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 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.