Finnish motorist hit with €54,000 speeding fine

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Speed camera marathon
Arno Burgi/DPA Germany

A driver in Finland has been fined a staggering €54,000 (£39,225) after being caught driving at 103 kph (64mph) in a 80kph (50mph) zone.

While we in Britain may baulk at the thought of a £60 penalty notice dropping on our door mat, Finnish motorists are subjected to fines linked to their incomes, meaning that millionaire Reima Kuisla, who earned €6.5million (£4.7million) according to his 2013 tax return, was fined the excessive sum, despite being just 14mph over the speed limit.

Amazingly, this is not the most expensive speeding fine to be issued to a Finnish citizen. In 2002, an executive for mobile telecoms firm Nokia received a €116,000 (£84,262) penalty after being caught speeding on his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

The reason behind such astronomical speeding fines is Finland's tradition of 'progressive punishment', reports The Guardian, which sees more minor criminal offences issued with 'day fines' based on the offender's disposable earnings.

For speeding offences, fines are typically around 16 per cent of the driver's annual salary, with a deduction made for expenses such as daily living costs and dependents.

The severity of the offence determines how many day fines the offender can receive. Kuisla received eight day fines at €6,750 (£4,903) apiece, resulting in his staggering penalty.

It looks like this rather unusual system is in place for good, too. An attempt by motorists to introduce a cap to speeding fines in 2001 was rejected by the Finnish parliament.

Unsurprisingly, the fine hasn't gone down well with its recipient. Mr Kuisla took to his Facebook page to vent his frustration, saying: "Ten years ago I wouldn't have believed that I would seriously consider moving abroad.

"Finland is impossible to live in for certain kinds of people who have high incomes and wealth."

What do you think of the system of progressive punishment? Would you like to see a similar system implemented in the UK? Let us know in the comments section below.