This $57,000 Speeding Ticket Proves Finland Loves Punishing Rich People Just For Being Rich
This is a brilliant idea but one that would never catch on in the United States. Though I wish it would.
In the US, a guy caught doing 80 mph in a 1995 Buick gets the same fine as a rich bro motoring over the speed limit in a 2015 Tesla. Breaking the law is breaking the law in America.
In Finland, breaking the law costs rich people way more money than it does the middle class or poor. WAY more. Here’s the math, and logic, behind Finland’s way of punishing the rich for minor offenses.
Finland’s system for calculating fines is relatively simple: It starts with an estimate of the amount of spending money a Finn has for one day, and then divides that by two—the resulting number is considered a reasonable amount of spending money to deprive the offender of. Then, based on the severity of the crime, the system has rules for how many days the offender must go without that money. Going about 15 mph over the speed limit gets you a multiplier of 12 days, and going 25 mph over carries a 22-day multiplier.
So with that type of slap on the wrist, it’s only natural that Finland sees more than its fair share of insane moving violations.
Reima Kuisla, a Finnish businessman, was recently caught going 65 miles per hour in a 50 zone in his home country—an offense that would typically come with a fine of a couple hundred dollars, at most, in the U.S. But after Finnish police pulled Kuisla over, they pinged a federal taxpayer database to determine his income, consulted their handbook, and arrived at the amount that he was required to pay: €54,000.
Exorbitant fines like this are infrequent, but not unheard of: In 2002, a Nokia executive was fined the equivalent of $103,000 for going 45 in a 30 zone on his motorcycle, and the NHL player Teemu Selanne incurred a $39,000 fine two years earlier.
It doesn’t pay to be rich and break the law in Finland. Unless you’re the people collecting the fines.
[via The Atlantic]