A Finnish businessman by the name Reima Kuisla was charged for driving at 65 miles an hour in Finland. This is the kind of offense for which people in US are fined a maximum of 200 dollars. The Finnish police had different method as to how to charge Kuisla, though. They called up a federal taxpayer database to inquire about his income and concluded he must pay a whopping €54,000 or $60,000.
You must be wondering why these fines are so strict. Basically, fines for violating law in Finland are based on one’s earnings. Since Kuisla had declared an income of €6.5 million a year, the fine was in accordance with that figure. Hefty fines like these are rare but they do happen. For instance, Nokia executive had to pay a fine of nearly $103,000 back in 2012 for speeding at 45mph on his bike in a 30 zone.
The system of calculating fines in Finland begins with a rough estimate of the amount of money a resident has each day. It is then divided by two upon which the result is deemed to be the amount that one must be deprived of in such instances of violation. There is also a system in place to determine how many days the offender must spend without that money which depends on the severity of one’s crime. For example, exceeding 15mph over the limit means a 12-day multiplier while exceeding 25mph results in a multiplier of 22 days.
The maximum multiplier is set at 120 days. That does not imply that there is a limit to the fine, though. It is common for careless drivers to pay between 30 and 50 Euros. The rule remains that same: reckless folks are charged fines as a share of their income regardless of how high or little they earn. The system of sliding scale fines is in line with the one used by Austria, Denmark, France and Sweden. However, the U.S continues to use a flat rate scheme to determine fines for reckless drivers.