News Culture

Driver Slammed With $129,000 Speeding Ticket For Doing 20 Over in Finland

If you think this involved triple-digit speeds you'd be wrong. The driver was doing 50 in a 30-mph zone.
Police Speeding Hero
via Getty Images

It’s probably fair to assume that we’ve all done a little bit of speeding behind the wheel. Maybe it’s a few miles per hour over the limit in a low-speed area, or perhaps something a bit more adventurous on the open highway. That comes with a risk, of course, which is getting pulled over and slapped with a big fine—but probably not as large as police in Finland recently fined one driver who was driving just 20 mph over the limit.

Last Saturday, police in Finland pulled over 76-year-old businessman Anders Wiklof for driving while doing 50 mph in a 30 mph zone (that’s 82 in a 50 kph zone in local units). Doesn’t sound like a huge deal, until you learn that Finland takes speeding fairly seriously. How seriously? Wiklof’s ticket cost him the equivalent of $129,675 and a 10-day license suspension, according to the official report.

Police Speeding Inline

Now, you may be questioning how exactly Finland expects Wiklof—or any resident, for that matter—can pay such an enormous fine. The answer is simple: the country makes its fines proportionate to an individual’s income. The more you make, the more you pay.

Finland was the first country to introduce the so-called Day-Fine system all the way back in 1921. The premise of this system is two-fold. First, it makes the fine an equal financial blow to all citizens by ensuring that it is proportional to their income. Second, it accounts for inflation without the need to re-approve a fine schedule every so many years. Several other European countries like Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Sweeden, and Switzerland have adopted this methodology.

So if we’re keeping track here, that means Wiklof is a fairly wealthy person. One of Finland’s wealthiest, to be precise, and his company’s name is even displayed on football stadiums.

Wiklof has been hit with fairly large fines before. In 2018, he was fined 63,680 Euros ($76,371 when accounting for historic currency conversion and inflation) while speeding on his way to present an art prize at a local museum and an earlier 95,000 Euro fine ($125,343 after conversion and inflation) in 2013 for doing 47 in a 30 mph zone.

In this case, the businessman says that the speed limit dropped on the road he was driving on just moments before being pulled over. He claims that he started to slow down, but before he could hit the speed limit, he was lit up by local police and pulled over.

“I really regret the matter,” Wiklof told local news. “But I have heard that they are going to save one and a half billion on healthcare in Finland, so I hope that the money can fill a gap there. Ideally, I would like them earmarked for that purpose.”

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