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NNSL Photo/graphic

Drivers with outstanding parking tickets will not be able to renew their licences come June 1. - Andrew Raven/NNSL photo -

Traffic ticket crack down coming

Andrew Raven
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 12/06) - In an effort to collect about $175,000 worth of unpaid parking fines and speeding tickets, the NWT has unveiled a new plan to crack down on scofflaws.

Drivers with overdue fines will no longer be able to renew their licences or registrations come June 1, the territorial Department of Transportation announced this week.

"This should certainly clear up a lot of outstanding issues," Kevin McLeod, director of road licensing, said Tuesday.

"It tells drivers (they) have a debt to society and (they) need to pay it."

The government sent out more than 1,000 letters telling motorists they have outstanding fines, some of which stretch back eight years.

Drivers were told they could not renew their papers at the NWT's 16 license offices without settling their dues - a move that is having immediate results.

One notorious scofflaw paid off $1,400 worth of tickets, while people file into the Yellowknife courthouse almost daily carrying the warning letters, said Colin Gordon, director of court services. He estimated there was between $150,000 and $175,000 in overdue fines.

"We're hoping this encourages people to come in," said Gordon.

The Northwest Territories was one of the few jurisdictions in Canada where drivers could renew their licences and registrations with overdue fines.

"We're following suit with the rest of the world," said McLeod. "We just now have the technology and staff."

Drivers can settle their debts at the courthouses in Yellowknife, Hay River and Inuvik, or by calling a toll-free number. The fines go into the general revenue stream of the territorial government, McLeod said. An estimate of that annual total was not available before press time.