It's been demonstrated that most speed limits are arbitrary and kind of pointless beyond fueling a money-making scheme, so it's nice to see that Britain is doubling down on them. Actually, they're quadrupling down, by raising the maximum speeding fine to £10,000. That's almost $17,000, in American.
The maximum fine was already £2,500, or more than $4,000.
And, in an even crazier move, the fines for offenses like careless driving and driving without insurance will be completely unlimited, according to the Telegraph. Already, a lot of automotive groups are coming out of the woodwork to condemn the new rules, and a Rupert Lipton, a director of the National Motorists Action Group, pointed out that the new rules seem aimed not at actually deterring speeding, but at increasing the amount of easy convictions for local magistrates:
"This massive increase is disproportionate and draconian," he said.
"I think it will have a serious chilling effect. We will find motorists will be deterred from going to court where they don't believe they are guilty of an offence and there is a potential challenge."
He added: "For general speeding allegations you're allowed to take a fixed penalty, currently £60 and three penalty points on your licence, or agree to complete a speed awareness course.
"But if you wish to challenge it you can currently face six points and a £1,000 fine on non-motorway roads or £2,500 on the motorway.
And all this is coupled with the fact that 62% of speeding fines in the UK in 2012 were handed out not by actual police officers, but by speeding cameras.
The thing is, I totally get why some countries have speeding penalties that are proportional to the driver's income, along with the amount by which they've broken the speed limit. In that regard, the fine actually acts as a deterrent with a legitimate goal towards increasing a perceived notion of safety, rather than what countries like the US and Britain have, which seems like more of an interesting in just increasing the coffers of local authorities.
But a maximum fine of £10,000, while it may be a deterrent to the average driver, seems arbitrary and capricious. Especially when it's handed out not by an actual cop that can take into account road conditions, but by a robot with a lens attached.
Photo credit: Elliott Brown