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(INDIANAPOLIS) — Legislators are rethinking a harsher penalty for driving without insurance.

Four years ago, Indiana jacked up the fee for uninsured drivers to get their licenses back. Indianapolis Senator Greg Taylor says he voted for it, but says instead of encouraging people to get insurance, the change has meant more people are just driving without a license because they can’t afford the fee.

Taylor’s proposed a temporary cut in the fee to help people straighten out their records, but a Senate committee is considering a permanent rollback. You’d pay $50 for a first offense instead of $250. Repeat offenders would owe a maximum of $200 instead of $1,000.

Taylor says the high fee is a hardship for people already struggling with finances. And Indianapolis agencies who work with newly released prison inmates to help them make a fresh start say it’s particularly difficult for their clients, who have to be able to get to probation appointments and required drug tests. Lena Hackett with the Marion County Reentry Coalition says ex-offenders are likely to weigh the possible consequences and take their chances on driving without a license.

Indianapolis Representative Robin Shackleford wants to offer a temporary deal not just on reinstatement fees, but unpaid traffic fines. Her bill would let you ask a judge to cut your bill in half. People near the poverty line could get an 80{a951f02a8cac8e6d7fde2726b1b22da104131bed62748b49fddce88fa07005a6} cut, the same as Taylor’s proposal, and could pay what they owe in installments.

(Photo: Michael Rojek/Thinkstock)