Help is on the way for millions of Ohio drivers with suspended licenses.
State representatives David Greenspan and John Barnes of northeast Ohio want to offer an amnesty program through HB 336.
"We want to give them a fresh start through a temporary amnesty program for six months," said representative Barnes.
More than 3 million of the 8 million drivers licenses in Ohio are suspended.
"Those numbers are staggering. That's 12.5 percent of all Ohioans driving on suspended licenses," said Greenspan.
HB 336 would reduce the number of drivers without valid licenses and car insurance. The two lawmakers reacted to an exclusive Channel 3 News investigation that found many drivers with invalid licenses got behind the wheel and drove illegally.
"We want to make sure Ohioans are driving legally and with insurance because if they have a valid license and insurance, then we're all protected," Greenspan said.
HB 336 says that if a driver owes reinstatement fees for multiple eligible offenses, the driver shall be required to pay only the lowest reinstatement fee owed for those offenses. If the driver owes reinstatement fees for only one eligible offense, the driver shall be required to pay one-half of the reinstatement fee owed for that offense.
The lawmakers say the offenders would still have to comply with court-ordered sanctions, but as they point out, it's the reinstatement fees that many find nearly impossible to pay. Greenspan points out that most of those fines go uncollected and many offenders need a car to get to and from work.
The thinking is to reduce the fees, collect what you can, and make people legal behind the wheel.
"It is our goal to create a reasonable, practical, and measured attempt to make sure that Ohioans are legal to drive with a valid drivers's license and insurance while driving through our neighborhoods and on our interstates," said Barnes and Greenspan.