Police in Austria Have a Unique Punishment For Speeding

Police in Austria Have a Unique Punishment For Speeding

Austria has enacted a new law that allows the government to confiscate and sell the vehicles of drivers who exceed speed limits by substantial margins, even for a single offense. This policy, which began enforcement a few months ago, targets drivers exceeding the speed limit by 60 kilometers per hour or more.

The implementation of this law comes as Austria grapples with increasing road fatalities, which totaled 402 in 2023, marking a concerning rise over the past four years. Austrian authorities hope the new measure will be a strong deterrent against reckless driving.

Inspired by neighboring Switzerland, which has enforced similar measures for over a decade, Austrian officials believe that confiscating and selling the vehicles of extreme speeders will effectively curb dangerous driving. The approach has garnered significant attention within the country, which is known for its scenic Alpine roads.

This strategy aligns with broader European efforts to address speeding. Finland, for instance, issues speeding tickets based on the offender’s income, famously fining a Nokia executive €116,000 (around Rs. 34 million) for speeding in 2002. Additionally, as of this summer, the European Union mandates that all new cars come equipped with Intelligent Speed Assist, a feature that alerts drivers when they exceed posted speed limits.

The severity of Austria’s new policy is notable. The Austrian approach of selling the vehicle after just one offense sets a stringent precedent. According to Austrian officials, approximately 40 vehicles were impounded under the new law between March and April of this year, with at least one vehicle already sold.

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