January 17th, 2002


(no subject)

A $100,000 Speeding Fine??

HELSINKI (Reuters) - A senior executive of the world's largest mobile phone maker Nokia is appealing a record $103,600 fine for speeding because his income has dropped, Finnish media and officials said Monday.

Millionaire and Harley Davidson enthusiast Anssi Vanjoki was caught racing his motorbike down a Helsinki street in October at 47 mph in a 31 mph zone, the newspaper Ilta-Sanomat reported.

Unlike in many other countries, Finnish traffic fines vary according to the offender's average income.

The fine was based on Vanjoki's 1999 income which was boosted by big options sales. But Vanjoki's income dropped drastically last year as Nokia's share price fell alongside other tech shares, making option sales uneconomical.

Vanjoki's fine is believed to be the largest ever traffic penalty in Finland, beating a fine of more than $71,000 handed down to Internet millionaire Jaakko Rytsola and one of $31,200 given to Vanjoki's colleague, Nokia president Pekka Ala-Pietila.

A Helsinki district court official confirmed to Reuters that Vanjoki's appeal would be heard on May 15.