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Should speeding fines be based on wealth?

10:04 UK time, Friday, 13 August 2010

A driver who was caught speeding in Switzerland could face a world-record fine of SFr1,080m ($1m; £656,000), prosecutors say. Should fines be income-linked?

The Swedish driver, who has not been named, was said to be driving his Mercedes sports car at 290km/h which is 170km/h over the limit.

Under Swiss law, the level of fine is determined by the wealth of the driver and the speed recorded. Earlier this year, a driver was fined $290,000 - the current world record.

Do income-based fines improve road safety? Would you like to see something similar in your country? Do you live in Switzerland?

Thank you for sending your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Speed is safety!

  • Comment number 3.

    Depends what you are trying to achieve.

    Clearly, speeding fines are not going to be set at a financial level that cripples anyone. Won't be for the poor so if a 'sliding scale' is used, then a high fine won't cripple a very wealthy person. That being so, all this would do is pander to the 'bash the rich' losers on the political left.

    Given the level at which he was over the limit, I'd have thought a short custodial sentence might have more impact.

    Any idea that the very wealthy ignore small fines ignores the fact that they can lose their licence and that the threat of imprisonment is much more of a deterent than financial penalties.

  • Comment number 4.

    Well as no one except MPs, bankers and criminals in this country have any money at this moment in time I think it is an excellent idea.

    The average man/woman with no money has nothing to fear. Next time I am caught speeding (32 in a 30)I cant wait for my fine of £1.00 but somehow I dont think it would work that way.

    Too many tree hugging, car haters to appease!

  • Comment number 5.

    I think speeding fines should be linked to the drivers wealth. It is supposed to be a penalty or punishment. If you give say a student or person on low income a fine of £100, that is a lot of money to them. They are likely to have to go without things like socialising or luxury goods for a couple weeks which will make them think about what they have done and hopefully they then wont do it again. The same £100 fine for someone who earns £60 000 a year, or in many cases much more, will be negligible. They wont even notice the money is gone so how exactly is the fine either a punishment or a deterrent.

  • Comment number 6.

    Very sensible idea to impound his car.

  • Comment number 7.

    Absolutely not. The punishment should be exactly the same, no matter what the wealth of the individual. Speeding fines and fines for other minor offenses have just become a method of tax collection, they have nothing to do with justice or deterrance.

    Someone caught driving dangerously or recklessly should be dealt with properly under the criminal justice system and appropriate sentences issued. People caught doing 35 in a 30mph zone should be given a verbal warning and told to go on their way more carefully.

  • Comment number 8.

    All fines should be linked to the offender's wealth.
    Mr A, who has a weekly income of £2,000, is fined £100 for his offence. Mr B, who's weekly income is £200, is also fined £100 for the same offence.
    For Mr A, the fine is just lunch. For Mr B, the fine is half a week's income.
    Where's the justice in that?

  • Comment number 9.

    No. If you're caught speeding you pay the fine. However, it would make more sense to alter the fines. Someone driving at one mile over the limit isn't going to cause as much danger as someone whizzing along at 131mph! Perhaps fines should be calculated according to the actual danger!

  • Comment number 10.

    A speeding fine is supposed to punish someone, so at the moment a poor person is punished more for speeding than a rich one, so potentially yes - speeding fines should be based on wealth.

    However lots of right wing whiney types will claim that this is "rich bashing" - so why not make people do community service in their free time instead. Custodial sentences would be too expensive and disproportionately harsh (unless the speeding was particularly reckless) and community service (such as street sweeping, care work etc.) would reconnect the offender with society.

  • Comment number 11.

    Better still - ALL fines should be scaled to the offender's ability to pay. The point of a fine is to punish the offender - it is not given in recompense to victims of crime, so it does not salve their injuries. The point of punishment is either to assuage a demand for justice, or to deter further infraction or both.

    Either way, the degree to which an offender is "punished" by a fine depends crucially on his/her wealth. To an average worker a £1000 fine is a significant hardship; to a billionaire it is a gnat-bite. It is simply fanciful to suggest that both are punished equally by the fine.

