Study reveals the cost of speeding tickets around the world
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Speeding is illegal in virtually every country. But some countries carry a much heftier fine for speeding than others.
Get pulled over in Sudan and you may only be fined a few cents. But in Switzerland, a driver can be faced with a fine of over $17,000 (+$13,000 USD)!
This new study from Budget Direct reveals the cost of speeding in nearly every country around the world.
More than 1,000 people per day die in speeding-related crashes around the world. Many of these are pedestrians that did nothing wrong except step out onto the road at an unfortunate moment. Since that isn’t deterrent enough for some motorists, Budget Direct decided to highlight the maximum speeding fine in nearly every country (where the top fines are related to income, we used the average national income as a benchmark). And we also identified the 20 highest speeding fines ever.
The world’s priciest speeding ticket went to a Swedish tourist doing 290km/h (180mph) on the A12 between Bern and Lausanne - 170km/h over the limit. His Mercedes SLS AMG first evaded detection because many speed traps are unable to clock a speed of that magnitude. “The speedometer must have been on the blink,” the driver told police. “It is not controllable. It must have taken 500m to stop,” was the police statement – along with a $1,031,192 ($767,000 USD) fine.
Belgium is serious about speed. A $304,598 ($226,560 USD) fine for a vehicle doing just 72 km/h (still a significant 22 km/h over the limit) is the highest penalty ever paid outside of Switzerland. Belgian speed offenders are also sent a letter from a driver who has previously killed people by speeding.
The United States has the highest speeding fines in North America. The top penalty is in the state of Oregon, where topping 160 km/h earns a fine of $2,689 ($2,000 USD). The lowest ‘top fine’ on the continent is in Cuba, where a 60 peso penalty equates to just $3.36 ($2.50 USD).
Second-placed Canada’s highest set fine is $2,092 ($1,538 USD) for doing 260 km/h or more in Quebec. However, one motorcyclist was fined $12,992 ($9,485 USD) for going at twice the speed limit in Alberta. The 34-year-old out-sped cops but his bike was later recognised. He paid extra in a deal to keep his license.
South America’s top standard speeding fine is five times the cost of the next closest in the region. This is in Argentina, where putting the pedal to the metal can result in a $4,996 ($3,694 USD) fine. However, one local mayor was imprisoned for illegally installing a speed camera and falsifying citations to make a quick buck. His penalty? Three years in jail.
Some of Europe’s top-earning countries calculate fines in relation to the offender’s wage. This means that Switzerland and Finland are the most expensive places to get caught even if the fine is pegged to the average national income. In the UK, salary-adjusted penalties come into play if the driver refuses to plead guilty. You might also get extra penalty points on your license, compared to if you plead guilty and avoid a court appearance.
Poland has only the 34th highest speeding fine in Europe, but it is set to rise for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century. Anti-speeding activists held a ‘1990s-style’ fancy-dress demonstration to illustrate just how long it’s been since Poland’s speeding penalties have been updated.
Middle East & Central Asia
Lebanon has the highest top speeding fine in the Middle East thanks to a whopping $2,669 ($1,985 USD) bill for exceeding the speed limit by 60 km/h or more. However, fines as low as $182 ($132 USD) are possible for slighter infringements.
At the other end of the scale, five countries have two-figure fines (Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Turkmenistan). Syria’s speeding fines equate to just a few cents. In Jordan, you might be ordered to serve a two-four-month prison sentence in addition to paying a $379 ($282 USD) fine if caught more than 70km/h over the limit.
Rest of Asia & Oceania
Australia has the highest speeding fines in the region, but it depends which state you’re in: New South Wales leads the way with a $2,350 ($1,712 USD) penalty for going 45 km/h over the limit. Close behind in the region, though, is Brunei, where a second offence costs you $2,003 ($1,484 USD) and six months imprisonment.
Those figures put Australia and Brunei way ahead of next closest, Vietnam ($709.11/$527.73 USD). However, the Australian and Vietnamese figures even out when you take average local wage into account.
Uganda has the highest speeding fines in Africa ($2,290/$1,702 USD) – and they’re nearly three times higher than nearest challenger, Cote d'Ivoire ($875/$643 USD). The Ugandan government increased the fine at the start of 2020 as part of an overhaul of motoring rules. Other updates included the need for garages and spare parts dealers to become licensed and mandatory licensing for ‘boda boda’ motorcycle taxis.
Morocco is among those nations that reward culpability. Confess and pay on the spot, and you pay only 150 Moroccan dirhams. But delay the inevitable, and you’ll need to pay double: around $45 ($33 USD). However, it is worth being aware that Moroccan police are commonly said to take advantage of this loophole by pocketing the cash and sending you on your way without a receipt.
As annoying as speeding fines are, remember that wherever you are in the world the maximum punishment for speeding is death – yours and the passengers, motorists, and pedestrians around you. Observe the speed limit, friends!