The $58,000 Speeding Ticket

The $58,000 Speeding Ticket

When's the last time you got a speeding ticket? I’m sure the cost was less than the ticket Reima Kuisla received.

Kuisla lives in Finland, where he was caught driving 65 mph in a 50 mph zone by police.

His fine: nearly $58,000.

In Finland, the fine you pay for moving violations is based on your annual income. Kuisla earned $7 million last year, according to his tax return.

Here in the United States, traffic fines are regressive. If you're income is $30,000 a year, a $100 traffic ticket is a much bigger deal to you than if you earn $300,000 a year.

Finland wanted to make the cost of a moving violation as meaningful to a rich person as to a poor person. They thought people who are rich won’t slow down if the penalty is immaterial.

Is this good public policy? I'll let you decide.