South Africa’s speeding fines vs the world

Car rental company Avis has compiled a list of speeding fines across the world – including South Africa – and how each country differs when punishing those who refuse to stick to the limit.

South Africa’s fine system is relatively tame compared to some countries across globe.

Fines for speeding, under AARTO, start at R250 for anything over 10kmph over the speed limit, and extend to R1,500 past 40kmph over the limit. Anything beyond that, motorists face criminal charges and will have to appear in court.

According to the AA, there is an ‘unwritten’ grace of around 10kmph where law enforcement authorities may give leeway before issuing fines, though this is not a guarantee.

In contrast, many other countries differ in how they punish speedsters, with many punishments extending beyond a simple fine.

In Japan, limit breakers could lose state employment on top of a fine and compulsory driving school classes, while in Norway, 10% of your annual income is added to speeding tickets, and citizens could also face jail time.

In the United Arab Emirates your vehicle could be confiscated for up to 30 days, while in Brazil, Canada and other countries, fines can be multiplied, depending on the severity of the speeding.

Finland has a unique fining system that effectively has no limit. It uses a “day-fine” system, where, like Norway, fines are determined by income.

Fines in Finland are adjusted so that all law-breakers feel the impact of the offence. According to Avis, a Nokia executive caught speeding in 2002 was fined 116,000 euros, as his salary was 14 million euros at the time.

The table below details the minimum and maximum fines across the world, listed by highest maximum.

All fines were converted from local currency to dollars for the comparison, and GDP per capita has been included as a reference.

In terms of GDP per capita, Canada, Brazil and Portugal hit road users the hardest, where a maximum fine could consume between 12% and 16% of GDP per capita – but because of their income-based fining systems, Finland and Norway are by far the harshest.

Country Urban Speed Limit (kmph) Motorway Speed Limit (kmph) Fine Min (USD) Fine Max (USD) GDP per Capita (USD)
Finland 50 120 7 No limit 49 823
Canada 40 120 2 8 042 50 235
UK 50 120 152 3 809 46 332
Belgium 50 120 56 3 056 47 352
Portugal 50 130 67 2 783 22 132
Australia 50 130 83 1 836 61 925
France 50 130 74 1 683 42 732
Brazil 60 120 17 1 531 11 384
Norway 50 110 76 1 147 97 307
Ireland 50 120 87 916 54 374
Germany 50 130 16 760 47 821
Spain 50 120 111 667 29 767
USA 48 129 45 600 54 629
Japan 40 100 72 483 36 194
Netherlands 50 110 28 448 52 172
New Zealand 50 100 21 447 44 342
Sweden 50 120 237 310 58 938
UAE 50 130 109 272 43 962
Switzerland 50 120 42 260 85 594
Turkey 50 120 123 256 10 515
Denmark 50 130 41 129 60 707
Hong Kong 50 110 41 129 40 169
South Africa 60 120 17 100 6 482
Russia 60 110 9 94 12 735
Mexico 50 120 31 93 10 325
India 60 120 6 16 1 581
Pakistan 60 120 2 5 1 316

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South Africa’s speeding fines vs the world