According to a study conducted by the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy (KRIMO) of the University of Helsinki, speeding has decreased on main roads class I and II by about nine per cent after fixed fines were increased. The amounts of fixed fines in euros were doubled in September 2015. Fixed fines are imposed mostly for traffic offences.
In relative terms, speeding decreased most where electronic surveillance (speed cameras) and patrol cars were located. The proportion of cars photographed by speed cameras dropped by almost one-third whereas the proportion of cars that were speeding for over 10 km/h dropped from 12.2 per cent to 11.1 per cent at automatic measurement stations where the police do not conduct camera surveillance. There was a decrease of about nine per cent in the number of such speeding cars. As for slower road sections, speeding decreased even more. Average speeds dropped by about 0.4 km per hour.
During the follow-up time other changes took place in traffic surveillance, too, and the use of automatic traffic surveillance was significantly increased. Speeding was decreasing already before the new way of imposing fines was introduced and therefore a decrease in the number of speeding incidents cannot simply be seen as a consequence of the increase in fines.
“All in all, the outcome indicates that the increase in fines has a slightly restraining effect on speeding. This is in line with international research,” says researcher Mikko Aaltonen.
The study was based on a before and after research frame where the 12 months prior to the increase were compared with the first year of increased fines. The focus of the study was on the change in fixed fines and the number of photographs by electronic surveillance, and speeding and average speeds at automatic measurement stations.
These findings are given in the first part of the report while the final report will be published in April 2017. Based on individual data, it will present findings on repeated traffic offences and changes in the payment of fines after fines were increased.
The report is part of the implementation of the 2016 Government plan for analysis, assessment and research. The report was compiled by Mikko Aaltonen and Miialiila Virtanen.
Aaltonen, Mikko & Virtanen, Miialiila (2017) Yli- ja keskinopeudet rikesakkojen korotuksen jälkeen. Valtioneuvoston selvitys- ja tutkimustoiminnan julkaisusarja 20/2017. (In Finnish)
PhD Mikko Aaltonen, University of Helsinki, Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy
tel +358 50 430 8510
e-mail mikko.aaltonen (ät) helsinki.fi