Search icon


26th Apr 2017

The amount you pay for a speeding fine could be changing dramatically

Alan Loughnane

Big changes ahead…

Under radical new road safety proposals, speeding motorists may soon have to face fines based on their salaries.

With the current system, there’s a fixed penalty for motorists caught speeding. But under these new proposals it could mean that a driver earning €50,000 a year would face a €1,000 fine, depending on their income.

A spokesperson for the Road Safety Authority told the Irish Independent that an income-linked system is being seriously considered and was supported by the authority’s chief executive Moyagh Murdock.

Proposals on the new system are expected to be submitted to the Department of Transport soon.

The proposals would be mimicking a system that is currently in place in a number of Scandinavian countries such as Finland.

According to Atlantic, Reima Kuisla, a Finnish businessman, was caught going 65 miles per hour in a 50 zone in his home country in 2015. This would normally result in a fine of a couple of hundred euro in say, Ireland. But after Finnish police pulled Kuisla over, they checked a federal taxpayer database to determine his income. After consulting their handbook, they dished out a fine of €54,000.

Finland’s system is relatively simple. It starts with an estimate of the amount of spending money a Finn has for one day, and then divides that by two. The resulting figure is considered a reasonable amount of money that the offender should be deprived of.

Then, based on the severity of the crime, the system has rules for how many days the offender must go without that money. Going about 15 mph over the speed limit means the fine is multiplied by 12 days, and going 25 mph over carries a 22-day multiplier.