    So, well done the Swiss. Maybe they can teach us something about civilisation.

  • Comment number 12.

    the underlying future philosophy is to tax everyone off the roads and planes except the stonking rich, (like in the good old days).

    if you are one of the poor kind (i.e. need to work for someone else) you are not entitled to drive a car and must get a bus or train for your movement you pleb.

  • Comment number 13.

    The thing that annoyes me the most in life is watching someone in a 60thousand pound car that can't afford a hands free kit for their car.
    And so i say yes they should be done like that.
    I mean the more high powered the faster they go!
    Point in proof the other night i was trying to get a Badger of the road and falshed my lights at an on coming car. the guy slowed down seen the badger and then sped up. if i could have got my hand on that guy in his expensive jeep!

  • Comment number 14.

    The punishment should be exactly the same, no matter what the wealth of the individual.
    But the punishment is not the same, is it, if the fine is exactly the same amount no matter what you earn. Another self righteous person who thinks the law should not apply to him, only to those who don't drive BMWs or Mercs.

  • Comment number 15.

    This was tried back in the early 90s with fines linked to disposable income (though for all traffic offences not just speeding), the problem with it was that you had people being fined £400 for exceeding the speed limit by 10 miles an hour on an empty motorway and others fined £30 for more serious offences (dangerous driving, driving under the influence etc).

  • Comment number 16.

    Not another lets get some more money out of everyone !! I got a speeding ticket 33 in a 30 zone cost me £75 to attend a course with 18 others two sessions a day five days a week ; as Stavros said loads a money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 17.

    I think that yes it should be based on wealth. However, there should still be a minimum point else what No4 Pzero said will be correct (£1 fine). And instead of pandering to people and saying, "OK you can pay is monthly" etc, say no, pay it now or face a jail sentence! Someone who owns a brand new merc for instance who breaks the speed limit is going to face a £60 fine. That's ludicrous! "Wait, I have that in change right here". It's not a deterrent at all.

    This country needs to take a good long look at it's "justice" system and stop pandering to those who break the law.

  • Comment number 18.

    I reckon speeding fines should be calculated as follows:

    ((Price of car * CO2 emission rating) * mph over speed limit) * smugness of driver when caught

  • Comment number 19.

    Fines should not be based on your wealth, it is a stupid suggestion, it almost like saying that the length of a custodial sentence should vary depending on how old you are.
    The punishment should be based on the severity of the offence, it absolutely stupid to expect a richer person to pay more for committed a less serious offence than a poorer person.

  • Comment number 20.

    While the news report is refreshingly 'just' in its own peculiar way - such a fine based purely on a ratio of wealth:excess speeding, would not garner much from someone less well-heeled financially. Switzerland wouldn't gain much from, let's say, a tourist, using their last penny in the bank, to go for a fast spin - rather, it would cost authorities more to process (though I don't regard Switzerland short of a penny or two in any case).

    Regarding the Swedish driver - in addition to a fine, irrespective of his wealth, he should be jailed and his driver's licence thoroughly decorated for the remainder of its validity. In other words, a life-ban from driving anything.

    While I think about it, with so many speed cameras being shut down in the UK; traffic lights withdrawn; how are authorities going to ascertain a driver as 'speeding' at all, never mind catching him/her for prosecution? Will the police be issued with handheld speedometers?

    Anyone remember how faulty they can be - when years ago one such piece of equipment, when held towards the quietly seated judge, showed him to be travelling at 70mph (or whatever it was)? Haha Soon won't have to worry about speeding with all the cuts - but the roses will be blooming well before long. Off to search for pony and trap ... (giggles)

  • Comment number 21.

    I've often thought of this idea with regard to drivers without insurance. Instead of an offender getting a £10 fine, they should have to pay double the full price of fully comp insurance for the car they own, in the form of a fine. This would mean drivers of expensive cars paying far more than those of old bangers.

