• Drivers with suspended licenses one of biggest problems for Memphis community leaders

    By: Siobhan Riley

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Mid-South community leaders are saying one of the biggest problems facing them in Raleigh and Frayser is the number of people who can not easily get to and from work. 

    And the reason is because their licenses are suspended.

    Memphis city councilmember Sherman Greer, who represents Raleigh, is holding a town hall meeting about this very issue.

    He said there are a lot of people in his district who have to catch rides with people because their licenses are suspended. Some people have even lost their jobs.

    Jerry Dowdy is one of many drivers whose license has been suspended. That caused his tickets to pile up.


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    “I started out driving with no license and I accumulated a ticket here or a ticket there. It accumulated,” said Dowdy.

    Dowdy said he couldn’t afford to pay more than $700 in fines that he received. Even though he knew he was taking a big risk, Dowdy continued to drive.

    “I had no choice. The children had to eat, the lights had to be on. The rent had to be paid, so I could not not go to work,” Dowdy said.

    He has since decided to take a break from driving until he gets his license reinstated, and he knows people who owe as much as $10,000 in fines. 

    Greer told FOX13 that Tuesday’s town hall will focus on educating the public about the diversion amnesty program.

    In 2018, city council allocated about $600,000 for driver’s license reinstatement. The program allows Memphis drivers in the “Drive-While-You-Pay” program – as well as those with a suspended license – to receive amnesty.

    Greer said they will also discuss MATA and how it transports people from Raleigh to their jobs that may be in other parts of town. That meeting is Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Raleigh Community Center.

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