Monster Fine Finland – Quick Look Alpe d’Huez

A Finnish man earns a huge fine for speeding. Just a few clicks less would have saved him more than €50,000.

Plus, a quick look at the famous Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps. Local currency only to pay for fuel and most other things in Belarus. Motorway fuel strike this week in Italy. Brittany Ferries no-frills Etretat out of action until May, for passenger services anyway.

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MONSTER FINLAND SPEEDING FINE

Salary dependent penalties sees fine top €50,000 for just 20kmh more than the limit.

No excuses for speeding in Finland. Photo via Finnish Transport Agency, Liikennevirasto.fi

No excuses for speeding in Finland. Photo via Finnish Transport Agency, Liikennevirasto.fi

Monster speeding fines are the bread and butter of Finnish tabloid newspapers apparently and it’s no surprise when penalties can reach ten of thousands of euros for what, in other countries, may be seen as relatively trivial offences.

Millionaire businessman Reima Kuisla finds himself splashed across the headlines today after being fined €54,024 for speeding at 103kmh in an 80kmh zone last weekend.

Angry Kuisla wrote on his Facebook page, ‘Ten years ago I wouldn’t 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 (via YLE News).

Finnish traffic fines depend on salary with penalties calculated on a ‘day fine’ basis*, each one worth up to one sixtieth of monthly income.

Kuisla’s offence was judged to be worth eight day fines so – on a salary of €6.5m in 2013 – the amount quickly added up.

The sting in the tail is that the whopping fines regime kicks in at 20kmh more than the speed limit according to local @getpalmd. Just 4kmh less and the fine would have been a fixed penalty.

In January the Italian Moncenisio test team was fined €400 after being caught at 74kmh in a 50kmh zone. Penniless student @djzanta told us then that the rules incentivise him to drive at more than 20kmh over the limit…

The record speeding fine in Finland was earned by Nokia boss Anssi Vanjoki in 2002 who was forced to pay €116,000 after being caught at 75kmh in a 50kmh zone.

*The Guardian has more info on day fines – daily disposable income after tax minus living costs and an allowance for dependents. Kuisla’s worked out to be €6,750.

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Alpe d'Huez, French Alps, more later.

Most famous as a regular stage in the Tour de France, Alpe D’Huez is still a must-drive for mountain fans. Around 35 miles south east of Grenoble in the French Alps – off the D1091 Romanche Valley road to Briancon, at Le Bourg d’Oisans – D211 rises in 21 hairpin bends, at a maximum gradient of 13%, to 1860m (6102ft) with a handy loop back (D211F) around the town. Thanks to the relatively low summit it’s open all year round though at the moment it’s covered with snow says @AlpedhuezFrance. Do you fancy that, with chains? Photo Laurent Salino, Alpe D’Huez Tourisme, Alpedhuez.com

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roundup: BELARUS. As of 2 March, drivers can only pay for fuel using Belarusian roubles according to Belta News Agency. In fact, the new rule applies to purchases made in most places apart from duty-free shops. ITALY. In a long-running dispute, motorway fuel station managers will strike from tonight at 22:00 until the same time on Thursday. The law however requires a minimum level of service, at least one service station open every 100km. Italy has the third highest unleaded95 price in Europe at an average €1.611 today, and the third highest diesel price at €1.514 according to Fuel Prices Europe. CROSSING THE CHANNEL. Brittany Ferries no-frills ‘economie’ ship Etretat – which sails between Portsmouth and Le Havre in the week and Portsmouth and Spain at the weekend – will be out of action for passenger services until May. The issue is with the stabilisers (the below the waterline fins which keep the ship level in rough seas, essential for the Bay of Biscay in winter) which need a new part manufacturing reports @FerrymanThe. In the meantime, Eretat will run the calmer Portsmouth-Le Havre route freight-only. 

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