Voters want richest to face hefty speeding fines
Two-thirds of voters think the coalition’s drive to make the rich pay more should be extended to fines for speeding offences.
A poll by YouGov for motors.co.uk found 69% of people want speeding fines to be based on a person’s income, which are currently standardised regardless of income.
Different rules apply in some European countries. A Swedish driver was fined over £500,000 in 2010 when he was caught driving at 180mph in Switzerland.
In Britain, Manchester City footballer Carlos Teves, who earns over £100,000 a week, was fined just £60 for driving 38mph in a 30mph zone back in March.
Peter Crouch, the Stoke striker, was fined £1,000 in August for driving at 48mph in a 30mph zone. He only earns £60,000 a week, but campaigners are suggesting even he might be able to afford to ignore the consequences of the fine.
“Recent high profile cases of affluent drivers flagrantly breaking the law demonstrates that the current structure of fines in the UK does not carry enough of a deterrent for wealthy drivers,” Phill Jones of Motors.co.uk, which commissioned the research, commented.
“It’s simply not fair that the reprimand for speeding can carry the same fine for those who earn tenfold what an ordinary British person earns.”
Germany, France, Austria and Scandinavian countries all issue punishments based on a person’s wealth, with maximum fines ranging from £1 million to £16 million.
The maximum any driver will pay under current laws in Britain is £2,500. That only applies to motorway offences. Cases referred to court can result in a fine of up to £1,000, while those which are not face a maximum £60 penalty.
Jones added: “A change in the law is necessary to reflect the fact that speeding is completely unacceptable, and not something someone can just afford to do.”
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “Basing speeding fines on a person’s income is not something we are considering.
“We recently carried out a consultation which looks at potentially increasing the cost of fixed penalty notices for driving offences, including speeding. A final decision on this is due in the new year.”