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Is No Fine Fine with You?

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Is No Fine Fine with You?

Archive photo.Photo: Reykjavík Police.

This month, only 59 traffic violations have come to the desk of the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police, mbl.is reports. You may be tempted to draw the conclusion that our nation suddenly has improved its driving habits and become careful and responsible on the road. Think again. The reason for the low number lies with police officers’ fight for better pay. They don’t have the right to strike, but can’t be prevented from closing their eyes to their countrymen’s imperfections.

The average number of traffic violations reported during the month of October 2010-2014 is 1,625. Police officers have, for the most part , stopped fining drivers and show very little initiative.

September this year, there were 574 reported traffic violations, compared with an average of 1,617 for the same month in four previous years.

Since September, drivers have not been fined for speeding, having an insufficiently equipped vehicle, using their cell phone while driving, or failing to use a seatbelt. Some monitoring exists but few are fined.

Drinking and driving, though, is not tolerated and still being reported and fined for. Thus, most of the 59 violations this month likely have to do with drinking and driving.

Since wage negotiations between police officers and the State began, police officers have expressed the view that while the State is not ready to pay them well, they are not ready to collect money in the form of fines for the State.

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