Motorists across Scotland have settled fines worth thousands of pounds after having their vehicles clamped in a crackdown on people who repeatedly refuse to pay.
Data compiled by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) shows that in Glasgow alone, nine drivers have settled outstanding fines totalling almost £2,000 in the past six months after their cars were clamped.
They included the owner of a Porsche who failed to settle a £150 fiscal fine for having no insurance. He eventually paid up when a seizure order was issued for the vehicle.
The research by the SCTS - the body responsible for collecting fines issued by Sheriff Courts, Justice of the Peace Courts, fiscal penalties, and fixed penalty notices - shows the collection rate for Sheriff Court fines is on the rise, with 84 per cent of the value recouped over the past threes.
A new report by the SCTS flags up other cases where drivers eventually paid up after the court took action.
A driver from Musselburgh who dodged fines totalling £910 for six offences, including assault and road traffic infringements, settled the sum within hours when his Ford was clamped after a court order was issued.
An Edinburgh man who owed £320 in fiscal fines for having an unlicensed vehicle paid up within 24 hours after his Citroen was immobilised.
In Aberdeen, meanwhile, five drivers owing sums ranging from £100 to almost £800 found their vehicles immobilised. A Mercedes driver convicted of traffic offences and fined £150 paid up within hours of finding his luxury car immobilised, while a Renault van driver who had failed to settle his £100 fine for a road traffic offence found his business affected when the van was clamped.
David Fraser, chief operations officer at the SCTS, said the action that had been taken ought to dissuade other people thinking of ignoring the fines, which are different from the parking charges issued by private car park operators.
He 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.”
Should someone fail to pay their fine, Mr Fraser added, they do not only face the prospect of having their vehicle clamped. Other sanctions at the SCTS’ disposal include arresting wages and bank accounts in order to retrieve the money.
Citizens Advice Scotland urged people not to ignore court fines, stating that “it is important that you give priority to paying it” to avoid enforcement action by the SCTS, as well as the prospect an arrest warrant being issued.