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Dangerous driving: a look at penalties in other European countries

February 9, 2020 at 12:33pm
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With proposals for a stiff increase in penalties for traffic offences edging closer to approval in parliament, Phileleftheros took a look at the state of play in other European countries.

Here are some examples:

Drunk driving

Drivers caught drunk behind the wheel in Finland lose their licence for at least 15 days, in Sweden for at least 40 days and in Denmark it’s back to driving school.

In Malta the fine starts at €1,200, in the UK it can be as high as €5,000 and should there be a repeat offence in 10 years, the licence is suspended for at least three years.

In Greece, for a second drunk driving offence above 60mg/l the fine is €2000 and/or six months in prison and/or a five year driving ban.

In Switzerland, the fine is proportional to the driver’s finances and can reach several thousand euro.

French drivers convicted of drunk driving can continue to drive it only if they equip it with a breathalyser with an ignition interlock device which  disables the car engine.

Mobile telephone

Italy uses plains clothes police officers in motorbikes and scooters to catch and fine offenders. The fine is €165 and there is also a five point penalty. If there is a second offence within two years, the licence is revoked for one to three months.

In France the fine is €135. In Greece, offenders lose their driving licence for 60 days. The fine is  €100.

Speed limit

The cheapest is Lithuania with €10 for speeding up to 20 km above the speed limit, but it then jumps to €450.

The most expensive in Norway where fines start at €400 for up to 50km above the speed limit and can rise to €900.

In Finland, for speeding more than 20 km above the speed limit the fine is €200 and over that the car is confiscated for at least two weeks.

In Switzerland speeding drivers may lose their licence for 60 days and fines start at €165.

Red light

Finland punishes drivers who jump a red light by taking their licence for at least 10 days while in the UK the fine can be above €1,000.

Manslaughter as as result of reckless driving

In the UK the penalty is up to 14 years in jail two years driving ban and 3 to 11 penalty points. In France, a fine of up to €75,000 and jail for up to five years, as well as a five to 10 year driving ban and six penalty points.

Cyprus: proposed higher penalties

The proposal is for the fine for using a mobile phone to rise from€85 to €300 and failure to wear a seat belt from €85 to €300.

For drunk driving if the excess of below 6 mg/100ml or 82 mg/100ml: fine of €125, if the excess is  above  35 μg/100ml or 81 mg/100ml, but below 56 μg/100ml or 127 mg/100ml: fine €250.

If the excess is above 55 mg/100ml or 126 mg/100ml but below 71 mg/100m or 161 mg/100ml: fine of €500.

The various proposals are still being discussed in the House Transport Committee.

Read more

Heavier penalties for traffic offences edge closer, but with amendments