Think speeding will get you to your destination quicker? Not in Estonia it won’t. The Police force has been trialling a new kind of speeding penalty – and rather than receiving a fine or points by default, if you get caught you’ll be given a choice between paying a fine or taking a time out.

Estonia trials new approach to SPEEDING. Pay a fine or take a time out.

So how does it work? Well, if you’re caught breaking the speed limit by 20 km/h (12 mph) or less, you’ll be given a 45 minute time penalty – and if you break the limit by 21 km/h – 40 km/h (25 mph) then you’ll receive a 60 minute time penalty. Simple.

The trial comes as a response to an increase in road incidents and fatalities in 2017 – and although most countries penalise speeding with fines and points, Estonia’s trying something different. It’s worth noting you can only take the time penalty if you’ve got a clean licence.

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PPA innovation advisor, Elari Kasemets said: “This is part of a traffic innovation project that aims to find new effective ways to improve road safety. We are investigating how speeders perceive the fine and the impact of the lost time. We know from interviews with motorists that some people consider having a conversation with a police officer and the time they take to intervene more effectively than fines.”

“On the basis of these police operations, we will collect information about the reasons speeders give to justify breaking the limit. We are analyzing the impact of different interventions to find more effective solutions, because the goal is for perpetrators to actually change their behaviour, not to punish them for the sake of punishment.”

Although the experiment proved positive – the amount of staff necessary to make it work means it’s not going to be possible to roll it out across the country.  But either way, we think it’s an interesting idea. What do you reckon? Would you be happy to take a time out?

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Ross Mowbray

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