  • Comment number 22.

    Should first be pegged to how far over the limit they have gone, and then weighted to either the car or the offender's income.
    That way, a Skoda trying to blow its engine at 72mph would attract a basic fine (no-one with any money is going to be seen anywhere near a Skoda!); whereas someone doing 100mph in a BMW or Merc or some such would get a massive fine.

    Could also apply this to drink/drug driving, and whilst we're about it, have some intelligent sentencing for anyone guilty of causing death by dangerous driving - life for murder, I believe?

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 24.

    I should have added that a fine is inappropriate, the more appropriate penalty is surely a driving ban, which should be exactly the same for the same offence irrespective of your income. If it is a very serious offence the guilty party should be jailed.

  • Comment number 25.

    19. At 11:12am on 13 Aug 2010, David wrote:
    Fines should not be based on your wealth, it is a stupid suggestion, it almost like saying that the length of a custodial sentence should vary depending on how old you are.
    The punishment should be based on the severity of the offence, it absolutely stupid to expect a richer person to pay more for committed a less serious offence than a poorer person.

    ---

    Actually, with fixed penalties a poor person effectively pays a higher proportion of their income than a rich one.

    If you want everybody to pay the same as a proporton of earnings then the fines would have to be progressive.

  • Comment number 26.

    Of course not.

    If you speed you should get the same fine as everybody else.

    The best thing to do is simple - Don't Speed!!!!!

    Drivers have a responsbility to stick to speed limits.

  • Comment number 27.

    Well it makes the punishment real!

  • Comment number 28.

    This is not new and can cause concern ,there have been cases where a poor driver who cannot afford a fine is jailed ,wheras a wealthy driver can evade custody merely by paying a fine. But the idea that the fine is proportionate to the wealth or income of the driver is worth considering. But if injury is caused then custody will be more approriate

  • Comment number 29.

    Presumably jail sentences should also be linked to wealth?

    It is bot right and wrong. If the purpose of the fine is to punish then it is correct. Perhaps the issue is tha tspeeding fines are really the wrong punishment.

  • Comment number 30.

    As if fines in relation to turnover/profits are a new thing. Businesses are fined every day on such terms. Is it fair? Of course it is. Penalties should always be proportionate to the crime and if the penalty is monetary, then of course it must bear relation to personal/corporate wealth. Imagine how Microsoft would have laughed at a fixed penalty for breaking competition rules.
    This has nothing to do with being a car lover or hater; I'd support the same for someone littering.

  • Comment number 31.

    Speeding fines should be hazard/risk based - the more dangerous your speeding, the higher your fine.

    Two examples

    Driving at 35mph in a built up area near a school at 08:30 in term time should attract a higher penalty than doing so on a quiet urban dual carriageway.

    Driving at 80mph in lane 3 of a motorway one car length behind the car in front when the road is congested and the weather wet, should be heavily fined, whereas driving at 80 in lane 1 on an empty road in good weather should not.

    If the fine is likely to have minimal impact on the driver, there might be merit in having a simple multiplier based on income, but a better way would be to have a three strike rule for repeat offenders. [#1] standard penalty, [#2] 10 times the fine, [#3] 100 x the fine or a 6 months jail sentence.

  • Comment number 32.

    A great idea, and impound the car.
    This is what the French should do to the brits that were recently caught doing excessive speeds on the autoroutes here in France

  • Comment number 33.

    The Liberal Democrats have advocated a Local Income Tax to replace Council Tax.
    If fines are to be based on income in future, its time ALSO to abolish the Council Tax and replace it with LIT.
    My only fear is that those with lots of money will find ways to prove their income is paltry.... so any changes will need to ensure this does not happen....

  • Comment number 34.

    Piscator No14

    "But the punishment is not the same, is it, if the fine is exactly the same amount no matter what you earn. Another self righteous person who thinks the law should not apply to him, only to those who don't drive BMWs or Mercs."

