Anssa Vanjoki, the 45-year-old executive vice president of Nokia?s mobile phones division, set the record for the costliest speeding ticket when he got a $103,000 fine for riding his motorcycle 46 miles an hour in a 31 mph zone in Helsinki, Finland. He?s fighting to get the fine reduced.
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 upper limit. Vanjoki?s fine was based on his net income in 1999, when he made $5.2 million because of option sales. He has appealed for the fine to be based on his 2000 income, which dropped from more than $12.4 million to about $970,000.
In a similar incident last year, a Helsinki court cut a traffic fine against Internet millionaire Jaakko Rytsola for switching lanes too often from $45,000 to $119, after his income showed a dramatic drop. Before this, Rytsola had paid a $74,600 traffic fine, the highest in Finland until Vanjoki?s recent ticket.
Chief police inspector Olli Yliskoski says Finnish authorities are considering changing he way they determine traffic fines. ?They should be proportioned to the danger afflicted,? he says. ?If you fine somebody on the grounds of incomes peaking a certain year it can grow unreasonable.?
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