Let me tell you a story, which in this case happens to be the truth.
I was traveling with a good friend. We were late for a meeting so when we picked up our hire car at Salt Lake City airport my friend drove I-15 north a little faster than normal, and his normal was pretty fast.
We were making up time until a police car pulled out behind us. My friend handed over his passport and license, and we waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, the policeman came back and said he didn’t know how to process a British license, so he gave my friend a form as a formal record that he had been stopped and let him off.
When we returned to the UK my friend put the form up on his office wall, and bragged about getting away with being caught speeding. Great, only someone took the 16 digit reference number from the form and gave it to the girls in the travel department. They then rang him up, recited the number, and told him the Utah police had sent the company a bill for speeding … and the company policy was that the individual was responsible for payment, all $500 of it.
My friend went ballistic. I think the only words he used on the phone which can be printed in this blog were “no” and “off.”
I followed along, you know, for support, as he stormed over to the travel office, where he found two girls rolling around in hysterics.
Before you go sympathizing with my tormented friend, do you know how much some people pay for speeding tickets? If you said a couple of hundred dollars then you probably don’t live in Finland. Ok, ok, Finland doesn’t use the dollar, but even if they did, you still don’t live there. Why? Because they have traffic fines that’d make your eye water.
For example, Anssi Vanjoki was CEO of Nokia when he received a speeding ticket. No big deal, right? He’s the CEO of a big corporation, he’s going to pay it off and be more careful next time. Er, no. Finland assigns fines on two factors:
- the severity of the incident (46 in a 30 mph area), and
- the offender’s income ($5.2M).
Anssi was caught on his Harley-Davidson doing 46mph in a 30 mph area and his fine was assessed at $103,000. Now I don’t pretend to understand law, but I’m thinking it wasn’t the extra 16 mph that swung the size of his fine.
Mind you, like my friend, the guy has a sense of humor. Right after he was fined, he showed off Nokia’s latest phone at a trade fair. His ring tone? A roar of motorbikes accompanied by police sirens.
Nordic people have a thing for fast cars and Vanjoki might have imported American muscle into Finland, but the US imports plenty of muscle from the Nordic countries. Sweden, for example, is the home of Saab and Volvo, the very forefront of safe and stodgy, not the place you normally associate with motoring muscle.
Not unless you can pronounce the word Koenigsegg.
Founded in 1994, Koenigsegg began life purely to produce supercars. A pretty ambitious idea in a world well served by historic names. But Koenigsegg had an publicity ace up its sleeve.
It’s broad, it’s wide, it’s tall, and it may not be the largest state in the Union, but you could be forgiven for being convinced by a Texan that it is. And it isn’t just the scale of the place that’s big, some of the tales that come out of it are, too.
Apparently, in May 2003 a contestant in the San Francisco to Miami Gumball Rally was pulled over in west Texas, in a 75 mph zone. Predictably, he wasn’t doing 75. The Gumball contestant had his Koenigsegg CCR pretty much maxed out. If it wasn’t actually maxed out, the difference is academic. The guy or gal was supposedly clocked at 242 mph.
Two hundred and forty two miles an hour! That’s three times faster than some light aircraft. Yep, everything’s bigger in Texas. In fact, that is supposed to be the fastest speeding ticket ever, and if you’re going to sell outrageously expensive supercars there’s no better endorsement.
What about you? Tickets in your past? Near misses? Stories?
Or are you resisting putting your foot down in that factory fresh Koenigsegg, at least until wide open west Texas beckons?
PS – No, I’m not endorsing speeding, especially if you think you want to break this record.
This will likely raise ire and eyebrows, but I chance it anyway, because I am only semi-caffeinated at 5:48 a.m.
I married a cop–retired now. During his 34 years, he worked his way up the ranks and, as Asst Chief, no longer did what he loved to do: chase bad guys.
Okay, I’m the first to raise my eyebrows at that sentence. If you had asked me what profession my future husband would be in, this wild child would have place “law enforcement” near the bottom of the list. But, I digress…
Late for a flight out of Newark, NJ airport, I sped along the Garden State Parkway. And, got caught in one of those speed traps where you zing past a patrol car, hit the brakes, and sigh in relief that he’s not chasing you. But, 2 miles up the road, another police officer is trolling along waving over those speeders caught by his compadre. BUMMER!
When it was my turn to meet Tyrone, I did the old, “My husband told me being late for a flight wouldn’t get me out of a speeding ticket. And, he’s a cop, so I guess he knows. *sigh* Here’s my license.”
Tyrone’s response(s): 1. Your husband’s a cop? 2. Where? 3. See those other cars lined up behind you? 4. I can’t just let you go, or I’ll make them mad. Wait here and I’ll let you off with a warning.
I still missed my flight and spent three glorious hours in Newark Airport waiting for the next one — which is punishment enough (in my humble opinion).
Wow, punishment indeed! What’d your husband have to say about it? lol
LOL. I suspect that your marrying a policeman was the Universes way of keeping the Cosmo in balance!
I’m going to practice sighing, so that I can do the wife’s a cop routine and stand any chance of getting away with it 🙂
Awesome post! I had no idea & had never thought about speeding tickets in other countries. Wonder what the fine was for 242 mph in a 75mph zone would be? lol Could you imagine the insurance companies reaction? ROFL! Considering that’s about 40% over the speed limit, wonder if the rate increased by that much?
