Here's a friendly little heads-up from your pals at Unfair Park: If you've received a citation from the Dallas Police Department and haven't taken care of it, you might want to settle up sooner than later. That's because the city's this close to signing a contract with Dallas County that'll ensure drivers with unpaid tickets can't get their cars registered until they pay up.
On Monday, the city council's Public Safety committee will be briefed on the Scofflaw Vehicle Registration Denial Program, the result of three months' worth of discussions between the city and county. The committee's PowerPoint presentation won't be posted to the city's Web site till tomorrow, but First Assistant City Manager Ryan Evans tells Unfair Park this afternoon that the decision stems from a municipal courts efficiency study done earlier this year, which, as Evans says, recommended establishing the program to "reduce, if not eliminate, the backlog on our dockets." The study stemmed from an April audit that revealed the municipal courts are losing a small fortune on unpaid citations.
Dallas County actually began denying registration to drivers with unpaid fines back in February; Garland's doing the same thing. Drivers with outstanding fines will wind up on the county's wanted Web site.
Evans says the program is expected to net the city $250,000 a year, after the county's paid for actually administering the program. (He says the county will charge about $5 per ticket processed.) Evans also says that a single unpaid ticket will result in the county making sure you can't get your ride registered.
"If it goes well Monday -- and several council members have already asked why we don't do this already -- it'll go before the full council on December 9," Evans says. "Then we'll finalize the contracts with the county and go from there." So pay now. You've been warned.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.