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Expired inspection stickers have five-day grace period

By Jo Lee Ferguson answerline@news-journal.com
May 4, 2012 at 10 p.m.


<strong>QUESTION:</strong> What is the penalty for driving around with an expired inspection sticker? I've seen a lot of vehicles like that.

<strong>ANSWER:</strong> There's actually what I consider to be a great deal of forgiveness for this type of violation.

The Texas Department of Public Safety's website says motorists have a five-day grace period when their inspection sticker expires. That means that you have until the fifth day of the month after your inspection sticker expires to get into compliance.

Then, state law provides an opportunity to have the charge dismissed if the inspection sticker wasn't expired by more than 60 days and if the driver corrects the situation within 20 working days or before the person's first court appearance date, whichever comes later. The dismissal comes with a $20 fee.

People who aren't able to get their charges dismissed pay a fine of $197 in Longview, city officials told me. (The maximum possible fine is $297.) If a warrant is issued the cost increases to $347.

In 2010, there were 807 citations issued for this offense in Longview, with 66 of them dismissed. In 2011, there were 928 citations issued for inspired inspection, with 126 of them dismissed.

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<strong>Q:</strong> How long is it going to take Harrison County to finish where FM 2208 and FM 2879 come together? They've been working on that intersection there for several months.

<strong>A:</strong> First, I need to make sure everyone knows this isn't a Harrison County project. It's a Texas Department of Transportation project.

The work at FM 2208 and FM 2279 is part of a larger project the TxDOT Atlanta district began in June 2011. It consists of adding left-turn lanes to four highways in Harrison County during a period of a couple of years. The roads have to be widened some to allow for the turn lanes, which TxDOT said are designed to reduce the number of rear-end collisions at the four spots. The other locations undergoing work are U.S. 80 at Firetower Road west of Marshall, U.S. 80 at FM 2199 east of Marshall, and FM 134 at FM 1998 northwest of Waskom.

Marcus Sandifer, TxDOT public information officer for the Atlanta office, said construction work at FM 2208 and FM 2279 continued into the winter months until temperatures dropped too low for the asphalt phase of the work to be done.

"Once average nighttime temperatures reach their required levels, work will continue on the project and is expected to be completed this summer," Sandifer said.

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<strong>Q:</strong> Do you know the address for the "Coupon Queen?"

<strong>A:</strong> Write to Susan Samtur at: Coupon Queen; 62 South Central Ave.; Elmsford, N.Y., 10583.

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<strong>Q:</strong> Can you find out why they suspended the presidential dollars?

<strong>A:</strong> It was costing too much money to make money that there apparently wasn't widespread interest in, according to the news reports I found from December. That's when the federal government announced production would stop for widespread distribution. Instead, the production would be focused on serving collectors.

Congress approved the presidential coin program in 2005. Coins already had been produced for Presidents George Washington through James Garfield, and the program was planned to continue through 2016. However, one ABC story said there already were 1.4 billion unused coins in storage. The move was predicted to save $50 million a year.

<em>- Email questions to answerline@news- journal.com, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.</em>

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