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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To continue the discussion started offtopic on the german thread, here we can discuss about all concerning fines.

I start saying that know two different kind of fine system (I ignore if exists others): The first is like we have in Italy, Germany, France.... and it consists that in a fix amount for kind of infraction. The second like in Finland and Switzerland where the fine is proportional to the income of the offencer.

Personally, I find the finnish system (Finland was the first country to introduce it in 1921) right and democratic cause it hits everybody in the same way. A fine is a punishment for something wrong you did and not a privilege that u can decide to pay or not. So a fine should be a deterrent to don't do it again. It's pretty evident also that same fee ticket for everybody can't be a real deterrent and real punishment for those person with money, since 100 or 200 euro for them is nothing.

Starting from this principle I think is why points on the driving license system worked quite well (I say quite cause in Italy there's a privacy question that makes it don't work as it should): rich or not, everybody has the same points.
 

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Deadpan Snarker
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I've only paid one in 30 years of driving.

About $30. Caught by a (rare-in-the-U.S.) speed camera, here: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=38.972572,-77.07716&spn=0.009325,0.016458&t=m&z=16 (At Connecticut Avenue and Newland St. The map centers there if you hide the side panel.)

Limit of 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) on a six-lane, divided state highway that's a major connector between downtown Washington and the Beltway. Yes, it's passing through a residential neighborhood, but really. People can keep their kids from playing in that street (or more likely, in that neighborhood, instruct the maid to do it).

The locals - presumably knowing about the camera - had all religiously slowed down to 30 while yours truly thought "this is ridiculous" and managed to pass a few of them. Doing 49 at the moment the camera got me. (I would not have done a sustained 49 there.)

This was Inauguration Day 2009 and I was trying to get downtown in time to stand in the cold by the Lincoln Memorial for two hours.
 

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License plate spotter
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The second like in Finland and Switzerland where the fine is proportional to the income of the offencer.
Switzerland - again, like many other countries, e.g. Austria, Germany ... - has a system of "anonymous payment of fines" for "light" infractions, e.g. excess of speed up to 15km/h in built-up areas, or 25km/h on a motorway. If the driver is not known to the authority, the car registrant receives the bill by mail, and the fine can be paid by no matter whom. Infractions paid in the range of this "anonymous-payment" process will not be recorded in any driver history or criminal record. The advantage for the authorities is simple and fast handling.
Fines eligible for the "anonymous-payment" process are fixed-value (up to CHF 260,-); in this case, the economic situation of the trespasser is not being considered.

For more serious infractions, the "anonymous-payment" process is not applicable and a criminal investigation will be started. In court, the economic situation of the suspect is now being considered. The sum of the imposed penalty, however, depends also on many other factors taken into consideration.

Also, if payment of a fine eligible for "anonymous payment" is declined, the ordinary investigation will be started. So well-off people better think twice before recurring against a fine in the "anonymous-payment" range where their income and fortune does not count. If they lose in court afterwards, the new fine (now considering their wealth) may result in a manifold of the former one.
 

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The Road and Map Geek
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Personally, I find the finnish system (Finland was the first country to introduce it in 1921) right and democratic cause it hits everybody in the same way.
Well, well...

The Finnish system has been criticized heavily because it may lead to absurd situations.

The scale is twofold: Certain smaller crimes are handled by flat rate fines up to 150 EUR. Otherwise, the fines are proportional to the person's net income. There is no upper limit, and therefore even rather a minor incident may lead to a penalty being beyond any reasonable level. For example, one person got fines of 112,000 EUR because of driving 82 km/h at speed limit of 60 km/h. If the speed had been 80 km/h, only 115 EUR would have been payable.

One key problem is to define what is the net income. The system is based on salaried persons' income structure, but there are many people groups like physicians, entrepreneurs, farmers, investors, etc, whose income figures are not at all comparable. The poor guy happened to get his 112,000 EUR fine after selling his company, and having an income peak that year.

Another source for critics is that the system treats one-time accidental criminalists equally to those breaking the rules regularly. For a normal crime, the penalty scale is progressive, but for traffic crime, the maximum is always payable without any grace. There is something similar to the Flensburg point system in Germany: If you get fines three times a year or four times during two consecutive year, you will lose your driving license for a month. Every non-major offense is equal: not using the safety belt, overspeed of 30 km/h, or having tons of excessive load in the trailer.

The key driver of the system is collecting the money. About 80% of all the penalty money comes from the traffic crime. Increasing the traffic safety has no priority.
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've got the first fine when i was 17 y.o. driving my scooter, due unreadable license plate. There was still the Lira as currency and it was around 30.000 lire (around 16€ of now - but not the cheapest fine is 39€)
I've got in Verona my first fine driving my car for forbidden park. I parked it with two wheels on the sidewalk and I've got a fine of 72€. This cause 36€ were for the forbidden park and other 36€ cause it was on the sidewalk.
In Milan I got a fine cause I passed in a traffic limited zone. It was night and I didn't know so much well the streets so I didn't see the ZTL signal. The fine was 81€ (70€ for the infraction + 11€ cause it arrived at home! :bash:)
In Siegen, Germany I've got my last fine for speeding. I was driving 67 Km/h in a 50 Km/h. I paied for it 25€ directly to the officer.

