In almost every country, even where defensive driving is the norm, people take the same ignorant attitudes towards the road:
- “driving is a right”
- “speeding is a right”
- “cars are more important than people”
There are many ways to slow down traffic terrorists and stop speeders physically: chicanes, roundabouts, speed bumps and speed dips, etc. One can use points systems tied to insurance premiums. You can also stop them with fines, but a flat fee system only works on the least wealthy, the rich can shrug it off. Finland’s approach is to fine people proportionate to their income; in 2015, a millionaire was handed a 54,000€ fine for speeding.
Estonia is trying a new approach with speeders: take a time out, or pay the fine. First time speeders (not repeat offenders) can opt to take a time out up to an hour and sit in a waiting area. Being massively inconvenienced and having their day interrupted may make drivers think twice. It’s a test program, not a permanent system, but if it works….
Police to offer first-time speeders timeout instead of fines
Police are offering drivers the choice between a 45 or 60-minute break rather than a fine if they are caught speeding, as part of a series of innovative techniques aimed to decrease road accidents.
Drivers exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h must wait 45 minutes in a parking area next to the road and 60 minutes if they drove between 21 and 40 km/h over the allowed limit.
Officers will test the new technique on the Tallinn-Rapla road on Thursday morning. Only drivers who have no previous traffic offences will be offered a choice.
Andreas Avester says
Not “people,” but “rich people who own cars.”
I don’t even have a driver license and I love traveling with a bicycle (largely because I am too lazy to get a real job and have no desire to pay for car ownership). My observation is that other people like me are pretty pissed off about the idea that car owners deserve all sorts of privileges. This is especially true for cyclists, who tend to be dissatisfied about the fact that most cities prioritize car traffic and force cyclists to risk their lives by riding among cars. Never mind all the people who have asthma or other health problems caused by air pollution in the cities.
I find speed and weight create the mentality, not vehicle price and income. Anti-pedestrian and anti-cyclist attitudes exist even with drivers of beat-up cars, tiny hatchbacks and scooters.
I have foot and back problems that come and go. Instead of a cane I use a walking stick (not this, but similar) made for hiking because it can be contracted to fit in a bag. I don’t swing it at cars, I just walk with it, point to the ground. But because it’s metal and hard enough to damage their vehicle, drivers leave me a lot more room than they do other pedestrians.