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Swiss Millionaire Hit By Record Speed Fine

samzenpus posted about 5 years ago | from the fight-the-ticket dept.

Idle 52

tugfoigel writes "A Swiss court has slapped a local millionaire with a record speeding fine of $290,000.The man was reportedly caught driving a red Ferrari Testarossa at 137km/h (85mph) through a village.The penalty was calculated based on the unnamed motorist's wealth — assessed by the court as $22.7m — and on his status as a repeat offender."

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My word! (2, Funny)

Suki I (1546431) | about 5 years ago | (#30697314)

How can that possibly be fair? Wait! Now I know where to speed for cheap. Shouldn't be charging me more than about $5 for the same ticket ;)

Re:My word! (2, Informative)

hardburn (141468) | about 5 years ago | (#30698120)

The Swiss hate cars, even more than nanny-state California does. A 210+ mph ticket on a Veyron there had a max fine of $500 [jalopnik.com] .

Re:My word! (1)

Suki I (1546431) | about 5 years ago | (#30699114)

Then I better use the giant pickup truck :)

Re:My word! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30702530)

$290000? bah

In Spain, for this you get from 3 to 6 months of real jail (re-incidents are not likely to get community service), your license is voided and you can't get another within at least a year.

That is what hits a millionaire in the balls!

P.S.: There was a Spanish millionaire speeding and posting videos of himself on youtube. I think he got jail.

Re:My word! (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | about 5 years ago | (#30725982)

Sounds like I need to get my business plan in action. My business idea is "designated bum" IE I want to get as many photos and locations of the jobless/down on their luck types. When some millionaire+ gets tagged with jail time I use facial recognition software to find him a bum to sit in his place. The bun gets some cash 3 warm meals...

Re:My word! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30709102)

They don't hate cars, you exceedingly small prick, just the exceedingly small pricks that use them to break the law. Perhaps this is too difficult for a person with such an exceedingly small prick to understand.

Re:My word! (1)

kamikazearun (1282408) | about 5 years ago | (#30738110)

They don't hate cars, you exceedingly small prick, just the exceedingly small pricks that use them to break the law. Perhaps this is too difficult for a person with such an exceedingly small prick to understand.

People using their pricks for more than they were intended cause posts like parent

Re:My word! (2, Informative)

pydev (1683904) | about 5 years ago | (#30713088)

Yes, we hate cars going at 210mph or at 85mph through towns because they kill people

He shouldn't have gotten a $500 fine, he should have lost his license and have his car impounded. Hopefully, next time he will.

Re:My word! (0, Troll)

hardburn (141468) | about 5 years ago | (#30716486)

They only kill the children worth killing.

Re:My word! (2, Funny)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 5 years ago | (#30735788)

Too bad you managed to escape.

Oh go suck it, ya libertarian scofflaw (1)

spun (1352) | about 5 years ago | (#30731082)

Tell you what, you want to race around at high speed? Do what other responsible people do: rent some time at the track. Or, go make your own country and build your own roads. But if you want to drive on public roads, you play by our rules. Like it, lump it, or whine about it, them's the breaks, kid.

Re:My word! (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | about 5 years ago | (#30733236)

The Swiss hate cars, even more than nanny-state California does. A 210+ mph ticket on a Veyron there had a max fine of $500 [jalopnik.com] .

You've obviously never actually spent any time in California or you'd know that, in fact, the car totally rules!

Try getting around most anywhere in this state other than San Francisco without one.

Shenanigans. (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | about 5 years ago | (#30744758)

A ticket like that in CA would result in revocation of license, a criminal charge, mandatory jail time and fine many times that...and god help you if you so much as had a shot of NyQuil in you at the time.

http://jalopnik.com/5318413/top-gear-played-by-bogus-210%252B-mph-bugatti-veyron-ticket-too [jalopnik.com]

Re:My word! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30709960)

how is it not fair? several european countries fine this way, italy being one. it's a percentage of income. how do you think a $200 speeding ticket is going to deter someone with millions?

Re:My word! (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#30711390)

Why should it deter? Once the fines go high enough they compensate for the damage the speeder is causing. From there, what's the point in putting them even higher?

Re:My word! (1)

LainTouko (926420) | about 5 years ago | (#30718294)

A speeder risks killing people. How can money compensate for that? Should very rich murderers (same sort of damage, just higher probability of that damage occurring) be able to buy their immediate freedom?

Re:My word! (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#30718912)

Murder is already a jailable offense in itself, including road rage homicide. Speeding is more about slowing down the rest of the road by making everyone watch out for you, scaring the hell out of innocent people just trying to use the road, the damage you're inflicting on the road, and other damages like that.

Re:My word! (1)

maevius (518697) | about 5 years ago | (#30720986)

No. If you get a gun and start pointing it at people you will be arrested, even though you didn't kill anyone (assuming that gun possession is legal)

Re:My word! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30723904)

A speeder risks killing people. How can money compensate for that? Should very rich murderers (same sort of damage, just higher probability of that damage occurring) be able to buy their immediate freedom?

By that logic, execution is the only deterrent for all speeders.

