From start to Finnish: reforming South Australia's traffic fine system

South Australia has some of the largest traffic fines in the country. South Australia issued $174 million in traffic fines in the financial year of 2014-15, or a $103 per person. The per person rate is ten times higher than the per capita face value of traffic fines for Tasmania. The average fine in South Australia in the financial year 2014-15 was $410 compared to $157 in Tasmania. $410 is higher than any other state The Australia Institute has examined (includes New South Wales, Queensland and Northern Territory as well as Tasmania and South Australia), while Tasmania had the lowest. These traffic fines rose substantially between 2000 and 2012. Some common traffic fines rose between 66% and 160% while inflation would have justified a 41% rise. These traffic fines are particularly hard to pay for low-income South Australians while they comparatively provide for less incentive to drive safely to the most affluent drivers. Not only is this unfair, but also from an economic perspective ineffective at disincentivizing traffic infringements for all drivers. Finland has a system that counters these issues. Traffic fines (and most types of fines) are income-based, meaning that you pay more if you earn more. The system is both cheap and simple to administer according to Finnish Government officials. This discussion paper outlines two different possible implementations of the Finnish model. The first alternative is a direct translation of the Finnish system and would result in a loss of revenue for the state. The second alternative is a modification of the first to estimate a revenue neutral alternative.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 19p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01599080
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: May 18 2016 9:28AM