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Petty fine revenue doubles in two years

State coffers swelled last year with a big jump in the amount raised from petty fines. From September 2015 government nearly doubled the amount charged in fixed penalties for offences like speeding, and last year the number of speeding offences punished by police also rose by a third.

Poliisin valvontakemera.
Speed cameras are a productive investment for the state. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Residents of Finland were charged 42 million euros in petty fines last year, which is nearly double the amount handed over in 2014.

Only 92-95 percent of fines are actually paid, so the final revenue figure is likely to be around 39 to 40 million euros. That's still behind expectations from the government, which had budgeted between 38 and 45 million euros in fine revenue.

Speed cameras flashed some 556,000 times in 2016, an increase of about a third on the previous year.

The increased revenue is also down to higher fines. In September 2015 fines jumped from between 70 and 115 euros to between 140 and 200 euros.

Fine income also got a boost in 2016 when the threshold for speeding fines was lowered, meaning that motorists travelling at 7km/h over the speed limit will be fined. Previously the limit was 8km/h above the speed limit.

The Justice Ministry estimates that some 85 percent of all petty fines are levied for speeding, but they can be imposed for offences like driving without a seatbelt or disorderly conduct.

Not all cameras are always operational, but even those not flashing have a deterrent effect. This year the police listed the locations of some 22 cameras that will be operational over Easter.

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