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Author Topic: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One  (Read 9646 times)

cpzilliacus

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N.Y. Times: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One

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Getting a speeding ticket is not a feel-good moment for anyone. But consider Reima Kuisla, a Finnish businessman.

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He was recently fined 54,024 euros (about $58,000) for traveling a modest, if illegal, 64 miles per hour in a 50 m.p.h. zone. And no, the 54,024 euros did not turn out to be a typo, or a mistake of any kind.

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Mr. Kuisla is a millionaire, and in Finland the fines for more serious speeding infractions are calculated according to income. The thinking here is that if it stings for the little guy, it should sting for the big guy, too.

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The ticket had its desired effect. Mr. Kuisla, 61, took to Facebook last month with 12 furious posts in which he included a picture of his speeding ticket and a picture of what 54,024 euros could buy if it were not going to the state coffers a new Mercedes. He said he was seriously considering leaving Finland altogether, a position to which he held firm when reached by phone at a bar where he was watching horse races.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 12:08:18 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Brandon

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2015, 12:41:08 AM »

$58,000 is just a little excessive for 14 mph over.  If he were going 50 mph over, sure, but 14 mph over?
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KG909

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2015, 12:49:14 AM »

Not even 50 over, maybe 100 over but not even 50.
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tribar

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2015, 01:27:50 AM »


$58,000 is just a little excessive for 14 mph over.  If he were going 50 mph over, sure, but 14 mph over?

I think it's fair.  Rich people should have to pay more than middle and lower class.  If he doesn't like it he has two options:

Don't break the law
Quit your high paying job and work at McDonald's. 
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Brandon

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2015, 01:38:04 AM »


$58,000 is just a little excessive for 14 mph over.  If he were going 50 mph over, sure, but 14 mph over?

I think it's fair.  Rich people should have to pay more than middle and lower class.  If he doesn't like it he has two options:

Don't break the law
Quit your high paying job and work at McDonald's. 

The law and the fine should be the same for all.  Or have you not heard of "separate but equal" and "double standards"?
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corco

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2015, 02:16:25 AM »


$58,000 is just a little excessive for 14 mph over.  If he were going 50 mph over, sure, but 14 mph over?

I think it's fair.  Rich people should have to pay more than middle and lower class.  If he doesn't like it he has two options:

Don't break the law
Quit your high paying job and work at McDonald's. 

The law and the fine should be the same for all.  Or have you not heard of "separate but equal" and "double standards"?

That's a bit of an oversimplification-

Just depends on how you define equal- $1000 is $1000 to everybody, but 1% of income is 1% of income to everybody.

There is merit to the idea of holding rich people to the same standard as poor people- rich people should be held to the same laws as poor people and shouldn't be able to use their resources to buy their way out of laws by having to pay what are to them pittances to get to speed.

What I would say though is that if a ticket is $58,000 for a rich person for going 14 over, the "base" speeding fine that poor people are paying is also probably way too high. In the article it says that the fee for somebody making $50K a year has to pay a $370 fee for going 14 over, which seems excessive to me.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 02:19:18 AM by corco »
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Chris

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2015, 04:07:46 AM »

I haven't been to Finland yet, but in Norway and Sweden, speed cameras are always indicated with a sign in advance. So you really have to not pay attention to get a speeding ticket there.


speed camera warning Sweden-1 by Chriszwolle, on Flickr

jakeroot

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2015, 04:22:40 AM »

I hope this man's fine was based on his wage after taxes.
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vdeane

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2015, 09:46:03 PM »


$58,000 is just a little excessive for 14 mph over.  If he were going 50 mph over, sure, but 14 mph over?

I think it's fair.  Rich people should have to pay more than middle and lower class.  If he doesn't like it he has two options:

Don't break the law
Quit your high paying job and work at McDonald's. 

The law and the fine should be the same for all.  Or have you not heard of "separate but equal" and "double standards"?
The value of an individual dollar is not the same for everyone.  What is a large amount of money for one person might as well be used like toilet paper for someone who's rich enough.  A speeding fine isn't like a hamburger - you don't pay it to cover the cost of a service rendered, you pay it to be punished.  It should sting no matter how rich you are.  Conversely, it shouldn't ruin your life either.

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mgk920

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 12:48:12 AM »

My main objection to this, and I've mentioned it many times before:

"HEEEYYYYY Buford...."

 :rolleyes:

Mike
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Bickendan

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 04:46:26 AM »


$58,000 is just a little excessive for 14 mph over.  If he were going 50 mph over, sure, but 14 mph over?

I think it's fair.  Rich people should have to pay more than middle and lower class.  If he doesn't like it he has two options:

Don't break the law
Quit your high paying job and work at McDonald's. 

The law and the fine should be the same for all.  Or have you not heard of "separate but equal" and "double standards"?
The value of an individual dollar is not the same for everyone.  What is a large amount of money for one person might as well be used like toilet paper for someone who's rich enough.  A speeding fine isn't like a hamburger - you don't pay it to cover the cost of a service rendered, you pay it to be punished.  It should sting no matter how rich you are.  Conversely, it shouldn't ruin your life either.

I got a speeding ticket in New York back in 2008. $150. Very annoying, and the NY State Troopers were bit of assholes about it, but I got the ticket, and I deserved it.

Then I found out about the $400 assessment fee the NY DMV tacked on. That pissed me off, and I still consider that theft.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2015, 11:05:25 AM »

I got a speeding ticket in New York back in 2008. $150. Very annoying, and the NY State Troopers were bit of assholes about it, but I got the ticket, and I deserved it.

