Originally Posted by dfmz
You're all reasoning from an american perspective, and fail to realize that the Swiss democratic process is actually more advanced than the US version.
Thank you for finally pointing out the obvious here.
It still amazes me that some folks think the whole world should think/talk/act just like America, Land of the Free, blah, blah, blah.
This was a report on a UK news site, about an offense that occurred in Switzerland, and the fine that was handed down under Swiss law.
It does not mean that they're coming to take your hard-earned money away, or that they're declaring a war on the wealthy, or that the Socialists are coming to take over America. No, it's just a reflection of what a Swiss court did in regards to an offense committed by a Swiss driver on Swiss soil (although it was in an Italian car.
And for the guy who asked, no, the US doesn't base speeding or traffic fines on your net income. There is a set fee schedule that judges must adhere to, although there is some wiggle room built in for particularly heinous offenses or for an obvious and blatant disregard for the law (such as is suggested by the repeat offender comments in the linked article). And even so, it seems those fees rise every year for the same offenses . . .
The guy was doing 85 mph through a small village, where there are pedestrians, increased traffic density, limited visibility, and many other hazards not found out on the open road. That is just plain stupid no matter what you're driving or what your net worth is.
Had he been busted here in the States for doing 35 mph over the posted limit in town, he'd likely have been charged with Reckless Driving and possibly Reckless Endangerment, that is an act which is "likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm to another person." He'd have most likely been taken away in handcuffs and had to plead his case from a jail cell. These types of offenses rank right up there with Drunk Driving and can stay on your record for a very long time. In addition, he'd probably have lost his license for a year or more and still had to pay thousands of dollars in fines and enroll in traffic safety courses before being allowed to drive again.
Now perhaps the loss of his license and jail time would be a better deterrent to repeat offenders than a financial slap on the wrist (whatever he amount), but once again, this is a Swiss driver in a Swiss court, so our American ideals of justice simply don't apply.
And neither does the misplaced bravado of someone claiming that the penalty handed down within another country's system of laws is somehow unfair/unjust/unrealistic based purely on the assumption of how our US laws work. If it happened to you, in your own country, then sure, fight it to the bitter end if you choose. But if it happened in another country to someone that you don't even know, then it's all just useless speculation and posturing anyway.