Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Fine dodgers paying up to avoid driving ban

Fine dodgers paying up to avoid driving ban


The Ministry of Justice has collected $4.6 million in just four months from people who risked being banned from driving under a tough new enforcement tool for overdue fines, Courts Minister Chester Borrows says.

Driver Licence Stop Orders (DLSOs) can be placed on anyone who fails to pay traffic-related fines imposed by a Court, Police or local government authority – or reparations imposed by a Court for traffic-related offences.

Since DLSOs were launched on 17 February, the Ministry of Justice has issued 87 warning letters, and served only one DLSO – and that was subsequently lifted after the person set up arrangements to repay their fines.

“This initiative was designed to send a compelling message to offenders who’ve racked up overdue traffic debts,” says Mr Borrows.

“It seems the threat of losing their driver licence has motivated many of those with fines owing who have, until now, ignored their obligation to pay up or enter an arrangement to pay the debt off over time.”

DLSOs target the most difficult to reach people – a hard core of around 25,000 drivers who each owed fines and reparation totalling more than $2,000, and had ignored repeated reminders to pay it off.

Of that group, over 10,800 have contacted the Ministry of Justice in the past three months, to make repayments totalling $4.6 million.

“The fact we’ve recovered $4.6 million from a stubborn group, who had ignored all previous reminders about their obligations, without having to take anyone’s licence away shows how effective the DLSO sanction is.”

While those with the largest outstanding fines have been targeted first, the Ministry of Justice will step up the issuing of DLSO warning letters over the next six months to others.

“We are focussing on the worst offenders first, but the message is clear. If you have an outstanding fine we will catch up with you,” says Mr Borrows.

“Anyone with an overdue fine should seize this opportunity to contact the Ministry of Justice and make a payment arrangement if they wish to hold on to their licence.”

Background

The Government is committed to ensuring that fines remain a credible sanction.

The Courts and Criminal Matters Bill, passed by Parliament in July 2011, gave the Ministry of Justice wider powers to collect fines – including the ability to issue Driver Licence Stop Orders (DLSOs).

DLSO’s help send the message that ignoring fines is not an acceptable, or sensible, option.
DLSOs are initiated with a warning letter giving people 14 days’ notice to either pay up or set up a payment plan. Those notified will get one more reminder, and if they ignore that, a bailiff will be sent to seize their driver licence. Licences will remain suspended until the fine is paid in full, or payment arrangements are in place.

People who have their licence suspended due to unpaid fines or reparation will not be able to apply for a limited licence. And if a person flouts the law by driving while suspended, they risk being charged with that offence, and having the vehicle they were driving impounded for 28 days.

DLSOs feature as part of a new media campaign (television, radio, print, online) encouraging people to pay their fines. It began on 2 February 2014 and has run regularly since then.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news