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Unpaid debts drive motorists off road

The long arm of the law is catching up with Warwick motorists over unpaid SPER debts.
The long arm of the law is catching up with Warwick motorists over unpaid SPER debts. Aap Images

WARWICK motorists are being brought before the magistrates and fined for driving while their licences have been suspended for unpaid fines and tolls.

Two such motorists have appeared in Warwick Magistrates Court this week and served with further fines for their defiance.

Gavin Robert Hart was caught driving along on Pratten St on May 16, where police discovered his licence had been suspended by the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry (SPER) five days earlier.

Hart this week told the court he had not received any correspondence indicating he was suspended.

"It was a $1.70 toll and if I knew about it I would certainly have paid it," he said.

The 25-year-old was fined $150 and disqualified from driving for one month.

Fellow motorist Rodney James Pratt was busted driving along Albert St while subject to a SPER suspension on May 11.

Police checks revealed Pratt's licence had been suspended more than a month earlier for unpaid fines.

The 37-year-old's debt to SPER was increased this week when he was fined $300 and disqualified from driving for three months.

These types of stories are a common tale heard within the Warwick courtroom walls, with many defendants pleading ignorance and denying that they ever received notification of their disqualification.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said people are notified of their pending suspension 14 days before their licence is suspended, giving them time to pay.

"The pending suspension notice, and suspension notice, are sent to the address they have lodged with the Department of Transport and Main Roads," he said.

For more information visit justice.qld.gov.au.

Topics:  licence, magistrates, motorists, suspended


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