The province is looking at new ways to get the money that it it owed. In the province of Ontario more then $669 million dollars is outstanding from Highway Traffic tickets alone. Normally, these fines are added to a renewal of a drivers license. When a person tries to renew the license after their current one expires the fines are added to the cost. The issue that the province is finding with this system is that people simply don’t renew their license. They continue to drive around on their old one avoiding the police as much as possible and also renewing their license. The provinces new plan to add the fee’s to the license plate renewals should force drivers to pay up if they have a ticket. Thunder Bay Police board members feel that it should bring in more cash for the city as more payments roll in. The issue becomes that drivers who have avoided renewing their drivers license for the same reasons will avoid other things. Unless the police are allowed to remove plates completely from vehicles who haven’t paid up drivers will continue their daily routine. There needs to be a more severe form of punishment for those who continue to break the law and do so willingly. I have a couple changes in mind that I believe could help to get the province and the city its money.
A) Garnish wages: While this should likely be a last resort for the province when trying to get its money back. People who reach a certain threshold of money owed should have it collected through a wage garnishment. Drunk drivers can consistently come out of court with $7000-$8000 dollars worth of fines after just a first offense. Typically, people who have been drinking and driving are doing so also with a suspended license, and no proof of insurance. A level of $60,000 could be considered just and fair for an individual to be considered for wage garnishment. While this move could be viewed as detrimental to the persons ability to provide an income for themselves or others. The lack of compassion for the other drivers of the road should provide enough justification for the move. An amount collected could be determined based on the income, geographical area of the individual. This service allows the province and the city to recoop some of the most spent on enforcement, and incarceration.
B) Website portraying the person based on the amount of fine uncollected could be another push for them to pay up. It could be broken down regionally and show off a host of different information about the person including the breakdown of fines. This website could provide a deterrence for people who may only have a couple outstanding fines to avoid having their name in the spotlight. It could also provide awareness to drivers about the actual number of people who are driving without insurance/ under the influence. The website could also serve as a teaching tool for students and young people who have one of the highest death behind the wheel rates. While I’m not for embarrassing people when they make a mistake; to get yourself on this website would take occurrence after occurrence.
C) Community Work: If a person has multiple charges and the fines are racking up then he likely will be in jail. He could be in jail as an intermittent inmate or a full time inmate. In order to reduce the amount that this person’s cost to the system he could be provided to volunteer his time at a center like the shelter house or halfway house as repayment. He could be an inmate every second weekend with the other weekend being spent doing community work (sleeping at the jail). This service to the community could be used as a form of repayment for his debts if he is unable to repay those debts.
We need to get to the root cause of why these people aren’t paying their debt. If it is pure laziness or due to financial hardships. We need to do something different then what we are doing now because it simply isn’t working for the system or the people.