2 Feb 2014

Crackdown on unpaid traffic fines

1:49 pm on 2 February 2014

Drivers could lose their licences or have vehicles seized in a Government crackdown on unpaid traffic fines.

New sanctions will be introduced for people who have failed to pay fines imposed by the courts or police.

Courts Minister Chester Borrows said about 136,000 people owing between them $48 million in traffic-related fines are making no attempt to pay.

Mr Borrows says young drivers are over-represented among people with unpaid traffic fines.

The character 'Mr Fines' features in a nationwide advertising campaign.

The character 'Mr Fines' features in a nationwide advertising campaign. Photo: SUPPLIED

"The reason why they've got fines is that there's something wrong with their driver behaviour and that's why they keep getting pinged for tickets, so getting them off the road and dealing with their fines is the best thing we can do for them."

From 17 February, Driver Licence Stop Orders (DLSOs) can be imposed on anyone who fails to pay traffic-related fines imposed on them by a court, police or local government authority, or a reparation order imposed on them by a court for a traffic-related offence.

Repeat offenders with large overdue debts will be targeted first and given 14 days to pay or set up a payment plan.

If that does not happen, a bailiff will be sent to seize a driver's licence. Should that person then be caught driving while the licence is suspended, they could be prosecuted or the vehicle they were driving could be seized for 28 days.

Total fines and reparation owed is at its lowest level in almost a decade at $554.4 million according to information provided by the minister's office. Most of the outstanding money relates to vehicle offence penalties.

A television, radio and online advertising campaign was being launched on Sunday about the changes.