    Not that it's any of your business but I earn a below average salary and drive a 10 year old hatchback. I still don't see why I should pay less than someone who earns £50,000 and drives a BMW if the offense is the same. Nor do I see why I should pay more than someone on minimum wage.

    To suggest that I should just highlights that these fines are taxes (and therefore subject to the normal progressive rules) and not part of any sensible justice system. I'd get rid of them altogether and impose community sentences for driving offenses. I'd also get rid of the obsession with speed limits and take a more holistic approach to road safety.

  • Comment number 35.

    In the case of speeding fines it is right to link the fine to ability to pay where the speed limit has been broken deliberately and by a big margin. That is not to say that people at the bottom income end should get away scot free. The point about these fines is deterrence - for safety reasons we do not want people to speed at all. A more modest fine should deter people whose incomes are modest, but we cannot have wealthy people cocking a snook at the laws which apply to all of us just because the fine is a mere bagatelle for them - if they face the same degree of deterrence in the form of a bigger fine then they will think twice before speeding again and lives will be saved.

  • Comment number 36.

    13. Ossie wrote:
    "The thing that annoyes me the most in life is watching someone in a 60thousand pound car that can't afford a hands free kit for their car."

    What, that annoys you more than child cruelty?

  • Comment number 37.

    All fines should be according to your earnings so that you feel the punishment as a £100 fine against someone earning £1m isn't a punishment but if the fine reflects the earnings as in this case it's a fitting punishment.

  • Comment number 38.

    To some, a million pounds is a drop in the ocean, so it's not likely to hurt them other than their pride. The best way of fining with any offence is have a standard fine for that offence, as an example:-
    Speeding - A standard fine for 1st offence of £50 plus an extra £5 for each mile per hour over the limit exceeded. For a second offence that fine should be doubled then trebled and so on. For more serious offences such as causing death by dangerous driving, there should be no sympathy for the offender, the car should be impounded and a life-time ban put in place. I'm no saint, I was a real speed merchant in my youth, fines hurt my pocket because I wasn't particularly well paid, but there are people on good incomes where a £100 fine is peanuts and of no consequence, there has to be more in order for the penny to drop. I consider myself to be a good driver, I've fast reactions, sadly there are many on the roads who are really poor drivers and they've got cars that are too fast for their capabilities.

  • Comment number 39.

    In this country the car is hated. Yet it is obvious that the major problem of the roads is that they are badly designed, covered in confusing signs and markings which are too often wrong and policed with the intention to make money.

    Our road speeds are reduced with the thoughts that cars are dangerous to pedestians, yet the pedestrians assume the road was ment for them and that cars will just stop because they are there. If pedestrians were taught the old method of looking before you walk and to use crossings then there would be less pedestrians hit by cars.

    People are permitted to use push bikes on the roads even though I have never seen a type of driver who breaks the rules more than a cyclist (push bikes). They often sit in the middle of a road and ignore traffic lights. Even jumping from the road to the kerb to get around traffic systems.

    So in a country where driving is considered so wrong, even though it is a necessity, we cannot have a fair policing system in place for drivers

  • Comment number 40.

    Only to an extent, if we're talking about repeat offenders then fines should be expensive and continue to go up the more that person is caught speeding.

    If we’re talking about an occasional offender or some who has never offended before then the fine should be small.

  • Comment number 41.

    Yes I'd be inclined to agree because under the present system, there's discrimination against the rich and poor.

    Either way, the poor will end up the worse off because they are skint and the rich wouldn't care a damn about the fine... the fine is a penalty and so those with less money should consider driving more carefully and it is the rich that should be brought down to thinking more carefully on stronger terms rather than let them get off saying the fine is 'peanuts' for them not to give a damn again.

    The objective is to stop people breaking the law repeatedly!

  • Comment number 42.

    Why is a British news website, funded by the British licence fee payer, posting an article with an amount listed in dollars (When the incident didn't occur in a country using that currency)?

  • Comment number 43.

    At the third offence, pulp the car. That would solve everything, fairly.

  • Comment number 44.

