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Giant Traffic Fines For ‘Rich’ In Europe

From an approving Associated Press:

Europe slapping rich with massive traffic fines

By Frank Jordans, Associated Press Writer

January 10, 2010

GENEVA – European countries are increasingly pegging speeding fines to income as a way to punish wealthy scofflaws who would otherwise ignore tickets.

Advocates say a $290,000 (euro203,180.83) speeding ticket slapped on a millionaire Ferrari driver in Switzerland was a fair and well-deserved example of the trend.

Germany, France, Austria and the Nordic countries also issue punishments based on a person’s wealth. In Germany the maximum fine can be as much as $16 million compared to only $1 million in Switzerland. Only Finland regularly hands out similarly hefty fine to speeding drivers, with the current record believed to be a euro170,000 (then about $190,000) ticket in 2004.

The Swiss court appeared to set a world record when it levied the fine in November on a man identified in the Swiss media only as "Roland S." Judges in the eastern canton of St. Gallen described him as a "traffic thug" in their verdict, which only recently came to light.

"As far as we’re concerned this is very good," Sabine Jurisch, a road safety campaigner with the Swiss group Road Cross.

She said rich drivers were lightly punished until Swiss voters approved a 2007 penal law overhaul that let judges hand down fines based on personal income and wealth for moderate misdemeanors including excessive speeding and drunk driving. Before, they had to assign relatively small fixed penalties or — rarely — a few days in prison.

The fines were traditionally insignificant for rich people, and in the rare cases where prison terms for small-time offenders were handed down, they were usually suspended anyway. And even when they were sent to jail, the deterrent was limited compared with the costs of incarceration borne by the taxpayers, officials said.

"It wasn’t about making the punishment harsher or lighter, but more sensible," Heinz Sutter, an official at the Swiss Justice Ministry, told The Associated Press.

In the latest Swiss case, the court took into account the man’s history of similar offenses, the high speed with which he drove through a small village (60 miles — or 97 kilometers — an hour, nearly twice the 30 mph (50 kph limit), and his estimated personal wealth of over $20 million

Soon everything will be administered ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

Then we will have real ‘social justice.’

But why stop at “estimated personal wealth,” which is probably based on the kind of car they are driving?

Why not hand out stiffer punishments for people who have too many children in their car, or who have politically incorrect bumper stickers?

It’s not like Justice is supposed to be blind, or anything.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, January 10th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Giant Traffic Fines For ‘Rich’ In Europe”

  1. Tater Salad says:

    Just another form of Redistribution of Wealth. Obama wants and is doing the same in the United States. We will become the United Socialist States of America. Doctors, cab drivers and lawyer, bankers and millwrights will all make the same. Hey, isn’t that Cuba? I always wondered why the Cubans put together a 57′ Chevy body on a wooden life raft and tried to get to Florida, LOL. Well, now they won’t want to come to America anymore because it will be the same here as in Cuba. Next………….Mexico. Will they also quit sneeking into socialist America? Obama won’t be able to give amnesty to illegals anymore because there won’t be any.

    Mexicans are In and Muslims are now Out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AsxYiFSE6s&NR=1

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      That’s it, Tater, you cracked the code. This is Barry’s plan to solve the illegal alien problem. Make it so nobody wants to come here in the first place.

    • richb says:

      Won’t work as a way to limit immigration.

      Once Congress gets going on this, they’ll have to tinker with the redistribution equations. And that means that we will end up in situation where convicted speeders who have an annual income less than 150% of the poverty line will be reimbused for speeding…

  2. proreason says:

    In 1775, people essentially lived as they did 2000 years before. They moved around either by walking, or pulled by horses. To send somebody a message, you wrote it on a scrap of parchment (if you could afford it) and gave it to a guy on a horse, who, weeks later, if you were lucky, delivered it to the other party. Food production was at the same approximate levels. There was no indoor plumbing. French aristocrats went to the bathroom in the staircases of Versailles (yes, really).

    And the aristocracy liked it that way. They controlled 99% of the wealth, and had sex with whoever they wanted to have sex with. It was great for them. Serfs cleaned up the shit. And the aristocracy had absolute power, including power over life and death.

    But they had made one mistake. Somehow, through the centuries, a tiny fraction of the peons had acquired the ability to read and write, and the aristocracy hadn’t killed Gutenburg soon enough.

