The World’s Highest Speeding Fines

Speeding tickets and other vehicle related fines are one of my biggest fears about driving overseas.

Speed limits are put in place for a reason – to try and ensure the safety of motorists and, where applicable, pedestrians. However it’s not uncommon to see limits broken and when the offenders are caught they’re often subject to a small fine for their transgression. However in some cases, the recorded speeds are so extreme, or
local regulations so harsh, that massive speeding fines, loss of vehicles or even jail sentences are issued. This article investigates some of the largest speeding penalties ever levied.

Finland’s Jussi Salonoja was handed a fine of around 200,000 Euros in 2002 when he was caught speeding at 50 mph in a 25 mph zone – whilst not a case of extreme speed, fines in Finand are calculated on the basis of the offender’s annual salary, and as Salonoja was earned a considerable 11.5 million Euros, he was hit with the rather steep penalty.

In January 2010, a Swiss millionaire was found to be driving his Ferrari Testarossa at 85 miles per hour (mph) through an Alpine village whose designated limit was 50 mph. While speeds this magnitude above the limit are often recorded, the driver was handed a fine of 290,000 Euros – in Switzerland, motoring fines are calculated based not only on the driver’s previous record (he was a repeat offender) but also total personal wealth; this differs of course from the UK where fixed penalty notices are issued, but may also be accompanied by a loss of license or even a prison sentence.

Later in 2010, this seemingly vast fine was made to look like small change when a Swedish driver was caught speeding at around 180 mph on a Swiss highway whose limit was set at 75 mph. The driver was travelling so quickly that many of the local speed cameras were unable to accurately measure his speed! In addition to the
immediate impounding of his £140,000 valued Mercedes vehicle, the courts handed down a fine of 650,000 Euros!

In some countries such as Holland and the United States, law enforcement officers are allowed to impound or even sell vehicles involved in extreme speeding offenses. In 2010 (clearly the year of extreme speeding) it was reported that a 20 year old Dutch man was caught driving his father’s Bugatti Veyron at double the local speed limit of 50 mph, and his car was permanently impounded – given that the car’s price tag approaches nearly 2 million Euros, it’s safe to say this is a record fine; the sentence was even harsher given that the car’s registered owner wasn’t even driving it at the time!

It’s interesting to note of course that many of these motoring offenses are committed in expensive sports cars. Speeding tickets recorded in some European countries such as Italy can now be passed across to the UK authorities, so don’t be tempted to think you can get away with breaking laws on an overseas trip! Speed cameras are prevalent all across Europe, so please take care when driving abroad; it’s also worth noting local laws, as some countries will not hesitate to hand down a jail sentence for extreme offenders.

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