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Coming bill seeks to reform traffic fines

In 2017 Parliament is set to begin work on a new proposal whereby almost all criminal traffic penalties will be replaced with an administrative fee. The move aims to lighten the workload of Finland's criminal justice system. Daily penalties would only be issued for the most grievous traffic offenses.

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Speeding may no longer be a crime in Finland in future. Image: AOP

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is preparing a broad road traffic law reform that could change the traffic offense penalty system.

Minister of Transport and Communications, Anne Berner, has yet to make any specific comment on the contents of the proposal. However, she says that the comprehensive reform will undergo a consultations round in February or March, meaning it would make it to Parliament later in 2017.

Speeding no longer a crime?

Currently all road traffic violations are treated as criminal offenses. The Ministry now proposes that minor violations such as meagre speeding should not go through the entire Finnish criminal justice system.

Under the new law, speeding tickets would be replaced with a so-called administrative fee which would not need to be handled in a court.

Ordinary traffic violations would thus no longer be crimes but would be considered a form of deception, comparable to fudging one's taxes.

The new law in process would also almost entirely do away with daily penalties for traffic violations. The law would still allow for daily penalties, but only in especially aggravated cases. The day-based fining system has been in place since 1983.

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