How to deal with outstanding traffic fines

Published on February 6, 2014

It’s clear that this government has no imagination when it comes to collecting what is owed to it. I am, of course, referring to those people who have outstanding traffic fines.

If some of these people had a little business experience and it was their money, you can bet it would be collected.

Two minutes after I became justice minister, this would be the new law: persons who have outstanding traffic fines have 60 days to pay them or make arrangements to have them repaid. Otherwise, a list will be prepared and forwarded to all car dealerships indicating that the people on the list are not eligible to own a vehicle. Furthermore, the list is made public and all persons selling vehicles to other persons must verify that the person’s name is not on the list.

First offence is a $5,000 fine.

Second offence is a $10,000 fine.

Third offence will be a $10,000 fine and 60 days in jail.

Additionally, any person lending their vehicle to another person must check the list to see if the person to whom they are lending the vehicle is not on the list. Failure to check the list will result in the same fines and jail time as above.

Now, I challenge anyone to tell me how these people can continue to rack up fines unless they steal vehicles.

Finally, the issue of dealing with drivers who do not have insurance is equally simple. Once a person has insurance, it becomes the insurance company’s responsibility to ensure that as long as that person has licence plates, they have insurance. If the insured cancels, they must return their licence plates to the insurance carrier or provide proof that they are not with another carrier. Failure to do so immediately and the police are advised.

In 1991 in Germany, I was involved in accident in which the driver had no insurance. Under German law, the insurance company was responsible until the plates were returned. They paid through the nose. I can’t think of a better incentive for them to prevent it from happening again.

This government has no imagination.

Tom Badcock

St. John’s