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Old 04-21-2002, 19:32   #1 (permalink)
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ACT owed $9.7m in overdue fines

http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/det...819&y=2002&m=4

The ACT is owed more than $9.7 million in unpaid overdue parking and traffic fines. Parking fines account for $3.3 million of the debt and traffic-infringement notices for $6.4 million.

Urban Services general manager, road transport, Brian MacDonald, said the amount owed to the Government was pretty much standard.

Each year the ACT Government collected about $18 million from fines, with parking accounting for $7.2 million, red-light and speed cameras $6 million, and traffic-infringement notices $4.6 million.

In all, 43,962 parking fines and 29,970 traffic-infringement notices are overdue.

As well, 17,708 parking fines worth more than $1 million and 12,125 traffic fines valued at $2.6 million have been issued but are not yet overdue.

Of all parking and traffic fines issued, interstate drivers account for 47,536 fines valued at $4.5 million, diplomatic plates account for 356 fines worth $57,522, Commonwealth Government plates account for 406 fines at a value of $33,258 and ACT residents account for 55,467 fines at a value of $8.9 million.

In comparison, NSW has two million fines worth more than $460 million outstanding. Earlier this week the NSW Government announced that, in a bid to recoup the money, fine evaders would have their wages docked.

However, Mr MacDonald said the ACT relied on a system of suspending fine evaders' licences and car registrations. This system had been introduced for parking tickets in 1989 and for traffic fines in 1991. Unlike NSW, the ACT did not have a debt-collection system.

About 3000 residents in the ACT have had their driver's licence suspended. Their licences could not be reinstated until the fines were paid in full.

Mr MacDonald said the level of unpaid debt in the ACT was "quite acceptable" and the system of recovering debts "quite effective".

There was an incentive in the ACT to pay the fine in order to keep the licence.

"If you don't pay your fine, you lose your licence," he said. "If they want to drive again they have to fix up their debt."

A spokesman for ACT Urban Services Minister Bill Wood said the level of unpaid fines in the territory was not extraordinary. However, the ACT would look at the NSW program to see how well it worked.

Mr MacDonald said it was difficult to enforce debts incurred by interstate drivers. Interstate motorists who did not pay their fines were banned from driving in the ACT.

The ACT also pursued fines incurred by diplomats and diplomatic staff.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said diplomats and diplomatic staff had to pay traffic and parking fines in Australia.
__________________
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.

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