Imagine you run a fleet of vehicles or have to manage employees that drive as part of their job, as most of our readers do, what would happen if one of your drivers was caught speeding 42 times in a row?
You might assume this is some kind of “What if?” game session, where players pose questions about hypothetical situations to stimulate creativity and thought. But we are some way from any kind of thought exercise this time; we are talking about a real life situation reported by the international press in the last few days of August.
Heimo Wallner, a baker living in the Klagenfurt area in the region of Carinthia, Austria, has been fined a total of €3,000/£2,700 for speeding on the same road 42 times in a row, caught by the same speed recorder every day on his journey back from work, at around 3 am.
The incredible fine had totted-up, according to his explanation, because he had not seen the signs advising of the 30 km/h-18.5mph limit on that particular road and would drive at an average speed of 50km/h-31mph. The case is made even more incredible when the fine became very real as Wallner got his first speeding ticket in May and later realised there were probably a lot more to come—which eventually happened: the first ticket took a month to arrive and he eventually racked up 42 penalties in total. As each offence would be treated separately, Wallner concluded it would be too difficult to challenge them individually and decided to pay all 42 penalties in one go to avoid dealing with the long and expensive challenge procedure.
According to the reported news, Wallner did manage to get €300 removed from the penalty total, but still had to wave his holiday plans goodbye in order to foot the bill. A new infrared camera that does not emit light when taking pictures caught him, hence why he never noticed the camera position while driving in the dark.
Despite the news making some people chuckle at the astonishing number of speeding fines accumulated by one individual, this is definitely a record you would never want any of your drivers to beat or even come anything close to. It has likely happened to some of you—having to face speeding tickets now and again—but surely (hopefully!) nothing like on this scale.
There are some particular points of this news item that are significant, and you should take note of to avoid them happening in your fleet:
- This driver practiced speeding, and he continued to do so until he received the first penalty
- He only realised one month after the first event that his driving behaviour has directly resulted in a penalty, notwithstanding the safety issues he might easily have fallen foul of by exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 km/h
- Once he realised the first infraction, the uncomfortable reality dawned on him that he may have run up many more penalties—which is exactly what happened.
What would be the costs in terms of safety, compliance, penalties and reputation for your company in such a situation? It’s unimaginable. We are quite sure you would not want to wait to get the first speeding ticket before monitoring the driving style of your team and have them practice safe driving...