N.S. eyes penalties for late fines (May 30, 2001)

HALIFAX, N.S. — Nova Scotia’s Tories are mulling the idea of charging interest on the late payment of traffic fines, ranging from speeding and seat belt infractions right down to parking tickets.

The proposal, if adopted, would see interest start to pile up after 30 days. An enabling amendment to make the practice law is now before the legislature.

“I believe that Nova Scotians believe that people who are assessed fines by the courts have responsibility to pay those fines,” Justice Minister Michael Baker tells local media. “Why bother to impose the fines in the first place if people aren’t going to be responsible to pay the money?”

Under the scheme, the provincial cabinet would have the power to set the interest rate.

Even if the measure passes and receives royal assent at the earliest possible time — this spring — don’t worry about interest racking up right away. The province would still need to update its computer system to calculate at track the extra penalties.

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