Australia is in the middle of a toll crisis, with unpaid bills clogging the court system and diverting police resources as people face gigantic financial penalties.
With bills running to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, ordinary Australians are being arrested and brought to face court.
Victoria Legal Aid’s Damien Stock said unpaid toll bills were the number one criminal matter of all the magistrates courts.
“It’s incredibly stressful – most of our clients when they come to us have had a period of instability,” he said.
“They’re trying to get their lives back on track.”
He said while most clients wanted to pay the original invoice, problems arose when the matter was transferred to police.