Re:My word! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | about 5 years ago | (#30735116)

They totally should... Have it set up so that you can just pay the gov to assassinate someone of your choosing for 50% of your net worth with a 10million dollar minimum. I'm sure after working out the kinks it'd benefit society.... I guess heads of state would get exempted... or maybe have a counter offer system available.

Re:My word! (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 5 years ago | (#30730472)

Compensation isn't the only goal of laws; another is determent. To someone who is worth millions, a $200 ticket is much less of a deterrent than to most people, so raising it is not too unreasonable. (That said, without reading TFA, a quarter million dollars is almost certainly excessive.)

(There's also punishment, but (1) I don't subscribe to that being a particularly important goal of laws, and (2) the same argument works there as in the deterrent case.)

Re:"almost certainly excessive." (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 years ago | (#30743982)

Huh? The ticket is proportional to your wealth. How can it be excessive?

Re:"almost certainly excessive." (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 5 years ago | (#30744636)

How can it be excessive?

Easy: if the proportion is too high.

Fair? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about 5 years ago | (#30714120)

In the Netherlands, that guy would just loose his car and his driver's licence. But for some inexplicable reason, I do not know of any country that would simply charge him for murder, because that is what it really is. Not knowing who exactly you are going to kill does not make it less murderous.

Re:Fair? (1)

rmushkatblat (1690080) | about 5 years ago | (#30732332)

Except for that little part where he didn't actually kill anyone.

Hummm (1)

Peter Nikolic (1093513) | about 5 years ago | (#30698436)

All this bloody stupid anti speed thing is just because people cant be bothered to teach the little runts not to just run across the road without looking which ought to bring a charge of Jay walking fine in the order of $500,000.00 per foot of road abused in other words run into the road get hit tough SUCK it in car drivers PAY to use the roads pedestrians pay fuck all and piss me off big time they get an arse slapping for that out of me and the rest of the lads here .
 

Re:Hummm (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 years ago | (#30702176)

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in that world where nothing ever broke down and all roads were straight.

Re:Hummm (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | about 5 years ago | (#30733252)

Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in that world where nothing ever broke down and all roads were straight.

No. Then there would be no place for British sports cars.

Re:Hummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30705546)

what?

fine, be that way. (1)

flahwho (1243110) | about 5 years ago | (#30698708)

if I were to get fined based on my income, that ticket would cost me about $2.00.

--
We can go back to using 2-digit dates now.

Re:fine, be that way. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 years ago | (#30702278)

getting traffic courts into income statements is a whole other level of hell, but ... based on the assessed value of the vehicle involved in the incident - this may have merit.

Re:fine, be that way. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 years ago | (#30709506)

In spite of the complications, there is a lot more justice in fines based on income or net worth. Otherwise, the wealthy feel no bite at all from the same offense that leaves someone else deciding between food or rent for the month. Fixed fines where income is variable is like sentencing one person to 10 years when another gets a month for the same offense.

Re:fine, be that way. (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 5 years ago | (#30710000)

In spite of the complications, there is a lot more justice in fines based on income or net worth.

I absolutely agree. And the same should apply to civil judgments and cases of corporate lawbreaking.

To fine a company $10k per day for pouring poison into a river, when it would cost the company $25k per day to dispose of it legally does not make sense.

I live in an expensive part of Chicago, but I bought my place before the prices went crazy. I'm by far the poorest person on the block and I make a decent living. I have seen my neighbors consider a $50 parking ticket less than a minor annoyance and completely disregard No Parking signs. A neighbor of mine told me that she just considers getting parking tickets to be part of "the cost of doing business" although I'm not sure what business she's talking about since her husband's the breadwinner and she gets most of her parking tickets shopping downtown or on Michigan Avenue. If I were to get a $50 parking ticket, I'd feel really bad, seeing it as a nice dinner out for my wife and I that we won't be able to have. In fact, I'm likely to get a frying pan across the noggin if my wife found out I got a parking ticket and it wasn't a matter of life or death.

Yes, I believe all fines should be based on income.

Re:fine, be that way. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 years ago | (#30711500)

Why wouldn't vehicle value be a fair proxy for this without all the privacy problems?

Re:fine, be that way. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 years ago | (#30712464)

So rich brats don't buy a clunker and burn up the roads just for fun.

Re:fine, be that way. (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 5 years ago | (#30716736)

Fixed fines where income is variable is like sentencing one person to 10 years when another gets a month for the same offense.

Or, in some cases, carry an even less fair [drugpolicy.org] disparity, in practical terms.

Don't speed in CH (3, Informative)

ob0101011101 (590919) | about 5 years ago | (#30698814)

In Switzerland the people don't give way to the car, and it's a good thing. A typical village speed limit is 50km/h, or 30km/h in the single-lane back streets, so this guy was doing 2x or 3x the speed limit. Your typical Swiss village was laid-out 500 years before cars existed, and has narrow roads, no curb on the gutter, and twisty turns around houses etc. The children are encouraged to walk to school un-escorted from age 5 onwards (not be driven a few blocks in an 5 litre V8 "SUV" as in Australia), so there's a very real chance of someone distracted by a butterfly not crossing the road as well as they could. The speed limit on the highway is 120km/h. And FWIW, the curve to the speeding fines is very steep. My wife got a few ~5km/h over speeding fines and they were usually less than 50 franks (USD$50). But once you start getting > 30km/h over the posted limit, the fines get huge.