    It does not sound a very bad idea to me.

    Starting with a minimum level of £60 (the current fine for speeding) and increasing it according to one's expendable income.

    Unfortunately this will only affect the mid class, since the super rich can exploit so many tax avoidance loopholes, that often their declared income is one order of magnitude less than their real income.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    Linking fines to wealth is fair enough BUT how about variable speed limits. What is more dangerous 100mph on a empty motorway 6:00 on a summer sunday morning or 56mph 4 feet from a HGV in heavy reain on the A14 (this took place the other day 1 HGV following another), the fact is the driver doing 100mph would be banned. Lets get things right, speed does not kill it is innapropriate speed for the conditions that kill.

  • Comment number 48.

    36. AndyC555 wrote:

    "What, that annoys you more than child cruelty?"

    Which one, the cruelty of adults towards children, or the cruelty of children towards adult? ;)

  • Comment number 49.

    For once I am agaist hitting the rich the penalties points as well as cash should be based on speed. if your daft enough to do 40mph in a 30 zone then thats your faulf 50mph higher fine one more extra point.

  • Comment number 50.

    Minor speeding infrengements only incur a CHF 40 fine in Switzerland and there are no penalty points. I think that is a better system than the situation in this country where a driver could lose a licence for technical infrengments of the speed limit rather than unsafe driving.

  • Comment number 51.

    8. At 10:53am on 13 Aug 2010, Andrew Kerr wrote:
    All fines should be linked to the offender's wealth.
    Mr A, who has a weekly income of £2,000, is fined £100 for his offence. Mr B, who's weekly income is £200, is also fined £100 for the same offence.
    For Mr A, the fine is just lunch. For Mr B, the fine is half a week's income.
    Where's the justice in that?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The injustice is against the wider population as neither should have been speeding in the first place.

    That aside, I agree that a set sum fined against someone who obviously has more wealth than common sense is hardly going to make the impact that it is supposed to, so perhaps fines fixed against income and wealth is the way to do it.

  • Comment number 52.

    It depends on the severity of the crime. A more serious crime warrants a heavier fine, but if someone is on low income then they should pay a reduced fine or face some other lesser punishment. The idea of jailing people who cannot afford to pay fines is immoral. Also immoral, however, is the idea of charging very excessive amounts to a rich person for a minor offense simply so that the state can generate more revenue. Balance is the key - some means-testing is essential, but within reason.

  • Comment number 53.

    How about linking fines to the safety record of that car? This would encourage people in 4x4s who tend to mow down pedestrians and cyclists to drive a little more carefully. It may also encourage manufacturers to further improve safety through design.

  • Comment number 54.

    I feel some of you need a little education.

    Court fines are already based on your ability to pay. There is no point fining someone £1m when they are on the minimum wage.

    Speeding fines should fall in line; base them on the ability to pay.

  • Comment number 55.

    "Should speeding fines be based on wealth?"

    Only a Communist would think that was a sensible question.

  • Comment number 56.

    No, our points system is not bad, the locations for mobile cameras should actually be linked to accident sites though. [not just easy pickings]

    A wealth based system means that someone who claims to be poor can speed as much as they like with little punishment.

  • Comment number 57.

    Switzerland's speeding ticket SFr1,080m ($1m; £656,000) for traveling at 290km/h which is (180 MPH), 170km/h, (106 MPH) over the (75 MPH) speed limit.

    Of course it is too much of a fine or it or that prior to it $290,000, else it would not make the World News. It sounds like a Advertising Gimmick to get people to notice Switzerland?!

    Today autos can go faster than that in very, very short distances and handle like your driving 30 MPH.

  • Comment number 58.

    I just remembered a good example - a housing development company cut-down a 400 year-old oak tree because they couldn't be bothered to alter their plans in order to move a roundabout a few yards. They were fined about one thousand pounds, as the trees in the area were protected. It was still cheaper for them to cut-down the tree than alter their plans. Clearly in this case the fine should have been escalated; this wealthy company made a mockery of the law and did so repeatedly because the punishment was largely insubstantial to them. The law as it stands clearly favours wealthy people and organisations, in which case it isn't a law at all, but rather is is a tool of injustice.

