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Old 01-07-2010, 08:52 AM   #1
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Don't speed in Switzerland


Switzerland millionaire hit by record speed fine

A Swiss millionaire has been handed down a record speeding fine of $290,000 (180,000) by a court. The man was reportedly caught driving a red Ferrari Testarossa at 137km/h (85mph) through a village.

The penalty was calculated based on the unnamed motorist's wealth - assessed by the court as $22.7m (14.1m) - and because he was a repeat offender.

It is more than double Switzerland's previous record speeding fine - handed to a Porsche driver in Zurich in 2008.

In the latest case, the motorist was clocked speeding 57km/h (35mph) faster than the limit, according to a statement on the website of the cantonal court in St Gallen, in eastern Switzerland.

"The accused ignored elementary traffic rules with a powerful vehicle out of a pure desire for speed," the court said in its judgement.

Swiss media reported that the man owns a villa with five luxury cars, including the Ferrari.

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Old 01-07-2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:45 AM   #3
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As an expat, currently living in Basel Switzerland on a 2yr assignment with work, I can attest this is very believable! First, you can get sent a lovely speeding ticket in the mail even for doing 5MPH over the limit by one of the many speed cameras scattered across the motorway. Ergo, everyone drives at the same speed on the highway--it's very nice actually. don't have to keep an eye out for idiots excessively speeding--it's very very rare. Everything changes when you cross the border into Germany.

Here in Switzerland, if your speed exceeds the limit by a certain amount (20-30 I think depending on the location) your fine is indeed a percentage of your wealth. And in fact, I think it's not just your income. Here you get hit with a "wealth tax" each year on not only your income but ALL assets (house/car value, savings etc..). They even go so far as to tax you on potential income from assets. So if you have a second house or condo somewhere they tax you on the potential rent you could receive even if you are not renting it.

Having said that, you don't need to worry about speeding in Switzerland because you don't really need to own a car here. I know several people who dont. the numerous taxes help to pay for what I believe is the best public transport system in the world. You can use trams and trains to go anywhere you need to. I have a car here and have put less than two tanks of gas in it over 12mos. You sort of get punished here for owning a car and rewarded for walking/biking/tramming. While the USA is too spread out to build such a system as efficiently, there is a lot to learn from this country. It will be very hard for me to leave at the end of this year.

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Old 01-08-2010, 04:54 AM   #4
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P.S. also believable as Switzerland has the most ferrari's per capita of any country in the world. my apartment building only has 10 flats yet there are 3 Ferraris in the garage. Along with 2 Maseratis, a new Aston Vantage and some winter beaters (beemers of course). It's pretty sickening.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:00 AM   #5
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If I had that kind of cash, I'd have just paid it twice and told the judge "this is for next time" just to screw with his head....

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