Socially responsible fine collection paying off

The benefits of the government measures to ensure a careful and socially responsible collection of people's fines are starting to emerge. For example, the number of people who are agreeing to a payment plan for debt collection has increased sharply. At the same time, the deployment of bailiffs has dropped. The Central Fine Collection Agency (CJIB) has also taken measures to identify people with accumulating debts at an earlier stage. This information emerged from a letter that Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker submitted to the Lower House of Parliament.

Minister Dekker:

'People who violate traffic regulations pose a danger and face a fine, which of course must be paid. If people have financial problems, however, they should not be disadvantaged unnecessarily by government collection practices. The possibility of agreeing to a payment plan has been made available for people who are willing but temporarily unable to pay. This way, the CJIB is taking the right approach in showing its humane side.'

Positive figures for payment plans

Since 2018, there has been a legal option of a payment plan for traffic fines. The number of payment plans at that time was 165,000. This increased to 196,000 in 2018. This year also saw an extension of the lower limit for paying fines in instalments from 225 to 75 euros. The number of payment plans in 2019 is expected to increase by as much as 40% relative to 2017.

Decreasing deployment of bailiffs

The growing number of payment plans agreed is good news. At the same time, there has also been a major decline in the number of traffic fines offered to the bailiff by the CJIB for collection. Even though the number of traffic fines imposed rose in comparison with 2015, the involvement of the bailiff fell by around 37% between 2014 and 2018 (from over 258,000 to over 162,000). The result is that people do not face mounting debts over traffic fines due to the cost of deploying bailiffs.