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  1. madmacs

    25,374 posts.
    Man gets $165,000 speeding ticket

    Traffic fines in Finland geared to offender's income


    HELSINKI (AP) -- At 74 kilometres an hour, he didn't set any land-speed records. But Nokia executive Anssa Vanjoki could set the record for the costliest ever speeding ticket -- a $165,000 Cdn fine.

    Vanjoki, a 45-year-old executive vice-president of Nokia's mobile phones division, is fighting to get the fine reduced.

    He was slapped with the ticket for speeding on a motorcycle in a 50 km/h zone on an island near Helsinki last October, Chief Police Insp. Olli Yliskoski said.

    But in Finland, traffic fines are not just based on the seriousness of the infringement, they're also tied to the offender's income, and there's no limit. Worse for Vanjoki, his fine was based on his net income in 1999, when he reportedly made $8.3 million Cdn because of option sales.

    He has appealed for the fine to be based on his income in 2000, when his gross income dropped from more than $19.8 million Cdn to about $1.5 million Cdn, according to tax authorities.

    Official net income figures for 2000 were not available, and Vanjoki did not return phone calls seeking comment. The case goes to court next month.

    In a similar incident last year, a Helsinki court slashed a traffic fine levied against Internet millionaire Jaakko Rytsola for switching lanes too often. It was cut from $72,000 Cdn to $190 Cdn after his income showed a dramatic drop.

    Earlier, Rytsola paid a $119,000 Cdn traffic fine, reportedly the highest ever in Finland.

    Yliskoski said Finnish authorities are considering changing he way incomes are used in determining fines.

    "They should be proportioned to the danger afflicted," he said. "(And) If you fine somebody on the grounds of incomes peaking a certain year it can grow unreasonable."



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