Blitz nets $48,000 in unpaid fines

TWENTY-FIVE cars were clamped and over $48,000 was paid off by fine-dodgers in a four-day operation along the south-west coast by the Victorian sheriff’s office. 

Last week’s blitz on the Barwon South West region — which included Port Fairy, Warrnambool, Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne and Torquay — identified 517 outstanding warrants worth $169,940. 

The operation collected 151 fines in full, mostly for traffic and parking infringements, value at $48,023.80. 

Victorian sheriff Brendan Facey said more than 7000 vehicles were checked during the operation, with 25 clamped, rendering them immobile until arrangements had been made to pay the outstanding amounts. 

He said nine people, who had a total of 250 warrants between them worth almost $70,000, were notified that their driver’s licence or vehicle registration would be suspended if they did not arrange to pay within seven days. 

Mr Facey warned fine-dodgers that improvements in technology was making it more likely that the sheriff’s office would catch up with them one day.

“The focus of these operations is to detect fine defaulters and encourage them to clear their outstanding infringement warrants,” Mr Facey said.

“More operations and new technologies like automatic number plate recognition mean fine-dodgers will be found and caught easier than ever before. 

“These types of operations show, if you ignore your fines you will be caught. Sheriff’s officers could be anywhere at any time.” 

He said there are more than 1800 offences that can be dealt with as infringements in Victoria.

“The Infringements Act 2006 provides a framework for issuing and enforcing infringement notices,” Mr Facey said. 

“The act has a range of sanctions for people who fail to pay their fines, such as wheel clamping, suspension of driver’s licence and motor vehicle registration and seizure and sale of personal property.” 

jwoolley@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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