14 Sep 2012

Border crackdown on fines paying off

3:10 pm on 14 September 2012

The Courts Minister says stopping people with unpaid fines at the border has helped significantly in reducing the total amount of unpaid fines by 25%.

Chester Borrows says for the first time in eight years, the total amount of outstanding fines has dropped below $600 million and overdue fines have also dropped 15%.

Mr Borrows says forcing people to pay their fines before travelling has resulted in $2.5 million being repaid.

The use of portable eftpos machines by bailiffs and an improved data matching system with government departments to locate fine dodgers have also been key contributors, he says.

New legislation to target drivers

Chester Borrows says new legislation is being put forward to allow police to suspend licences of drivers with outstanding fines who are pulled over.

Mr Borrows says the Ministry of Justice is working on the initiative and it is expected to be in place by November 2013.

The minister says fine-dodging drivers who are pulled over will have their licences suspended until arrangements to pay the fine are made.