Ferrari driver hit with huge speeding fine

Would higher fines for the rich work here?

by Tom Henry   January 22, 2010  

Ferrari-TESTAROSSA-02.jpg

A multi-millionaire who drove a Ferrari at 85mph through a Swiss town has been fined almost £200,000.

The record-breaking fine was handed out to the 53-year-old man under the Swiss system of proportional punishments, which takes income into consideration.

The driver of the Ferrari Testarossa took his vehicle through a 50mph speed zone at 85mph in St Gallen, a town in the north-east of Switzerland, near the border with Austria and Germany.

The driver was initially fined £60,000 by the local jurisdiction, but this was raised twice on appeal when he claimed falsely to have diplomatic immunity. He was reported to have an annual income over £500,000 and be worth more than £12 million.

It is more than double Switzerland's previous record speeding fine - handed to a Porsche driver in Zurich in 2008.

Other countries such as Finland use a similar system of proportionate fines, with the head of Nokia receiving a £70,000 punishment for speeding in 2002, equivalent to 14 days' pay.

* Would a system of proportional fines work in the UK? Let us know!

12 user comments

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I am not keen on it. If a poor person was doing 70mph in a 30mph the results would be the same as if a rich person was doing it.

I think that making different sectors of the population pay more due to the amount of time and effort they have put into their career goes against promoting an aspirational society.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 11:52

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Jon Burrage wrote:
I think that making different sectors of the population pay more due to the amount of time and effort they have put into their career goes against promoting an aspirational society.

yeah but the point is that they're not paying more. proportionally, they're paying the same. what kind of disincentive is a £500 fine to a multi-millionaire? if you do it on a proportion of salary then you level the playing field. it makes a lot more sense to me to say 'it'll cost you a month's wages if you're caught' - that's the same punishment for everyone in a much more real sense than a standard fine that's the same for a 17 year old in a Saxo and a bigwig in a Veyron.

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posted by cactuscat [302 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 11:58

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When I last got done for speeding it went to court as i couldn't produce my license for the 7 day wonder as it was at the DVLA for an address change, I had to fill out a load of forms for the court including my bank details as they wanted to see how much I had in there and what my salary was so that they could decide on a suitable fine comparative to my financial situation.

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posted by stuke [309 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 12:23

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it's a nonsense as it goes against one of the pillars of justice that the punishment fits the crime. therefore, two people guilty of the same crime should have the same punishment. To do differently sets a dangerous precedent.

What should be happening is that the proportional response to crimes is changed, whereby there are clear and decisive strata as to the points / fine incurred for the speeding. 10mph over the limit shouldn't have the same punishment as 30mph, and there should be no discretion to mediate between the strata.

posted by the-yorkshire-p... [179 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 13:56

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Quote:
two people guilty of the same crime should have the same punishment

that's certainly true, but what's being discussed here is how you define 'punishment', ie whether it is related to your means.

i would argue that fining a low-income single parent £250 for speeding is in no way the same 'punishment' as giving a millionaire banker the same fine. that might be a month's disposable income for one and literally nothing to the other.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7323 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 14:33

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maybe they should just take his car away as well.

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posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 14:51

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Surely the punishment is the 3 (or more) point penalty on the driving licence. Regardless of status/wealth everyone is banned when then have 12 or more points on their licence - that should act as the deterrent.

posted by cannonball [1 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 17:08

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Surely the best form of punishment for wreckless crap like this is take their car away like Fringe said.

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posted by jobysp [145 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 17:22

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It sounds about right. They have a similar system in Finland. Using the Finnish equivalent of the PNC (Police National Computer), the cops can use the system to work out the earnings of any offending driver and the fine is set accordingly. I'm not aware of any data loss issues in Finland incidentally, though admittedly the country only has a population about the same as Scotland at around 5 and a bit million.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2194 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 17:40

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Jon Burrage wrote:
I am not keen on it. If a poor person was doing 70mph in a 30mph the results would be the same as if a rich person was doing it.

I think that making different sectors of the population pay more due to the amount of time and effort they have put into their career goes against promoting an aspirational society.

What about the ones that inherited their wealth, won it on the lottery/work in the city, or simply nicked it?

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posted by Denzil Dexter [140 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 17:52

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Agree with joby, that would be a better punishment.

not all carbon is the same.

Jon Burrage's picture

posted by Jon Burrage [1081 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 19:08

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what crime is the question!

Driving a few kilometres above the limit merits a slap on the wrist, penalty and points But driving at an outrageous speed as indicated here deserves Gaol time! that prat was giving the system the "finger" and deserves a "holiday camp with hard labour"!
When you set out to say "I am a VIP "by this behaviour you deserve to pay the penalty and hitting the pocket is the better way than causing the state more expense in locking the perpetrator away.

Skippy(advocate for "Disabled / Para Sport")@skippydetour. blogging as skippi-cyclist.blogspot & Parrabuddy.blogspot currently on the road with ProTour Grand Tour Events .

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posted by skippy [383 posts]
22nd January 2010 - 21:34

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