A Swedish man has been handed what is believed to be the world’s largest speeding fine, which is expected to cost him £650,000.
The 37-year-old man was driving at two and a half times the speed limit in his £140,000 Mercedes when he was pulled over by traffic police in Switzerland. And police said he was travelling so fast it took him some distance to stop.
The motorist was travelling faster than any other person to be caught speeding in the country, according to prosecutors.
In Switzerland, speeding fines are calculated using a formula that takes into consideration on the income of the motorist and the severity of the speed.
The man is now facing the highest possible penalty of 300 days of fines at £2,166 a day – a total of £650,000. “We have no record of anyone being caught travelling faster in the country,” said a police spokesman.
He escaped being zapped by numerous radars en-route simply because he was going too fast and they were incapable of clocking speeds beyond 200kph (125mph). It was a new generation of radar machines that finally caught him travelling at close to 300kph.
However, a new generation of radar machines finally clocked him travelling at close to 186mph on the A12 highway between Bern and Lausanne on Friday.
Giving police a watertight explanation as to why he was travelling so fast, he said: “I think the speedo on the car, which is new, is faulty.”
The police arrested the man, who has not been named, shortly afterward and released him after questioning. Benoît Dumas, a police officer in the region where the six-litre Mercedes SLS was stopped, said: “He needed over half a kilometre of road to come to a halt.”
It’s not the first time someone has had to pay such a hefty fine in Europe for speeding. And even lower speeds can generate big fines.
In January, a Swiss court slapped a $290,000 speeding ticket on a millionaire Ferrari driver who drove 60 mph (nearly twice the 30 mph limit) through a small village.
The head of Finnish communications giant Nokia was ordered to may a $103,000 fine for his speeding ticket in 2002. Officers pulled over Anssi Vanjoki on his cherry red Harley Davidson in Helsinki after he was clocked driving 47 mph in a 31-mph zone.