In Italy in general you can't pay a fine to the officer like in Germany, but there are however some exceptions like if you drive a vehicle > 3,5 t. If you are extraUE citizen driving a foreign license plate vehicle also you must pay on the place
 

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License plate spotter
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I've got the first fine when i was 17 y.o. driving my scooter, due unreadable license plate. There was still the Lira as currency and it was around 30.000 lire (around 16€ of now - but not the cheapest fine is 39€)
I had one of these cheapest ones in Genova on the windshield a year ago. "Forgot" to pay, and nothing arrived since then (car was foreign-plated).
Not like Austrian Bezirkshauptmannschaften, who send recorded, remise en main propre letters abroad -at least to addresses in German-speaking countries- because of fine amounts of 20-30 €!
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, well...

The Finnish system has been criticized heavily because it may lead to absurd situations.

The scale is twofold: Certain smaller crimes are handled by flat rate fines up to 150 EUR. Otherwise, the fines are proportional to the person's net income. There is no upper limit, and therefore even rather a minor incident may lead to a penalty being beyond any reasonable level. For example, one person got fines of 112,000 EUR because of driving 82 km/h at speed limit of 60 km/h. If the speed had been 80 km/h, only 115 EUR would have been payable.

One key problem is to define what is the net income. The system is based on salaried persons' income structure, but there are many people groups like physicians, entrepreneurs, farmers, investors, etc, whose income figures are not at all comparable. The poor guy happened to get his 112,000 EUR fine after selling his company, and having an income peak that year.

Another source for critics is that the system treats one-time accidental criminalists equally to those breaking the rules regularly. For a normal crime, the penalty scale is progressive, but for traffic crime, the maximum is always payable without any grace. There is something similar to the Flensburg point system in Germany: If you get fines three times a year or four times during two consecutive year, you will lose your driving license for a month. Every non-major offense is equal: not using the safety belt, overspeed of 30 km/h, or having tons of excessive load in the trailer.

The key driver of the system is collecting the money. About 80% of all the penalty money comes from the traffic crime. Increasing the traffic safety has no priority.
Yes I've heard of that guy driving 82 Km/h on 60 Km/h. From what you say it's evident also that finnish system needs maybe some revision in the way to avoid absurd situations, but in generally I consider it still the most efficient.
Absurd case happened in our system too like this one:
L'a.d. di Telecom preso a 311 km/h
Ruggiero: "Stavo provando la macchina"

Quando hanno visto quel puntino avvicinarsi e hanno letto la velocità sul display dell'Autovelox, i poliziotti di pattuglia sulla A26 a Carpignano Sesia, nel Novarese, hanno pensato a un errore: 311 chilometri orari. Hanno estratto la paletta e fermato l'auto: al volante del bolide, una Porsche Carrera, l'a.d. di Telecom Italia, Riccardo Ruggiero. "Stavo provando l'auto", si è giustificato il manager.
La sua candida ammissione di colpa, però, non è servita a salvarlo: gli agenti gli hanno affibbiato una multa di 357 euro e gli hanno immediatamente scalato 10 punti dalla patente. E ora Ruggiero rischia la sospensione della patente da 1 a 3 mesi: a decidere in merito sarà la prefettura locale, che nel prendere il provvedimento terrà conto della velocità registrata dal telelaser, installato su una piazzola a Carpignano Sesia lungo la Voltri-Sempione.
Pratically the article says that the CEO of Telecom was caught driving his Porsche at 311 Km/h on the A26. His justification was "I was just checking the car". For driving 181 Km/h he got only a fine of 357€ (He earns it in half day...) and a suspension of the driving license from 1 to 3 months (it means he'll hire a driver for this period and Telecom pays for it). No jail, no ban and no a real pecuniary punishment that would make him to remember to don't do it again. It's sign that something in this system doesn't work too....
 

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I'm all in favour of fines proportional to income, otherwise they are useless to rich, especially for parking violations, where there is no punishment other than the monetary fine.

And they should cut off one or two points to those who park in dangerous places, if they can see the driver entering or leaving the vehicle. You still lose points if you don't use seat belts or motorbike helmet (and you're endangering only yourself) but not if you endanger others by improper parking.
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
^^ Actually in Italy you lose two points for parking only if you park in handicapped reserved places or in reserved lanes for buses or trams, taxies park places, bus stops or private transits

Sosta nelle corsie riservate al transito degli autobus o veicoli su rotaia; sosta o fermata negli spazi riservati a veicoli per persone invalide o in corrispondenza di rampe, scivoli o corridoi di transito; sosta negli spazi riservati alla fermata degli autobus o dei taxi [art. 158, comma 2 lettere d, g, h].
 