Re:Don't speed in CH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30709332)

A ticket for speeding 5km/h over the limit? 3mph? Wow, talk about strictly enforcing the rules.

Re:Don't speed in CH (1)

St.Creed (853824) | about 5 years ago | (#30710024)

This is the same for the Netherlands, as I know by personal experience. Just sneeze when you're driving in front of a camera and *FLASH* you've got mail...

Re:Don't speed in CH (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#30711408)

It's better than the US system, where the speed limit is "65-85 miles an hour, depending on how the police officer is feeling that day".

Re:Don't speed in CH (1)

Pingmaster (1049548) | about 5 years ago | (#30717256)

RTFA - he was going 85mph, which was reported as being 35mph over the limit (in non-american terms, he was going 137km/h in an 80km/h zone, 57km/h over). In Canada, going about 100-110 in an 80 zone is pretty normal, but a cop on a bad day will nail you for a couple hundred bucks. OTOH, there's a 'magic number', which happens to be 50km/h over the posted limit. Get caught doing that, you lose your car, your license and get slapped with a $10,000 fine. So, a Ferrari Testarossa goes for about $250,000 plus taxes, shipping etc., meaning a final price tag over 300 grand. He'd have lost his $300,000 car, had to pay a fine (granted it's chump change for him) and he loses his license, making the fine he got about even with what would happen in Canada for the same thing

Re:Don't speed in CH (1)

mirix (1649853) | about 5 years ago | (#30747060)

Canada != Ontario.

Even then, first offence is a $2k ... $10k fine, with a one week licence suspension and car impounding... they don't keep it.

Re:Don't speed in CH (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 5 years ago | (#30736460)

Must never get ice there (yeah, Swiss Alps I know, what about lower terrain?) because there are a lot of situations even at 30 KM/H (a poster below stated this was an 80 KM/H zone though) where a heavier car (yes some people transport more than 100 kilos in their cars so they need work trucks) can take quite a distance to stop. Is it just the simple matter that there are few vehicles of any kind so most people can walk everywhere?

How to eliminate credit card debt (3, Funny)

Jodka (520060) | about 5 years ago | (#30699700)

According to the values given in the article the amount of the penalty is about 1.3 percent of net worth. For those with a negative net worth because you have student loans, mortgages and credit card debt I recommend speeding through small villages in Switzerland. Because the penalty will be a negative amount, the government will pay you. Keep speeding until your net worth is $0.00 then stop.

If you can not afford a car which reaches excessive speeds, take out a loan.

     

Re:How to eliminate credit card debt (1)

Suki I (1546431) | about 5 years ago | (#30703954)

Suki likes! ;)

check your math (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30714854)

You'll never reach 0 if you get paid a part of your current negative net worth, only approach it with infinite speeding tickets.

Re:check your math (1)

bit9 (1702770) | about 5 years ago | (#30729388)

You'll never reach 0...

Maybe not, but as the old joke about the mathematician and the engineer goes, you'll get close enough!

Re:check your math (1)

cc1984_ (1096355) | about 5 years ago | (#30735138)

You'll never reach 0 if you get paid a part of your current negative net worth, only approach it with infinite speeding tickets.

Maybe so, if money were continuous, but in the case of speeding tickets, you're stuck with discrete units of $0.01. Whether you hit $0 or not is a matter of rounding :)

Re:How to eliminate credit card debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30716518)

They said it was calculated "based on" his wealth -- didn't say it was linear. What if they take your net wealth squared?!

Misleading picture (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 5 years ago | (#30719078)

The Ferrari Testarossa [wikipedia.org] isn't a recent car nor a particular valuable Ferrari. The original model had 380 bhp and isn't terribly quick (acceleration-wise) by current standards, especially not compared to the pictured 599 GTB Fiorano.

Ferraris have long gearing, so it would have been easier for this guy to hit 85 in town with a current Mustang GT than this old Ferrari.

Re:Misleading picture (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 years ago | (#30731972)

The Ferrari Testarossa [wikipedia.org] isn't a recent car nor a particular valuable Ferrari. The original model had 380 bhp and isn't terribly quick (acceleration-wise) by current standards, especially not compared to the pictured 599 GTB Fiorano.

Ferraris have long gearing, so it would have been easier for this guy to hit 85 in town with a current Mustang GT than this old Ferrari.

Whatever. I bet you wouldn't kick it out of bed for eating crackers.

He doesn't have to pay it all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#30735600)

He only has to pay half the fine. The fine is 299'000 CHF, but he eventually only has to pay 149'500 CHF. The rest is on probation (don't know if thats the correct word), which means that he doesn't have to pay it unelss he is caught driving to fast again.

the article in the local press (german) [tagblatt.ch] ...
and the google translation [google.com]

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