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System error causes double and triple fines for speeding motorists

Thousands of motorists caught on camera were likely surprised upon receiving multiple speeding tickets in the mail.

Nopeusvalvontakameroita kehätiellä Helsingissä.
Photo of automated roadside traffic speed camera. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Police said on Twitter that a system error at the Police Traffic Safety Centre was responsible for some drivers receiving double or triple fines over the past few days.

"Because of an error in a system update at the Police Traffic Safety Centre, some customers may have received triple speeding fines or warnings. Fines with the same date and reference number should be paid just once. The rest can be ignored," police tweeted on Wednesday morning.

As a result of the system error, a total of 5,000 fines and warnings were issued. Of them, 3,500 were double notifications, while 1,500 represented triple notices. Director of the Police Traffic Safety Centre Dennis Pasterstein said that the notifications were issued on three consecutive days.

Police said later on Wednesday that the error had now been fixed. Pasterstein added that he did not believe that anyone would have paid the extra fines.

"You can see as soon as you open them that they are the same. They are completely identical. The Legal Register Centre will provide a refund to anyone who has paid multiple times," the police officer pointed out.

Extra payments to be refunded

Pasterstein said that his understanding is that the Legal Register Centre tracks bank transfers and if several payments have the same reference number, the Centre will refund the money to the bank account from which the extra was paid. He said this procedure was being used because the issue affected only a small number of people.

The traffic safety chief said that the department had already received enquiries from members of the public about the matter. He noted that many people wanted to make sure that the Centre was aware of the problem.

"It seemed that after the double [fines] nothing else would happen. But then on Monday morning when there were triples, then people started to react. It appeared that the people who called didn’t take it badly. No one was raging," he explained.

"However it has created unnecessary work for us here as well as for those who have received these notifications. It is unfortunate," he concluded.

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