Sumary of Could you have a toll debt and not know it? Queenslanders rack up $150m in unpaid charges:
- Sunshine Coast musician Michael Dutton is still paying off $1,500 in fines after driving to Brisbane to play gigs three years ago.
- Mr Dutton said he intended to pay the tolls within a few days but subsequently forgot to.
- “If the single dad had paid his tolls on time, they would have totalled less than $20. Michael Dutton is still paying off what he owes.
- Debts ruining livesIf the toll manager, Linkt, and government agencies fail to track down a vehicle’s registered owner, the fines end up in the hands of SPER.
- Stephen Grace says he knows of people on Centrelink who have unwittingly amassed $15,000 in toll-related debts.
- Stephen Grace, a lawyer from community legal centre LawRight, said many of his clients had unwittingly accrued thousands of dollars in fines but were least able to pay.
- “Often they’re fleeing violent relationships and are accumulating $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 just for toll fines,” he said.
- “Another person might be driving their car and do it a few times in a week and quite easily rack up debts and fines of well over $1,000.”He said the fine could be waived if the vehicle owner supplied a “reasonable excuse”, but that unpaid tolls might date back years.