• Jan 8, 2010
Switzerland doesn't mess around when it comes to speeding tickets. Get caught with a lead foot in the land of Alpine vistas and serious chocolate and the cost of your transgression won't be based on a flat rate for the infraction, it will be based on how wealthy you are. An unnamed driver of a Ferrari Testarossa found this out the hard way when he was caught driving 85 miles per hour through the village of St. Gallen. According to the BBC News, the driver was a repeat offender and his crime was going 35 mph over the speeding limit.

The punishment? How about £180,000 ($290,000 in U.S. funds), or enough money to purchase two or three Testarossas on eBay. That ungodly sum is reported to be more than double the previously costliest ticket, though we're pretty sure the new record holder probably isn't celebrating. Don't feel too bad for the unnamed offender, though, as he is reportedly worth $22.7 million and he owns a villa and five luxury cars. We don't know about you, but we've certainly pulled back our tears. Thanks for the tips, everyone!

[Source: BBC News | Image: Andrew Reddington/Getty]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      dont feel bad for him? most rich people ive met are greedy and stingy... this will definitely hurt the man.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds Very American
      • 5 Years Ago
      Also...yes, a Ferrari can handle speeds of 85, and well beyond. That doesn't necessarily mean that the owner is a good, or even responsible driver.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Even if the driver were skilled, the pedestrian crossing the road has an expectation of how quickly vehicles are moving. No matter the car or driver, you can't take away that expectation.

        The fine is absurd, but some kind of fine is justified.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I bet his name is German for Shoe Maker
      • 5 Years Ago
      From TFA: "The penalty was calculated based on the unnamed motorist's wealth". I wonder if that works the other way too? Low income people should get accordingly lower fines, without losing their significance.
      • 5 Years Ago
      this is like a week old..........the guys at AB need to WAKE UP.
      there were sooo many stupid stories they blogged when this thing came out - this could have easily replaced.
        • 5 Years Ago
        calm down bud ill go get you some cranberry juice
      • 5 Years Ago
      "This is what used to separate the US from the rest of the world... the principle that justice is not a respector of men, but a respector of the LAW."


      Riiiiiite.....the US has the world's best justice system eh? Are you out of your f**ing mind?



      "Graduating punishment based on wealth is a blatant and inherent bias against success or wealth."

      And you're telling that about....Switzerland? Switzerland's government is hard at work protecting the interests of its industries, and minting millionaires unlike any other country on earth (except Singapore). But according to you, there is "evidence of a bias against wealth". My god you're clueless.

      "The sad bit is... Europe has likely always had some of that sort of class warfare, both directions, since feudal times, and the aristocracy became established."

      WOW! I guess you thought: Let's add a bit of unrelated Historical data to make it sound smarter.

      "The REALLY sad bit is, the US, which was created to avoid that, is now following down that path, policy wise."

      There you go, classic tea-partier, brainwashed after hours in front of the TV without a mind on its own. All is fears, fear-mongering, the world is coming to an end uuh and Barack Obama is an evil dictator *whine*.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ^haha, no. they just go into more debt.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow...what a bunch of socialist pricks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        B/c they are inserting socialist ideology into their justice system. If I murder someone, should my punishment be based on the crime or my personal wealth? A traffic violation, while obviously a much less severe crime, should be handled in the same manner. The punishment should reflect the severity of the crime and should be equal for EVERYONE who commits the same crime. That is the very foundation of our justice system in the US...and if people can't understand or agree with that fundamental idea of equality and fairness, they need to pull their heads out of their collective asses.
        • 5 Years Ago
        agreed
        • 5 Years Ago
        How does that have anything to do with socialism? Socialism is an economic system, not a justice system.

        The driver committed a crime, and he got punished for that crime. Charging him $100 and sending him on his merry way does nothing to protect the people of the village he was speeding through.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Eh:

        "Jail time is a completely different situation and has nothing to do with a persons income because the PUNISHMENT would be the same."

        No it wouldn't. Guy making $80 a day loses $800 for 10 day jail sentence. Guy making $1,000 a day loses $10,000. To make it equal, guy making $1,000 should get 1/100th jail sentence of the minimum wage (assuming minimum wage $10). Only then it is fair. Don't like it anymore, Eh?

        Not to mention that proportionally paying fines, to be fair, should also involve vote weight where your vote is PROPORTIONAL to your IRS receipt. Like it even less. Eh?