  • Comment number 59.

    Sounds great, maybe road tax too? What a minute, if you drive a big powerful car you have to by more fuel ergo you pay more tax - genius - scrap road tax! And maybe put an element of third party insurance within the fuel tax too, solves uninsured drivers then as well.........

  • Comment number 60.

    This could turn into a sit-com. Just imagine the form filling and checking needed to establish the correct income. If you are on the dole I suppose they owe you. If you are very rich you have to pay out thousands. Sounds like a load of cobblers to me. The solicitors would make loads of dosh by all the Appeals. Then there would be fraud cases for people who haven't declared all their income. The mind quite boggles at the complications. There is more to life than this !

  • Comment number 61.

    At 11:34am on 13 Aug 2010, in_the_uk wrote:

    In this country the car is hated.

    ----

    Hated by whom? The 31+ million car owners choking our roads? Or the government who fill their coffers with all that income from fuel tax and road tax.

    On the contrary, I would have said the UK was car-reliant, not car-hating.

  • Comment number 62.

    Should speeding fines be based on wealth? Absolutely not.

  • Comment number 63.

    At least one country has its head screwed on correctly. Yes, if they have money to burn on these over-inflated cars the better.

  • Comment number 64.

    What a good idea, that will bring some much needed money in and restore it's detterant value, there you go David Cameron add that to you're schoolboy theoretical politics.

  • Comment number 65.

    I was appalled a while back, to hear a magistrate say that she had fined a young man (wrongly in my view) convicted of a motoring offence, the entirity of his life savings, £300 in this case.

    If fines are to reflect justice then the wealth of the offender has to be considered, for all offences, not just motoring.

    It would therefore be just, and of public benefit, that when a rich person, say Jonathan Aitken, commits a serious offence he is deprived of ALL his excess riches, like the poor lad above. It would certainly be better than the taxpayer having to dig deep to keep him in jail.

  • Comment number 66.

    speeding fines should be kept where they are, or increased if they are not achieving the desired result-people driving with due care and consideration.



    The problem with income-linking, is that taken to its logical conclusion poorer people would pay less for bread, milk, the tv licence etc, than rich people.


    So when somone goes into a shop for example, would the owner have to ask for their bank account so he could calculate what to charge them for a loaf of bread?.

  • Comment number 67.

    No, obviously it is stupid and immoral. What next, price of bread set by your wealth? Daft. Things like driving bans or points towards them are the real deterrent.

  • Comment number 68.

    Of course it should be linked to wealth.

    A millionaire won't be deterred from speeding after a £100 fine but someone poor would (it might mean they can't pay to keep a roof over their head).

    I'm sure the right-wing will disagree but they know, deep down, that this is fair. A punishment or deterrant should be a punishment or deterrant!

  • Comment number 69.

    All fines should be pegged at a percentage of the offenders income & worth. The disabled pensioner who forgot to display their blue badge in Croydon has to pay £80 which is about half their weekly income - let us see millionaires flogged the same way!

  • Comment number 70.

    I don't know about based on wealth, common sense would be useful. In the last 4 yrs I have 2 speeding convictions, the only convictions in my life. Doing 33 in a 30 (which had been 40 since I was in short trousers) and 56 in a 50 (a short overtaking of a tractor) Its much cheaper to smile pay the £60 & get on with life, whether the conviction is justified, accurate or not.
    I have never had an accident in 48 years driving and averaging 25,000 a year. I have no doubt what the camera vans there for and its not safety!

  • Comment number 71.

    Judging this topic on the smug responses our deficit could be eliminated in a manner of months by following this rule. Of course it'll take someone with more bottle than DC to impose it.

  • Comment number 72.

    Idiots, another reason to abandon ship and move somewhere else!

  • Comment number 73.

