Orange drivers racked up $261,574 in unpaid fines over a 12-month period.
According to statistics from the NSW Office of State Revenue, during the 2015 to 2016 financial year, there were 797 people in the Orange local government area who had overdue unpaid fines. In the same period, 93 people successfully challenged parking or traffic fines.
It follows revelations that higher fines are less likely to be paid according to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).
Orange’s Highway Patrol Sergeant Mark Hevers said if officers witnessed drivers doing the wrong thing, they would issue fines.
Sergeant Hevers said it was the responsibility of drivers to do something about the fine they received and penalties would begin to mount if fines were ignored.
“It’s exactly the same as paying for a license, registration and insurance,” he said.
“If you get a fine, make sure you do something about it. People can elect to have it heard in court or pay it. Penalties increase, with up to further fines, cancellation of drivers’ licences or registration. We don’t go out there to give out tickets or infringement notices for people doing the right thing.
“I pretty much guarantee if they get a fine it’s for doing the wrong thing. The vast majority of people do the right thing which is want we want to see.”
BOCSAR surveyed 3158 people in NSW, including 2222 who had received a parking or traffic fine, and asked whether they paid the fine on time or if the had considered not paying it at all.
More than 80 per cent of people surveyed were asked if they would pay a $254 fine, 69 per cent said they would pay a $436 fine, but it dropped to just 31 per cent if the fine was $2252. Those who considered not paying the fine were more likely to be a young male who had been fined before and knew someone who had not paid a penalty in the past and “got away with it”.
How the fine was issued, by police officers or a speed camera, did not change the likelihood of people paying.
If the person was not employed, 63 per cent said they would not, or would be unlikely to pay a fine of $2252. For people who were employed, just 53 per cent would consider not paying the fine.
More than $500,000 of fines were issued in Orange by police during the 2015 to 2016 financial year, while a mobile speed camera on Woodward Street issued $41,898 in fines.