Police to test clamping cars with outstanding fines

Wheel clamp (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/CZmarlin). (Wheel clamp (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/CZmarlin))

The police are launching a small-scale experiment in clamping cars to encourage owners to pay their outstanding fines. The experiment will run from February 1st to July 1st in Rotterdam, Amersfoort and Roermond, the police announced on Thursday.

Some 2 thousand people in the three test areas already received letters informing them that if they do not pay their outstanding fines before February 1st, their cars will be clamped. Once the fines are paid the clamp will be removed. If the car's owner still refuses to pay, the car will be towed.

The aim of the experiment is to find out whether this method is a cheaper and less time consuming way to collect unpaid fines. According to the police, the current method of towing cars away and the administration costs related to it takes up much time and the fine, towing and storage costs often exceed the value of the car.

A number of steps will precede a car being clamped because of outstanding fines. If someone fails to pay a fine to the Central Collection Agency on time, he will first receive one or two warnings with fine increases of 50 and 100 percent respectively. After that an attempt will be made to take the money out of the person's bank account and finally a bailiff will be sent out to address the matter. Only if all of this fails, will a clamp be used. The individual concerned will also have the opportunity to pay the fine to the police officers who come to clamp the car.