I hate getting speeding tickets. That sinking feeling you get in your gut when you realize, crap, I'm boned, is just about the worst there is. And compared to some of us Jalops, I've had it easy. It also looks like I've had it easy compared to one particular Finn who got a $60,000 ticket. That's insane. But, on further inspection, maybe not crazy.
At first glance, a car-priced speeding ticket — €54,024, if you're using that kooky moon-man Euro money — seems just absolutely absurd. Especially when you consider his speeding wasn't even all that egregious — 64 in a 50 MPH zone.
But when you start looking into how Finland prices its speeding tickets, it starts to make more sense. Unlike the US, where there's flat rates for violations like speeding, based on the speed and location and all that, in Finland the fee is based on a percentage of your daily income, which they compute from your previous year's tax return. The speeder, Reima Kuisla, is a businessman who earned over $7 million dollars last year. Sixty grand isn't going to kill him, but it will sting, at least a little bit.
And that right there is the point. Many of us have certainly been at points in our broke-ass lives where a single poorly-timed speeding ticket fee meant a lot of pain. Other things would get put off, savings may have been plundered, and it took a huge toll. In my broke-ass just-post-college years, me doing something stupid in my car that cost me $500 or so would have meant a nice shitty, lean month, at least.
But, if you're as rich as Kuisla, you can shrug off a $500 or even $1000 ticket without even thinking about it. The consequences of your actions just have much less impact than they would to someone with much less money, even though the violation is the same. And I can see the argument why that's not fair.
Now, I'm certain not everyone will agree with me, and, not shockingly, Kuisla doesn't. He ranted on his FB page:
"Ten years ago I wouldn't have believed that I would seriously consider moving abroad. Finland is impossible to live in for certain kinds of people who have high incomes and wealth."
Hold on, it's hard for me to see the screen with all these tears in my eyes. Okay, that's better.
So, yes, while to most of us, a $60,000 speeding ticket seems absolutely, life-ruiningly bonkers, to this guy, it's actually the same as a normal ticket would be for most of us: shitty, but he'll get over it.
Besides, this guy seems to own a bunch of racehorses. Maybe he can take one of those to the airport next time?