- 2001: Driver fined $71,400 for driving 43 mph in a 25 mph zone
- 2002: Nokia executive fined $103,000 for going 15 kph over the limit
- 2004: Driver fined 170,000 EUR for going 50 mph in 25 mph zone
So why is the system fascist?
In an ideal world, road behaviors that are truly dangerous, behaviors that are forbidden, and behaviors that are punished, would all be the same thing.
But they are not:
In the real world, people get fined for behaviors that are forbidden, but not dangerous.
In the real world, it is not possible for road engineers to match traffic regulations with actual conditions everywhere, all of time. So they overdo it. They overdo it big time:
- It may be dangerous to drive fast through a certain neighborhood during daytime, but it might not be dangerous to drive by at a speed of 40 mph at three in the morning. Yet, the sign doesn't know what time it is, so a 30 mph speed limit will still apply at three in the morning.
- A stretch of the road may be dangerous in certain weather conditions, but not on a clear sunny day. Yet, a speed limit will be in place regardless of the weather, because the sign can't know that it hasn't been snowing.
- Sometimes a stretch of the road is perfectly safe, such as from the last house in a settlement to the sign that indicates the end of settlement. But signs are expensive, so there will be a low speed limit on the whole stretch of the road up to the sign - even if the road is safe, straight, clear, and tempting.
- Sometimes a speed limit is simply unjustified. The road engineers reduce the speed limit in an effort to reduce accidents - but it has no such effect, and everyone just has to drive slower for no reason.
- In situations when the speed limit is really there for a reason - when almost everyone adheres to it; when there are hardly any mad drivers who break it?
- Or, in situations when the speed limit is there for no apparent reason whatsoever, and people are tempted to break it, because really, how stupid do you feel driving 30 mph on a straight, wide, clear, dry stretch of road?