This post sparked a rather long story so I hope you don’t mind me using you for inspiration. Trust me, you do NOT want me to post this story in the comments (it’s much to long). Love to know what you think if you have time.
I read your story but I couldn’t log in to leave a comment. Sounds like you were “lucky” in the near death experience sort of way! Once a car is spinning you really don’t have any hope of regaining control. Sadly, mass beats engineering most times. And usually the people with the mass are the people who should least have it!
Glad you’re still with us!
Thanks for letting me know about the blog comment! I was wondering why I had gotten zero comments the last few days but was seeing a nice jump in traffic. Looks like when I was fiddling the other day I changed one of the setting unintentionally and didn’t realize it. So thank you very much!
Yeah, that was a definite lesson in science. I have had a much healthier respect for all things fast and healthy wariness of semi’s ever since! lol
Have a great day Nigel!
My brother is flying to S.C. tonight to pick up my son’s new car and drive it back to TX. It’s a fast car (not a Koenigsegg) but my brother is a notorious speeder. He and another guy were doing 130 driving south on 1-35. People driving called the police and complained from the road. He was driving my hubby’s E55 AMG Mercedes which was a special ordered color called Techtite Grey. It looked black going past you at 130, but was really a charcoal grey. He and the other car got stuck behind some slower moving vehicles and at that time the police pulled the two speeding cars over (although at this time neither were speeding.) The police man told him they had gotten calls about a black Mercedes traveling at high speeds. My brother said with a completely serious face, “Well obviously that couldn’t have been me, since this car is clearly grey.” The cop let him go. And I think he keep it under 85 the rest of the way home.
When I was 18, I traveled the state of Nebraska for my job. There were long stretches in the middle of nowhere where the speed limit was 55, but most people did about 75. I was doing at least that when I got pulled over. But I was freaking out worrying that the cop would think I stole the car I was driving. I had just bought a new car, and they had taken my plates off my old car and had put them on the new one, and all my paperwork for the new car was not in my glovebox, but at home in a pile to take to the DMV when I got home. I was imagining my parents having to drive 8 hours to come get me out of jail. When the cop asked for my license and registration, i handed him my license and starting talking really fast. I was like, “Here’s my license, and I don’t have my registration because I just stole this car a couple days ago….” He laughed at me and sent me on my way without even a warning. I also may have cried a couple times to get out of tickets, but I won’t say for sure.
ROFL! You’re so funny Jillian! Love both of your stories! Wish I were brave enough to drive 130 – at about 90 I get nervous.
No man has a chance against you, Jill.
LOL. Only a couple of times, Jill? Are you sure? 😉
Got caught speeding in an E55 AMG, eh? Would that be the plain vanilla sort, or the supercharged one? Either way, I’m just filled with sympathy … Actually, I am filled with sympathy, it’d drive me nuts to have anything seriously fast and drive everywhere on 60 mph roads. I’d get a ticket leaving the parking lot!
Great stories, Jill, and I’ll be sure to keep an on on the news tonight for any mention of your brother being chased by police 🙂
I feel like the biggest nerd, no speeding ticket tales in my wagon. Perhaps because I’m pulling a wagon. Zero to 60 in… Zzzzzzzz.
I stole a stick of gum when I was five. Still feel the stabbing pangs of guilt over that one.
Stick of gum?! I thought I recognized you, you were on America’s most wanted last week. Your icon is more flattering that the hand sketched thing they use though. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on my chewing gum if we meet!
Pulling a wagon? I presume you mean a van, in which case, I’m with you. We have a Honda Odyssey but it goes pretty well. At least when it doesn’t have a half a dozen people in it, which is, of course, the reason for having a van … zzzzzzzz
Brace yourself, because I’m about to tell you the saddest story you’ve every heard:
My dad had a 1966 Corvette Stingray convertible with the 427 big-block, three-barrel racing carb, lumpy cam, tall gears, the whole works.
I never got to drive it.
About 12 years ago, my Dad gave the ‘Vette to my brother, who garaged it. It’s never been started since.
‘Scuse me while I weep.
So no. No exciting speeding tickets here. The only one I ever got was for going 49 km/hr (in a 30 zone I didn’t see). Sad but true.
LOL. That’s just cruel. I know people who have a pre-1900 steam car and I’ve even seen that one the road. I’ll weep with you on that one. On the bright side, I’m sure you have less speeding tickets!
PS Please don’t tell me it was open top …
Oh, yes. Yes it was. 🙁
I’m going to sign off now. I’m sure you’d hate to see a grown man cry.
I try to never speed except in unusual circumstances. I have come close to receiving one speeding ticket in my life. It was in Texas. I was just going to shut up and pay it because I was speeding. The cop saw some military items in my car and asked if I was in the military. When I told him that I was he decided to not write the ticket. I felt bad trading on my uniform and told him that it was ok and that he should just go ahead and write the ticket because I was indeed speeding. We argued for a few minutes and finaly I gave up.
I felt so creepy about that cop not wanting to ticket me that I drove even slower than I normaly do for the rest of my stay in Texas.
It’s a Texas state policy to invoke guilt as a method for car speed control. Guess the secrets out now.
I have only one question about that speeding ticket for the guy in the King’s Egg:
What was the cop driving?
LOL, good question. Sadly I expect they phoned ahead, put up a roadblock, and took all the thrill out of the chase. 🙁