Then I found out about the $400 assessment fee the NY DMV tacked on. That pissed me off, and I still consider that theft.

Had you gotten that summons in Finland, I assert that the fine would likely have been lower.

On a somewhat unrelated note - DUI in Finland is considered a serious traffic offense (and appropriately so, since Finland has a "culture" of heavy drinking) that can lead to jail even on a first conviction.
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mgk920

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2015, 11:29:38 AM »

I got a speeding ticket in New York back in 2008. $150. Very annoying, and the NY State Troopers were bit of assholes about it, but I got the ticket, and I deserved it.

Then I found out about the $400 assessment fee the NY DMV tacked on. That pissed me off, and I still consider that theft.

Had you gotten that summons in Finland, I assert that the fine would likely have been lower.

On a somewhat unrelated note - DUI in Finland is considered a serious traffic offense (and appropriately so, since Finland has a "culture" of heavy drinking) that can lead to jail even on a first conviction.

Ahhh, Pat, isn't that the case in most USA states, too?  (There is a bill in the Wisconsin legislature to require a jail term for first-offense OWI.)

Mike
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Chris

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2015, 12:21:48 PM »

On a somewhat unrelated note - DUI in Finland is considered a serious traffic offense (and appropriately so, since Finland has a "culture" of heavy drinking) that can lead to jail even on a first conviction.

Finland also has a substantially higher fatality rate than other Scandinavian countries. Sweden, Norway & Denmark all are among the safest countries in Europe, while Finland is at the EU average.

kkt

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2015, 01:29:15 PM »

Good for Finland.  Fines should be something that stings, not just a cost of doing business.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2015, 04:35:15 PM »

Ahhh, Pat, isn't that the case in most USA states, too?  (There is a bill in the Wisconsin legislature to require a jail term for first-offense OWI.)

No. 

I have not been in all of the U.S., but where I have been, the "culture" of (heavy) drinking, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, is not as heavy as it is in Finland. 
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2015, 04:39:20 PM »

Finland also has a substantially higher fatality rate than other Scandinavian countries. Sweden, Norway & Denmark all are among the safest countries in Europe, while Finland is at the EU average.

Curious, because the engineering of the highway network in Finland is not especially different from Sweden and Denmark (I have little experience with the highway network of Norway).

Auto fleets are also relatively similar (prior to the end of the Soviet Empire and its satellite nations, there were relatively more (and comparatively unsafe) Communist-block cars (especially Wartburg, Lada, Moskvitch and Volga) on Finnish highways, but most of those have now been scrapped).
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SP Cook

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2015, 07:01:51 AM »

The question, of course, is not how much this guy should be fined.  It is whether he should fined at all.  All we know is that he was going 64 in a 50.  We have no evidence whatsoever that 64 was unsafe or at variance with the self-regulating nature of traffic flow.  He may just be a victim of a random tax.  We don't know.
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Pete from Boston

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Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2015, 09:00:33 AM »

Sounds like if Finland believes that traffic fines are taxes, then it believes they should not be regressive taxes.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 11:54:58 AM by Pete from Boston »
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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2015, 09:18:40 AM »

The question, of course, is not how much this guy should be fined.  It is whether he should fined at all.  All we know is that he was going 64 in a 50.  We have no evidence whatsoever that 64 was unsafe or at variance with the self-regulating nature of traffic flow.  He may just be a victim of a random tax.  We don't know.

None of that matters.  50 is the speed limit.  Arguments stating that any other random speed was safe is subjective.  Hell, maybe the guy was weaving in and out of heavy traffic, or it was raining, and the ticket was justified.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2015, 09:43:42 AM »

The question, of course, is not how much this guy should be fined.  It is whether he should fined at all.  All we know is that he was going 64 in a 50.  We have no evidence whatsoever that 64 was unsafe or at variance with the self-regulating nature of traffic flow.  He may just be a victim of a random tax.  We don't know.

"Of course"?  This is not the subject of the piece, or the thread for that matter.  It is about the fine structure, not the validity of the stop.  The latter is your question, of course.
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Truvelo

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2015, 11:48:53 AM »

64 in a 50 does warrant a citation as it's well over 20% above the limit. I also believe that basing the fine on your wealth is also justified. A $100 fine on a millionaire isn't going to have any effect. It would be like fining the average guy just $1 - you would just laugh at that amount.

Here in Britain we also use income based penalties to an extent. If the violation goes to court and isn't a fixed penalty then you will be asked to provide your income. The fine will be based on what you provide although it's unlikely a high earner will be fined somewhere in the region of $50,000 for a traffic violation.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2015, 11:18:30 AM »

64 in a 50 does warrant a citation as it's well over 20% above the limit. I also believe that basing the fine on your wealth is also justified. A $100 fine on a millionaire isn't going to have any effect. It would be like fining the average guy just $1 - you would just laugh at that amount.

Here in Britain we also use income based penalties to an extent. If the violation goes to court and isn't a fixed penalty then you will be asked to provide your income. The fine will be based on what you provide although it's unlikely a high earner will be fined somewhere in the region of $50,000 for a traffic violation.

It should not come as a shock to any Finn that rich people can get slammed with massive fines for traffic violations on Finnish highways - it is common knowledge (and the subject of some joking) that a wealthy person who gets caught speeding  can end up with a traffic ticket costing 50,000 Euros or more.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Speeding in Finland Can Cost a Fortune, if You Already Have One
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2015, 11:19:56 AM »

Sounds like if Finland believes that traffic fines are taxes, then it believes they should not be regressive taxes.

Police officers in Finland tend to be pretty ethical and by-the-book, and do not regard themselves as tax collectors. 
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