Fifers forced to pay fines after accounts frozen

Some non-payers found their accounts frozen.
Some non-payers found their accounts frozen.

Those dodging fines in Fife have had to payout to settle their debts after getting a nasty surprise at the bank.

The non-payers who had repeatedly refused to settle their fines finally did so after finding their bank accounts had been frozen.

A Kirkcaldy woman fined £630 for dangerous driving and driving without a licence or insurance paid in full after an order freezing her account was issued by Dunfermline JP Court.

A St Andrews driver caught speeding settled his £150 fine after action was taken at Dundee Sheriff and JP Court.

Arresting wages and freezing bank accounts are among a number of measures available to the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) for recovering unpaid fines.

Other measures include taking money directly from benefits, clamping vehicles and even arresting non-payers when they are travelling through ports and airports for business or holiday trips.

A new electronic interface between the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and the DVLA vehicle database has enhanced the ability to track down drivers with unpaid fines.

In all cases, the offenders had opportunities to make payment of their fines at a reasonable and affordable instalment rate – but did not pay up.

A new report released by SCTS today reveals that the fines collection rate remains consistently strong. It shows that 84% of the value of Sheriff Court fines imposed during the three-year period between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2017 has either been paid or is on track to be paid through instalments.

SCTS Chief Operations Officer David Fraser 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.

“Failure to pay, or to engage with our officers, will result in strong sanctions being taken including arrestment of wages, bank accounts, your car being clamped or inconvenience and embarrassment by being arrested when travelling abroad.”

All defaulters receive warnings before action is taken, and the SCTS says those in genuine financial difficulty can engage with enforcement officers to discuss payment terms.

Most fines can be paid round the clock at or using an automated telephone payment system by phoning 0300 790 0003.