        Sorry, I just can't stand "I wanna have my cake, but I wanna eat it, too". Let's grow up a little bit, shall we?
        • 5 Years Ago
        05Z88Path you clearly just dont understand the concept of punishment. Buying bread is not a punishment and has nothing to do with the topic. There is no socialist version of punishment. Punishment is punishment, it is supposed to hurt the person being punished in some fashion as a form of discipline. Punishing a millionaire with a small fine is like punishing your son by not allowing him to play with toys that he doesnt play with anymore.
        • 5 Years Ago
        05Z88Path

        You can try a hundred time, but this has nothing (zero, nada) to do with Socialism.
        I urge you, for the sake of constructive discussion, to get yourself an education....you're clueless.

        You're a reflection of the many clueless American "Tea-Partiers" who whine and shout "socialism!" when the government doesn't follow their absurd ideas.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mqa

        I happen to have an engineering degree from a very a prestigious university thank-you very much. But I must have slept through the class where they explained why the world should adhere to Socialist, Marxist, or communist ideas. And maybe the next time you are happily and willingly robbed by the government you'll rethink which one of us is in fact clueless. I'll be over here taking care of myself with my hard earned money and not looking for hand-outs...
        • 5 Years Ago
        switzerland is one of the purest capitalist democracies in the world, and this is actually capitalism in action-charging this guy his willingness to pay/what the market will bear. but see, you can't grasp that. did you know the old penalty in st gallen for going that much (double) over the speed limit? jail and impounded car. was that socialism? no? so how is a lesser, and completely monetary, penalty for breaking the same law (remember, he was breaking a law, aka doing something illegal) "socialism"? jesus christ, what is going on in people's minds sometimes?
        • 5 Years Ago
        People all too often throw around the accusation of "socialism" W/O really knowing what socialism is (people who do so either aren't that bright or are just too lazy to try to understand the intricacies and instead, resort to using, or in this case misusing hot-button/controversial terms/words.

        If anything (putting an economic model spin on this incident), this would be an example of "free market" punishment (imposing a fine in the amount which "the market", in this case, a person, would be able to bear).

        A Socialist, or more accurately, a Communist method of punishment (in theory), would be to impose the SAME amount of fine for everybody (treating everyone "equally" - not that it ever has actually happened in current or former Communist states).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Listen to yourselves! What's next, he has to pay $1,000 for a loaf of bread just b/c he can afford it? It's the reason people aspire to be wealthy...SO THEY CAN AFFORD THINGS! Just b/c a $200 fine would seem like nothing to a millionaire doesn't mean that the fine isn't fair...it simply means that the man is successful. You shouldn't want higher fines...you should want higher income!!!!! Get it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You said punishment, a $200 fine for someone who has $22m is NOT a punishment. Charging someone who makes minimum wage or has no job at all $200 for the same crime as someone who has $22m also has nothing to do with equality and fairness, the poor person will be unable to pay all of their bills because of that fine which will create a snowball effect making them owe a lot more money and go through a huge amount of stress and panic while the rich person isnt affected in the slightest bit.

        When dealing with punishment and money then it has to be based on the persons income otherwise its not fair. Imagine a more serious crime where the punishment is a $200,000 fine, the guy making 22 million has nothing to fear because he could pay that easily while the poor person would have their life destroyed.

        Jail time is a completely different situation and has nothing to do with a persons income because the PUNISHMENT would be the same.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed with that. Let's make laws that penalize people for being successful, work on a sliding scale, and offer ZERO equity. Ahhh... another perfect Socialist utopia.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's not exact: he was driving at 60 mph where the speed limit was 30mph, and then at 85mph where the speed limit was 60mph.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wish I made enough $$ to speed through Switerzland.
      I think that will be my new litmus test for true wealth.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ouch I still feel bad for him. He was doing 85 in a ferrari which is more than capable of driving safely at these speeds. Even if you think he did deserve a ticket I think 1000 should be enough and certainly no more than 5000. 35 mph over is not that fast.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @pirate

        I was also once jailed for 92 through chesapeake . I had no previous tickets so they let me go after about 12 hours. Had to come back weeks later and beg and plead in court.

        Now chesapeake is the only town where i drive the absolute speed limit. Not even 1 mile over.
        • 5 Years Ago
        1000? You'd get a higher ticket in the USA plus they'd impound your car and throw you in jail.

        I say he deserved a $4000 fine, jail time and a revoked license.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Read closer: he was doing 85 THROUGH A VILLAGE. You know, those places that have pedestrians, schools, etc? Seems to me that 50 mph should be more than adequate for getting through town. 85 is definitely excessive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Serves you right, everyone knows not to speed in Virginia.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As far as ridiculous fines and penalties go, the Commonwealth of VA should still take the cake. Personally experienced 72 hours in jail for going 92 in a 65 (with no prior speeding tickets more than 9 mph over)
    • Load More Comments