It’s a slap in the face at 150km/h. Get caught speeding in Australia and you face a fine of up to $2,530 ($1,711.86 USD). What could be more exhilarating?
Australia’s maximum penalty is the equivalent of a reliable second-hand Corolla. But it’s not the highest in the world. Several countries have a more imposing fixed rate, while elsewhere the fine is equivalent to a given portion of the driver’s salary. A fair solution for super-rich speed-hogs who think that a ‘speeding ticket’ is something you buy with your spare change when you want to go over the limit.
More than 1,000 people per day die in speeding-related crashes around the world. Many of these are pedestrians that did nothing wrong except step out onto the road at an unfortunate moment. Since that isn’t deterrent enough for some motorists, Budget Direct decided to highlight the maximum speeding fine in nearly every country (where the top fines are related to income, we used the average national income as a benchmark). And we also identified the 20 highest speeding fines ever.
- The country with the highest speeding fine is Switzerland, where a motorist on an average salary faces a penalty up to $17,908 ($13,320 USD)
- Australia has the world’s 17th highest fine: $2,530 ($1,847 USD), for going 45 km/h over the limit in New South Wales.
- The lowest ‘top fine’ in our study is in Sudan: $0.09 ($0.07 USD).
- The highest speeding penalty ever was issued to the driver of a Mercedes SLS AMG who reached 290 km/h and was fined $1,031,192 ($767,000 USD).
Million-Dollar Penalty for Mercedes-Shaped Blur is World’s Highest Fine
The world’s priciest speeding ticket went to a Swedish tourist doing 290km/h (180mph) on the A12 between Bern and Lausanne - 170km/h over the limit. His Mercedes SLS AMG first evaded detection because many speed traps are unable to clock a speed of that magnitude. “The speedometer must have been on the blink,” the driver told police. “It is not controllable. It must have taken 500m to stop,” was the police statement – along with a $1,031,192 ($767,000 USD) fine.
Belgium is serious about speed. A $304,598 ($226,560 USD) fine for a vehicle doing just 72 km/h (still a significant 22 km/h over the limit) is the highest penalty ever paid outside of Switzerland. Belgian speed offenders are also sent a letter from a driver who has previously killed people by speeding.
Second-placed Canada’s highest set fine is $2,092 ($1,538 USD) for doing 260 km/h or more in Quebec. However, one motorcyclist was fined $12,992 ($9,485 USD) for going at twice the speed limit in Alberta. The 34-year-old out-sped cops but his bike was later recognized. He paid extra in a deal to keep his license.
South America’s top standard speeding fine is five times the cost of the next closest in the region. This is in Argentina, where putting the pedal to the metal can result in a $4,996 ($3,694 USD) fine. However, one local mayor was imprisoned for illegally installing a speed camera and falsifying citations to make a quick buck. His penalty? Three years in jail.
Paraguay has one of the lowest top fines in the world. You’ll be charged $0.17 ($0.13 USD) for exceeding 60 km/h on avenues, 50 km/h on streets and paved roads, or 30 km/h on cobbled streets. If the threat of fines or danger of killing somebody isn’t enough to slow you down, the road quality might – fewer than 15% of Paraguayan roads are thought to be suitable for non-4x4 cars.
Some of Europe’s top-earning countries calculate fines in relation to the offender’s wage. This means that Switzerland and Finland are the most expensive places to get caught even if the fine is pegged to the average national income. In the UK, salary-adjusted penalties come into play if the driver refuses to plead guilty. You might also get extra penalty points on your license, compared to if you plead guilty and avoid a court appearance.
Middle East & Central Asia
Lebanon has the highest top speeding fine in the Middle East thanks to a whopping $2,669 ($1,985 USD) bill for exceeding the speed limit by 60 km/h or more. However, fines as low as $182 ($132 USD) are possible for slighter infringements.
At the other end of the scale, five countries have two-figure fines (Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Turkmenistan). Syria’s speeding fines equate to just a few cents. In Jordan, you might be ordered to serve a two-four-month prison sentence in addition to paying a $379 ($282 USD) fine if caught more than 70km/h over the limit.
Rest of Asia & Oceania
Australia has the highest speeding fines in the region, but it depends which state you’re in: New South Wales leads the way with a $2,350 ($1,712 USD) penalty for going 45 km/h over the limit. Close behind in the region, though, is Brunei, where a second offence costs you $2,003 ($1,484 USD) and six months imprisonment.
Those figures put Australia and Brunei way ahead of next closest, Vietnam ($709.11/$527.73 USD). However, the Australian and Vietnamese figures even out when you take average local wage into account.
Uganda has the highest speeding fines in Africa ($2,290/$1,702 USD) – and they’re nearly three times higher than nearest challenger, Cote d'Ivoire ($875/$643 USD). The Ugandan government increased the fine at the start of 2020 as part of an overhaul of motoring rules. Other updates included the need for garages and spare parts dealers to become licensed and mandatory licensing for ‘boda boda’ motorcycle taxis.
Morocco is among those nations that reward culpability. Confess and pay on the spot, and you pay only 150 Moroccan dirhams. But delay the inevitable, and you’ll need to pay double: around $45 ($33 USD). However, it is worth being aware that Moroccan police are commonly said to take advantage of this loophole by pocketing the cash and sending you on your way without a receipt.
As annoying as speeding fines are, remember that wherever you are in the world the maximum punishment for speeding is death – yours and the passengers, motorists, and pedestrians around you. Observe the speed limit, friends!
Disclaimer: This information is general in nature only and does not constitute personal advice. While Neomam has endeavoured to ensure the information relied on is accurate and current, Budget Direct does not guarantee it and accepts no liability for this information.
Methodology & sources
To determine the maximum speeding fine in every country, we reviewed government sites, press releases, and other sources to compile a list of the maximum speeding fine in every country where data is available.
For countries where speeding fines are based on income, we calculated the potential speeding ticket value for a driver with the median income of that country. For countries in which the value of a speeding ticket is based on some unit of account tied to the median salary within the country, we calculated the maximum speeding fine using the most current values available.
Harsher penalties based on exceeding the speed limit multiple times within a year were excluded. We logged the maximum listed fine for speeding, and excluded fines listed for harsher crimes such as reckless driving or speed racing that can be associated with driving speed.
Data was collected in August 2021.
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