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Satyricon84 said:
^^ Actually in Italy you lose two points for parking only if you park in handicapped reserved places or in reserved lanes for buses or trams, taxies park places, bus stops or private transits
But no if you block driving lanes, cycleways or sidewalks.
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
But no if you block driving lanes, cycleways or sidewalks.
Blocking sidewalks is not possible otherwise in cities like Milan almost everybody would lose points cause of it. And you cant blame too much citizens if the administration in past didn't care to provide enough parking places in relations of dwelling projects that they did.
 

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Super Moderator
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In the UK fines do not take income into account, which means that the rich don't care of course.

I remember reading an interview with I think chef Gordon Ramsey where he happily admitted that he completely ignored parking restrictions in London, he just parked wherever was convenient for him when visiting his restaurants etc even if it meant blocking the sidewalk, parking in no parking areas etc. He just paid any fines he got and treated it as a cost of doing business, probably passing on the costs to his customers!
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I remember reading an interview with I think chef Gordon Ramsey where he happily admitted that he completely ignored parking restrictions in London, he just parked wherever was convenient for him when visiting his restaurants etc even if it meant blocking the sidewalk, parking in no parking areas etc. He just paid any fines he got and treated it as a cost of doing business, probably passing on the costs to his customers!
When I worked for a company that had around 100 agents in the whole territory, fines that they got with cameras passed all from our office (all cars were registered with the company's name). Useless to say that for few important agents the company paied the fines (and in some cases, they save them points on their license don't declaring who was driving), while for all others they had to pay from their pockets.
 

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I was "caught" running a stop sign late last September (I actually went made a very fast stop) and a cop was behind me, the cop fined me $129, I contested it and went to court...in January, and ended up paying $50. It's all a scam to make money, especially in suburban areas with little crime filled with cops that have nothing better to do. They need to make their quotas at the end of the month. There is no "system" and the fine is totally at the discretion of the cop who is fining you. You could pay $20, or you could pay $500.

Now a lot of the intersections around my area have cameras, but I don't obviously run red lights, that is simply dangerous.

Only time I've ever paid a ticket before. Oddly enough, I've technically sped in front of cops several times before without problems. I think if you move with traffic and lots of people are speeding at the same time, it makes it hard for a cop to just pick on you. That or I've been lucky? :dunno:
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Only time I've ever paid a ticket before. Oddly enough, I've technically sped in front of cops several times before without problems. I think if you move with traffic and lots of people are speeding at the same time, it makes it hard for a cop to just pick on you. That or I've been lucky? :dunno:
A friend of mine has been fined for speeding by police after he crashed alone into a guardrail's roundabout, just for the lenght of tyres signs on the asphalt. He had an old car without ABS. In my opinion such fine could be not valid since you can't estabilish the exact speed from the lenght of the signs, but I could be wrong....
 

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I've had a couple of parking tickets, that's it, no speeding fines or anything else.

One was right outside my house, there were no street spaces left so I had to park overnight on a double yellow around the corner. Wasn't blocking anybody but by 0800 next morning a ticket had been slapped on the windscreen :rant:

The standard fine is £60, reduced to £30 if you pay within 14 days..
 

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License plate spotter
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A friend of mine has been fined for speeding by police after he crashed alone into a guardrail's roundabout
In Switzerland, a fine for "failure of mastering the vehicle" (Nichtbeherrschung des Fahrzeuges) may be given in such a case - independently of the speed issue. This fine may also apply if you fall from your bicycle, e.g. when drunk.
 

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Lord Kelvin
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My father got two tickets at the same time while he came visiting me in Bologna, when I lived there. One ticket was for entering ZTL (limited traffic zone, only for residents), and the other was for parking in a ZTL. We thought it was stupid, because of course if you park in a ZTL you have first to enter it... however, 2 separate tickets and 70€, if I remember correctly.
 

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Ice Road Metaller
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My father got two tickets at the same time while he came visiting me in Bologna, when I lived there. One ticket was for entering ZTL (limited traffic zone, only for residents), and the other was for parking in a ZTL. We thought it was stupid, because of course if you park in a ZTL you have first to enter it... however, 2 separate tickets and 70€, if I remember correctly.
70€ should be only if you enter in ZTL. I took it 6 years ago and it was 70€, + 11€ for shipping costs cause it arrived at home. Now instead it's 87€ if you enter in the ZTL. However for what I know, seems not in all cities the fine is the same: in Napoli you get 74€, so maybe In Bologna they had another fee. Parking fine instead was 36 until last year, now it's 39€
 
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