March 29, 2008

From the desk of Rep. Allen Vaught

The Department of Public Safety estimates that 15-20% of Texas drivers are uninsured. Uninsured motorists cost insurance companies $900 million a year in Texas alone, which in turn raises the rates of insured motorists. Many of these uninsured motorists carry fraudulent insurance cards or drop their coverage as soon as they receive a valid insurance card. Texas is implementing a new program to allow law enforcement officers immediate verification that a person has a valid motor vehicle insurance policy.

Current Motor Vehicle Insurance Regulations

In order to operate a motor vehicle in Texas, proof of financial responsibility must be established for that vehicle. Financial responsibility is usually established through the purchase of automobile liability coverage. Currently, the minimum required coverage is $20,000 per injured person, up to $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident, and $15,000 for property damage (20/40/15 coverage). On April 1, 2008, the minimum required liability limits increase to $25,000 per injured person, $50,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage (25/50/25)

Whenever drivers renew their vehicle registration, have their car inspected, or are stopped by law enforcement, they are required to show proof of insurance. Currently, authenticity of the proof of insurance or that the person is currently insured can not be verified. To address this concern, the 79th Legislative session passed SB 1670 which created the Texas Financial Responsibility Verification Program (FRVP).

Program Overview

Texas Financial Responsibility Verification Program is a collaborative program between the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Department of Insurance, the Department of Information Resources, and Insurance providers operating in the state of Texas. FRVP creates and maintains a database of all insured motorists in the state of Texas. Texas is the 27th state to implement an insurance verification program.

Insurance companies are required to provide the FRVP with customers’ names, policy numbers, and Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN). The database can be accessed by the DPS when issuing tickets, vehicle registrations, and drivers licenses to ensure motorists have valid proof of financial responsibility. Local law enforcement agencies and vehicle inspection stations will also have access to the database and can control how the program will be integrated with their current operations. The program is structured to protect Texans from unauthorized use of an insured motorist's coverage information.

Program Implementation

DPS will begin pilot testing the program during May or June in the Austin area. This phase will be used to correct any errors in the system and software, and verify that the 99% accuracy standard is upheld. After successful completion of the pilot stage, the program will be implemented state-wide. The current target is late summer 2008.

How FRVP Affects Consumers

No action is required by consumers because it is the responsibility of insurance companies to provide information on all insured customers to the FRVP. However, consumers may want to verify that the VIN physically showing on their vehicle is the same as that shown on both the insurance policy and the vehicle title and registration. Contact your insurance company if any discrepancies are found.

If you have questions about the Texas Financial Responsibility Verification Program, or any other legislation, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 214-370-8305.

Source: Texas Department of Insurance
Sarah Hauser

Representative Allen Vaught

District 107

(214) 370-8305 District Office

Neighborhood Demolition Party


Come celebrate with your friends and neighbors as we toast the demolition of Northwest Terrace!
When:  Saturday, April 12, 2008 
12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Elks Lodge, 8550 Lullwater 
What:  Food, Drinks, Giveaways,and Good Times!*
         *No outside food or beverages, please.  

Dallas Public Library

April Activities Calendar for the Audelia Branch of the Dallas Public Library

There will be a workshop Tuesday, April 1st at the LH Recreation Center on White Rock Trail from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This is the first workshop in Dallas for parents and caregivers of children, pre-readers ages 4-5. The purpose is to share 6 pre-reading skills that children need to know in order to learn to read. The Central Library and all of the other branches will also be holding workshops during the month for different age categories: Early Talkers, Birth to Age 2; Talkers, Ages 2-3; Pre-Readers, Ages 4-5. This is all part of a new city-wide and national program, Every Child Ready to Read.

March 23, 2008

Calloway's April Tips for Gardeners

Calloway’s Color Creations

Create an instant impact to your patio, porch or even to your flowerbed. Fill
containers with blooms and foliage for beautiful accents.

First, select a container appropriately sized for the job. Make sure it has
drainage holes. Use multiple containers of various sizes for stronger impact!

Next, select a well blended potting soil which drains well. Calloway’s
Premium Potting Soil contains water-retaining crystals that release water
over extended periods of time.

Choose plants that require the same lighting needs. Will the container be in
full sun, shade or a mixture? In selecting the plants, we go with the formula
of…thriller, spiller and filler. Your “thriller” is generally a taller, more
dramatic plant and is usually more centrally located in the container. The
"filler” are multiple plants which fill in the space around the “thriller”. The
“spillers” are placed around the edge of the container so as they grow they
will cascade over the edge.

Next, fill the container half way with soil, position the plants and start filling
in with the rest of the potting soil. You can also add a fertilizer such as
Calloway’s Professional Flower Food into the soil. This slow release
fertilize will provide continuous feeding over the season.

Last, add a top dressing of decorative bark or mulch. This adds the
finishing touch, plus it will keep the soil cooler and prevent it from drying
out as quickly.

Color Creations require little maintenance. Keep old blooms
pinched off and replace plants as needed. It is a constant
masterpiece in work! Visit your nearby Calloway’s Nursery for
examples of Color Creations and let your imagination run wild!