A 24-year-old South Australian woman, who committed more than 200 parking and traffic offences, and has $115,000 worth of outstanding fines and penalties has been named as one of the state five worst fine evaders on a name-and-shame list released by the government.
Topping the list is a 32-year-old man, with several aliases, owing $150,000 in court-imposed fines and compensation orders as a result of unlicensed used-car deals and home renovations.
The publication of the name-and-shame list is the latest step in a major crackdown on unpaid fines South Australian Attorney General John Rau.
At the start of this year, the Government set up a new Fine Enforcement and Recovery Office with the power to sell people’s homes and impound vehicles. It can also suspend driver’s licences, seize property and deduct funds from their wages and salaries.
Some 16,000 drivers currently have their licences suspended for unpaid fines.
“It is unacceptable that so many people are finding ways to beat the system and not pay fines on time when we have many practical payment options available,” John Rau said.
South Australia had more than $260 million in unpaid and overdue fines on its books. About half that figure is overdue and by April 2014, fine collection was up $2 million of the previous year to $15 million.
The naming of individuals follows a legal battle over privacy concerns. It was opposed by the Law Society of South Australia, who had several concerns over aspects of the new fine recovery unit, as well as the SA Council for Civil Liberties.
The names published are at the discretion of the Unit director and appear following numerous attempts to contact the person responsible and arrange payment. The names are removed from the list once payment has been made. The unit has the power to publish the names of anyone who has not paid a fine. The person’s name, along with the date of birth and how much they owe is published on the website.
Three other men, aged 44, 43 and 32, also appear on the list owing $57,000, $55,000 and $50,000 respectively.
The site has also been naming companies with the highest amounts of unpaid fines, which currently range between nearly $24,000 and $12,273.
Two of the offending businesses have since paid after they were named in March, paying off $121,000 in debts.
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