    39. At 11:34am on 13 Aug 2010, in_the_uk wrote:

    Our road speeds are reduced with the thoughts that cars are dangerous to pedestians, yet the pedestrians assume the road was ment for them and that cars will just stop because they are there. If pedestrians were taught the old method of looking before you walk and to use crossings then there would be less pedestrians hit by cars.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    in_the_uk clearly doesn't know much about highway law nor the public's right to use the highway. I doubt in_the_uk could actually define what the highway is and yet happily posts like an expert on the subject.

  • Comment number 74.

    If fines are to be scaled to wealth, should prison sentences be scaled too?

    A few days for people with important jobs and busy lifestyles, and a few years for the unemployed who have more free time?

  • Comment number 75.

    Well its one solution however confiscate and sell the offenders car would be best. No car = no speeding if you have a £200,000 car if you are wealthy and you lose that you will probably notice it. If on the other hand you have a £1000 car and you are poor you to will notice that. The offences should also be automatically added to the insurance database so that your car insurance goes up.

  • Comment number 76.

    Absolutely. At the moment we have rich people who can just ignore the law because the amount of fine they are given is less than they spend on food each day. In comparison, the current fines make a substantial dent in the finances of a working person.

    I think the UK did actually try this approach under the last Tory government but they scrapped it very quickly because it was hitting their rich supporters for the first time. The Tories will not be quick to re-introduce this scheme because they are not serious about stopping speeding - they only see traffic issues as a money making scheme.

  • Comment number 77.

    Fines are pointless other than to help the Police with their budget problems. You need to change behaviour in other ways.

    We don't fine murderers, we don't fine rapists. So why do we fine people driving cars at an illegal speed?

    I propose a more advanced driving licence as a cure to speeding. The licence would define what you are allowed to drive, if you are a persistent speeder or dangerous driver then you would be relegated to slower cars or even to a Robin Reliant.

    We already have classifications for good vehicles, why not for cars?

  • Comment number 78.

    Yes.
    Not an exciting topic

  • Comment number 79.

    " 6. At 10:50am on 13 Aug 2010, Mark Evans wrote:
    Very sensible idea to impound his car. "

    - and add a scratch for every mile over the limit he/she was. Surely for driving that much over the limit should result in instant loss of licence anyway ALONG with a fine.

    Base the fine on the amount of speed over the limit. Speeding at 36mph in a 30 zone is hardly comparable to speeding at 70mph in a 30 zone, and thus should be punished accordingly.

  • Comment number 80.

    7. At 10:52am on 13 Aug 2010, qwerty wrote:
    Absolutely not. The punishment should be exactly the same, no matter what the wealth of the individual.
    --------------------------------------

    Self contradiciton.

    If the fine is equal then it is a far greater punishment to the poor man.

  • Comment number 81.

    That's just as stupid an idea as the loons who do the speeding, the best solution is: first offence £1,000, second offence £10,000, third offence a lifetime ban and no appeals.

  • Comment number 82.

    1. At 10:37am on 13 Aug 2010, chiptheduck wrote:

    Good grief - more ridiculous suggestions from whoever fails to manage HYS. Can you not find some sensible topics?

    Why not hang all millionaires who drive at 31mph and give bunches of flowers to paupers driving at 100?


    No just the bankers who put us in the recession will do.

    On speeding fines, they already have points based systems, so repeat offenders will be punished regardless. I think smaller penalties, like PCN parking fines should have weight on wealth, as it's just be laughable to the rich for a £60 fine for parking illegally on Kensington High Street. No chance of happening though...

  • Comment number 83.

    66. At 11:58am on 13 Aug 2010, Lockjaw wrote:
    "The problem with income-linking, is that taken to its logical conclusion poorer people would pay less for bread, milk, the tv licence etc, than rich people."

    Don't be silly.... those are products and services. The price is approximatly set by the cost to produce, deliver, by the supplier or government, etc, depending on the service or product.

    A fine is an imposed penalty for a wrong doing which has been commited and should probably be income based in all circumstances.

