspension Snowball for Pennsylvania residents has been going on for over 20 years. Pennsylvania has a perfectly good system in place as a middle ground for these situations. It’s called the Occupational Limited License (OLL). This program allows residents to continue to drive – with a bit of restriction and oversight – until they can be clear of the ever-compounding effects of license suspension. The big part of the OLL is allowing these people to continue to earn an income or attend school.
“The suspension of driver’s licenses is one of the most pervasive poverty traps for poor people assessed a fine that they cannot afford to pay.” – Rep. Scanlon
However, owing money to a court is a disqualification for this type of restricted license. It makes no sense that our state SPECIFICALLY listed financial violations as a disqualifier for this type of relief. Rep. Scanlon cited a Harvard Law School report, stating, “The suspension of driver’s licenses is one of the most pervasive poverty traps for poor people assessed a fine that they cannot afford to pay.”
I do hope the government can back their way out of this mess and help those most needing some relief from the never-ending cycle of license suspension and fines.