I recently ran across an interesting article about a Swiss Court fining a speeder $290, 000. Apparently the court decided to base the fine on the offender’s $20M net worth. Apparently he/she is a repeat offender and was traveling at a little more then 1.7x the posted speed limit (137 km/hour in an 80 km/hour zone).
This an interesting problem…
On the one hand, it doesn’t seem fair to hit someone with a higher fine just because they have more money in the bank. On the other hand, while a “typical” speeding fine might really strain a poor person’s budget, it wouldn’t even register for a wealthy person. Thus, as long as you have enough money, you can essentially ignore things like speed limits, at least from a financial perspective.
Of course, there are other types of punishment available, such as suspending a driver’s license. But this still begs the question… Is it fair to index punitive measures such as speeding fines to an offender’s ability to pay? Is it fair not to do this? What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.