Swiss lead again

A man driving a Ferrari through a Swiss town at 35mph over the speed limit has received a record-breaking fine of £180,000.

The fine was so large because because the country uses a proportional system of punishments, and the offender is a multi-millionaire.

The 53-year-old man drove 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.

In 2002 Swiss voters approved replacing prison terms for speeding with fines based on income. The driver of the Ferrari Testarossa is reported to have an annual income over £500,000 and be worth over £12 million.

Fine was increased twice on appeal
The driver was initially fined £60,000 by the local jurisdiction, but this was raised twice on appeal when the driver claimed falsely to have diplomatic immunity.

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.

Proportionate fines exist in certain circumstances in the UK: for instance, companies found guilty of financial misconduct can receive fines proportional to their wealth.

Such justice – compare this to the English

A cyclist killed in central London would still be alive if the lorry that hit her hadn’t driven illegally into an advanced stop box, her partner told an inquest.

“The law only allows a motor vehicle to occupy an advanced stop box if it is forced to stop suddenly in the zone when traffic lights change. An inquest at St Pancras coroner’s court recorded a verdict of accidental death on the Argentinian student, who lived in Stepney Green.

The lorry driver was questioned by police but released without charge.


About Peter Bartlett