Roads, Finns and fines

Euro speeding fine

They take speeding seriously in Finland. Since it’s an offence that often costs lives, the authorities hit drivers where it hurts. In the pocket.

Fines for speeding in Finland are based on the driver’s salary. For example, when one of the county’s wealthiest entrepreneurs was clocked at 14 mph above the limit, he received a fine of 54,000 Euros (£39,000).

The sliding scale of fines clearly has a deterrent effect. Reima Kuisla posted on his Facebook page, “Ten years ago I would not have believed that I would seriously consider moving abroad. Finland is impossible to live in for certain kinds of people who have high incomes and wealth.” And who speed, he might have added.

The largest speeding fine paid in Finland was by a Nokia executive who was clocked riding his motorcycle at 43 mph in a 30 mph zone. Anssi Vanjoki paid 116,000 Euros (£83,500).

As a society we take a lackadaisical attitude to speed limits and the rights of pedestrians and cyclists. Why do we allow cars and trucks to dominate our townscapes? Why aren’t the centre of towns designed for people first. Why do we, in this country, aspire to so little?

Surely, we are like frogs being slowly boiled to death. We have got so used to living in places made dangerous by speeding cars and out-of-control trucks – and we just accept it. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Our towns and cities can be made fit for pedestrians, cyclists, children and the infirm rather than trucks and cars.

We have the skills. We have the money.

We need the imagination. We need the will.

We can do it. We can do it now.

An insurance company like no other

Not only are we Britain’s most ethical insurance company, we campaign for sustainable transport. Sometimes that means protesting until a school gets the zebra crossing they’ve been refused, or running 60 roadshows this year to encourage people out of their cars, or fixing bicycles for free. Supporting this work is easy – you simply have to take out insurance with us. We provide  home insurancecycle insurancetravel insurance and breakdown cover  – all while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.


  1. David


    Very good words and sentiment, which are difficult to disagree with. But when you consider the almost religious view of driving taken by most motorists, and also consider the comments made in the previous article about equality of road users, and how the authorities don’t seem to care about even criminally bad driving, it is almost impossible to imagine road safety and equality of use ever being taken seriously. I fear the argument will never get heard by anyone with the power to legislate for positive change – just for more pointless “white line” cycle lanes, and more nasty shared use footpaths.

  2. Gareth Greenslade


    I started in emergency ambulance work in 1975. Apart from the IRA bombings in London, I have been involved in the care of only three murder/manslaughter cases where a stranger attacked the victim.

    I have lost count of the number of deaths I have seen where a stranger has killed another road user.

    Yet our national mindset, and that of our politicians, is to concentrate on violent crime, whereas the same focus on road safety would be far more productive.

    I do not use the term road accident, because very few deaths are caused by accidents.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Your name and email are required.