    So 1776 happened.

    And the world exploded. Not literally. The world exploded in terms of knowledge and science and human longevity and wealth and creativity and human comfort…..and now, in 2010, all of that reaches down to you and me. We live like kings did in 1775.


    Some attibute it to capitalism, or to democracy, and although those are both important, it’s deeper than that. What happened in 1776 was that human potential was unleashed in a way that it never had been before. Instead of a tiny fraction of 1% of the population being free to innovate and invent, everybody became free. Oh, it took a few more year to sort through slavery and women’s rights, but 1776 triggered it all.

    You live like a prince because the Founding Fathers of the United States of America said this. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

    You are free. Before 1776, only heriditarty princes were free.

    But you know, there are still a few that yearn for the days of heriditary princes. Because for them, it was great!! They owned everything, controlled everything. And the lack of indoor plumbing didn’t matter, because the serfs cleaned up the shit.

    Obamy, Gore, Soros, Drooling Barney…….they see themselves as the hereditary princes.

    And don’t kid yourself.

    You are penciled in as the one who will be cleaning up their shit.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      There’s a great book out there, Pro, called, “The 5000 Year Leap” that illustrates your comments; and how with the birth of man keeping the fruits of their labor (capitalism), we made more advances for mankind and its’ well being in 200 years than had been made in the 5000 years leading up to 1776.

      God bless us. In o-blah-blah’s “name of progress”, we are being propelled backwards – significantly so.

    • Flession says:

      I actually gave that book to a co-worker of mine who wanted to better understand what I was talking about in my rants.

      He now considers himself a Conservative.

  3. Enthalpy says:

    There must be a big disappointment in store for Barney and the boys.

  4. Chuckk says:

    Every so-called problem can be solved by the government extracting money from people.

  5. Flession says:

    But here, in the United States, it’s sometimes the poor Welfare people (you know, the ones without health insurance because they’re too broke to go buy it) who have the really nice cars.

    It might get confusing for the cops who strap on the fines.

  6. NoNeoCommies says:

    I’m certain that there are outs for the European Apparatchiks as there will be for the Amerikan elite, once Obama and his minions turn us into a 3rd world country.
    People like the late (unlamented) Ted Kennedy will never pay fines like that.
    Their drivers will just get fired or ‘protected’ as vital aides to ‘essential’ leaders.

  7. joeblough says:

    It’s interesting that the Euro-trash still feel that they need an excuse to steal money from the creators of wealth.

    Although the sheer brass-balls cheekiness of this particular bit of larceny is no cause for comfort.

    I often think that we pulled out of WWII a bit too early.

    Why, for example, didn’t we nuke Moscow?

    Why didn’t we let MacArthur finish the job in Asia? Surely Mao and his “people’s” army could have been handled with a single nuke or two.

    My guess is that Truman had too many commies on his hands in DC … to say nothing about his own inclinations, of which I know nearly nothing.

    Much of this crap could have been avoided if we had just stuck it out for another year or two.

  8. wirenut says:

    Sounds like profiling to me. Whats the fine if it was John Q. Mechanic takes the sports car out of the shop for a test run? Maybe they should just build a fine into the price of the car. Base it on how fast its “capable” of going, whether or not you run that speed.
    Now it’s the cars fault, not the nut behind the wheel. Simple!

  9. White_Polluter says:

    I saw the story a year or so ago about the $190,000 fine and it got me to thinkin’. What if the price of everything were based on a proportion of your income? If a Big Mac costs me .00001 of my income, why shouldn’t it cost Bill Gates the same thing? It would be $3.00 for me and $300,000 for Bill. By the same token, if you don’t make any money, you could just walk in and get all the free Big Macs you want.

    Now, some may say this is silly, but that’s probably the same reaction that people had back in the 30’s if you had said you would be forced to hand over 15% of your income to save for your retirement. And I didn’t protest enough in the 80’s when Reagan started the EITC, which leads us on the slippery path to income re-distribution.

    Just think about it. We could implant a chip with your prior year’s tax return in your forehead, and then the McDonald’s clerk could scan you and give you your bill. Heck, you wouldn’t even have to carry cash, we could just take it from your employer before you even get your paycheck. Sometimes I think that George Orwell was unimaginative.

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