Shanghai drivers who fail to pay fines for traffic violations on time could be forced to pay by court rulings and see their personal credit ratings damaged as a result.
Traffic police in Songjiang District said yesterday that since January 58 drivers had already suffered such consequences as a result of close cooperation between the police and the district's People's Court.
Drivers who received on-the-spot or over-the-counter administrative papers from traffic police should pay their fine within 15 days. But in Songjiang alone, "a few thousand" drivers had failed to do so in the past 15 months, police said. Most of the offenses, such as not wearing a seatbelt or changing lanes illegally, were fined 50 to 200 yuan ( to ).
"Since 2012, national laws have enabled compulsory execution of fine paying in such cases, but courts usually have no means to handle cases involving such small amounts of cash," said Liu Benxiao, a Songjiang traffic police officer. "Now a mechanism has been established between us based on good understanding."
Offenders, who haven't paid their fine after nine months, are warned by telephone or letter and given 10 days to pay up. If they still don't, police will ask the court to enforce payment.
The law allows offenders three months to seek an administrative review of the fine and then six months to file a legal case, hence the nine-month period before a court action could be initiated by the police, said Liu.
"Those who pay before we have to turn to the court don't need to pay late fees, but those who receive court decisions will pay both late fees to the police and execution fees to the court."
Once a court decision is issued, the offender's credit record will suffer.