The need for speed is an unquenchable one. For those who have the thirst for it, there is no telling how far they would go to achieve the high of experiencing the ultimate buzz of becoming a blur at over 200 miles an hour. Traffic authorities around the world have had to deal with these speed merchants to keep the streets safe. Driving recklessly at high speeds has been the second highest cause of traffic accidents and it seems that regardless of what kind of restrictions and penalties are placed, there will always be somebody who decides to give the traffic police a tough day at office.
In countries like Canada, the US, Holland, Australia, Poland, and South Africa, you could have your car impounded for an extended period of time if you are caught speeding. In Iran, you will almost invariably face prison time if you are caught driving over speeding limits and maybe even a flogging if there are other offenses involved such as carrying a pet in the car.
What’s a matter of concern is that in speeding tickets in California and most other jurisdictions are awarded to the owner of the vehicle, regardless of who the perpetrator is. For instance, there was the incident in Perth, Australia where an expensive Lambhorghini was impounded even when the offense was committed by the mechanic who had serviced the car. The owner who was a doctor had to pay the price by losing custody of the vehicle for a long time.
Another incident entails the Bugatti Veyron driven by a twenty year old who was obviously thinking what was the point of having the world’s fastest (and costliest) car at your disposal if you can’t go at 160 miles per hour on an 80 mile road? Well, the consequence of that thought was that his father ended up losing custody of the EUR 1.8 million car for good. The owner of the ill fated Veyron is Michel Perridon, the founder of Trust International, which manufactures high quality computer peripherals in Europe.
Another claimant to the highest speeding ticket ever was a diplomat from Guinea-Bissau who was caught behind a Ferrari Testarossa blazing away at more than 85 mph through an East Switzerland village. In this instance, the penalty was calculated based on the motorist’s personal wealth, which resulted in the offender paying a $290,000 fine. Although claiming diplomatic immunity allowed him to keep his name confidential, there was no way going around paying the fine.
The previous record holder for the biggest speeding ticket was Jussi Salonoja who paid around US$ 200,000 in fines. Jussi was the heir to a northern European meatpacking empire in Finland.
California speeding tickets alone run into tens of thousands of dollars every year, and although there has been some reduction in speeding offenses, enough people are killed in accidents related to speeding to make the statistics dubious at best.