Drivers clamped for non-payment of fines

Drivers risk their vehicles being clamped or seized and sold if they fail to pay fines imposed by the courts.
Drivers risk their vehicles being clamped or seized and sold if they fail to pay fines imposed by the courts.

Three Cumbernauld drivers who had avoided paying road offence fines for months quickly stumped up more than £800 after finding that their cars had been clamped.

One man who had two unpaid fines for keeping and using a car without insurance ignored repeated warning letters and offers from fines enforcement officers.

But after a vehicle seizure order was issued at Coatbridge JP Court, he found his Peugeot 207 had been clamped and he settled the outstanding £330, plus a clamping charge of £68.

The second driver, who also had an unpaid fine for using a car without proper insurance, paid the £150 he owed plus the clamping fee after finding his Ford Focus had been clamped outside his home.

A third man who was fined £250 for using his Mitsubishi ASX without a licence paid only £25 before refusing to settle the balance. Fines officers issued a vehicle seizure order at Glasgow JP Court and the man paid £225 for the fine and the £68 for the clamping fee.

Drivers face having their vehicles clamped if they do not settle their fines and have to pay additional clamping costs and mounting daily fees when a car is taken into storage. Vehicles are eventually scrapped or sold off if fines are not settled.

And new electronic system between the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) and the DVLA vehicle database has enhanced the ability to track down drivers with unpaid fines.

Clamping is one of a number of measures available to the SCTS for recovering unpaid fines. Others include freezing bank accounts, arresting wages, taking money directly from benefits and even arresting non-payers when they are travelling through ports and airports.

David Fraser, SCTS chief operations officer, said: “The fines enforcement teams continue to be highly effective in securing unpaid fines – ignoring your fine and not speaking to an enforcement officer if you are having difficulty paying is very unwise.”

In all cases, offenders have opportunities to pay fines at a reasonable instalment rate. All defaulters are issued warnings before action is taken and those in genuine financial difficulty can arrange payment terms.

Most fines can be paid online at www.scotcourts.gov.uk/payyourfine or by calling 0300 790 0003. Only fines which involve the endorsement of a driving record cannot currently be paid electronically.