  • Comment number 84.

    Impound and sell the car....that'll slow him down.

  • Comment number 85.

    Rightly so the fine should be based on wealth and car being driven or how else will it act as a deterent to the smug rich.Same should apply to other motoring offences such as using a mobile whilst driving. How an individual driving around in a 60-150k car cannot afford hands free is beyond me.

  • Comment number 86.

    Well, If you look at Switzerland's tax-haven status AND their tiniest VAT rates internationally .... hmm. Anyway a usual light and flippant HYS Friday question.

  • Comment number 87.

    I see the speed freaks are still enamored with how fast they can go.

    Would it not be more appropriate for them to focus on how they can stop?

    Punish according to means, as long as it hurts.

    It might even make them think.

    The "speed is safety" commentator should have his license withdrawn, if he has one, because he has not got an attitude compatible with safe driving.

  • Comment number 88.

    #11 wrote "Better still - ALL fines should be scaled to the offender's ability to pay. The point of a fine is to punish the offender "

    =============

    Lets follow that suggestion to its logical conclusion. If the offender has no money then he/she has no ability to pay so should not be fined at all for breaking the law. Are you therefore saying that the law should throw poor offenders in prison, because they are poor and therefore cannot afford a fine, but simply fine the rich or are you suggesting that poor people should not be subject to any punishment at all?

  • Comment number 89.

    Linking speeding tickets to income is a really excellent idea. Parking tickets should also be the same. We have this ridiculous situation in London where members of middle eastern royal families park on double yellow lines every day, wherever they want. Every few months they just pay off their fines which go into the thousands of pounds. For them, it's probably equivalent to about £2 to us. They just consider it cheap parking! I can only assume they probably have the same attitude to speeding tickets.

  • Comment number 90.

    So we're suggesting 'one rule for the rich, one rule for the poor', isn't this mantra an ideology the less well-off object to?

  • Comment number 91.

    This is a no-brainer.

    Of course fines should be set at higher levels for the wealthy. They have more money to throw around!

    A £100 fine for a man with only £100 is a very harsh fine.

    A £100 fine for a man with only £1,000,000 is not a very harsh fine at all, in fact it's pocket change.

    If fines are to be used as a deterrent they should be harsh enough to drive the message home.

  • Comment number 92.

    Should speeding fines be based on wealth? Yes, that sounds fair to me

  • Comment number 93.

    Should Police Pay be based on performance?

    I'd love to know the percentage of people who have been done for speeding who had actually been in or caused an accident as a result of thier actions.

    As I see very few accidents but lots of people getting done for minor spped transgressions.

  • Comment number 94.

    I am sure that many poor HYS contributors would like that. Fining those who are more successfull than those who are not. Sounds more like jealousy from the working classes.

    A more effective measure would be to impound the car for 30 days. That will bother anyone even if they have other cars.

  • Comment number 95.

    A similar system already exists in England & Wales but it is undermined by the fixed penalty system, which disregards wealth; and if the case comes to court the JPs will assume weekly income is £350 unless the defendant tells them otherwise. So those with income below this declare it but those above don't.

  • Comment number 96.

    I'm just glad some of you don't run the country!!!

  • Comment number 97.

    The punishment should fit how serious the crime is. How much money you have is irrelevent. Don't know why we are bothering to debate it anyway. Its not as if its being suggested that it we bring it in here.

  • Comment number 98.

    Why are so many people peddling the myth that speeding fines are some sort of tax - is it because so many break the law? The simple fact is that if a driver is incapable of keeping below a speed limit, then they shouldn't be on the road as they clearly not paying attention.
    As to the case under discussion, the driver involved should have known the Swiss calculate their fines this way yet choose to break the law, he’ll have to cough up. Whether we want to introduce such a scheme over here, then it should apply to all fines, not just driving offences

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm a bit surprised that anyone would need to drive in Switzerland: their train service is fabulous!

  • Comment number 100.

    Will that mean that if you're unemployed you won't receive a fine?

 

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