Drivers who dodged fines are hammered with hefty bills

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Two Lanarkshire drivers who for years refused to pay fines imposed for a variety of offences have been hit with massive bills.

One had to stump up £1,500 to settle seven fines imposed for a number of convictions including drink driving, using a mobile phone at the wheel and driving without insurance or tax.

He finally paid up in full after he found his Vauxhall Vivaro van had been clamped.

An Airdrie driver who had resisted paying the fines he owed for having an offensive weapon and not attending court decided to settle the £1,200 fines after his VW was clamped.

The Vivaro van driver was convicted at Coatbridge JP Court in May 2013 of two offences of using his mobile while driving and fined £170.

He reoffended in March 2015, this time for having an untaxed vehicle and was fined £130.

He continued offending and was fined £350 and £150at the same court after he was convicted of driving without insurance and being the keeper of an uninsured vehicle.

None of the fines were paid.

He was also fined £760 in the same year at Hamilton Sheriff Court and banned for drink driving and driving without insurance.

The man made only two payments amounting to £80 towards his fines.

Enforcement officers took action to recover the unpaid cash, which included freezing his bank account, checking to see if money could be deducted from benefit payments, and having an arrest warrant issued after he failed to pay having promised in court to do so.

He pleaded with the court for more time to come up with the money, which was granted.

Once again he failed to pay, but this time the fines team were able to track down his van and send in the clampers.

His van was immobilised on April 27 this year, and as soon as offices opened after the bank holiday weekend he paid up straight away - and also had to pay a fee to have the clamp removed.

The Airdrie VW driver was fined a total of £1200 at Airdrie Sheriff Court in 2015 for having a baseball bat in a public place and for not turning up for a court hearing.

He paid an initial £240 but then defaulted on payments.

Enforcement action was taken against him including freezing his bank account, his earnings and a further appearance

in court - but his bill was not settled.

The court issued a vehicle arrestment order and after his car was clamped on June 19 he paid up the outstanding amounts and the clamping fee the following day.

SCTS Chief Operations Officer David Fraser said: “The fines enforcement team continue to be highly effective in securing unpaid fines irrespective of how old they are – ignoring your fine 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.”

Clamping is one of a number of measures the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) can use to recover unpaid fines and a new electronic interface between the SCTS and the DVLA vehicle database has enhanced the ability to track down defaulters.

As well as having their vehicles clamped, fines dodgers can face additional fees mounting each day if their vehicle is taken into storage and it can ultimately be scrapped or sold off if they do not settle what they owe.