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Motorists with a Loose Screw

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Motorists with a Loose Screw

Police closed part of the Ring Road after the accident on May 2, 2015

Photo: Baldur Arnarson.

Police in Iceland often have trouble collecting fines from motorists for speeding past speed cameras, RÚV reports. The reason: Car owners increasingly remove their front license plates to avoid fines. If the license plate number isn’t caught on camera, no ticket can be issued.

In addition, fining tourists can be problematic if information about their residence is inadequate. Only 45 percent of speeding tickets issued to foreign tourists ends up being collected. Frequently, speeding tickets sent abroad get lost in the mail or fail to be paid.

Guðrún Hauksdóttir, representative for the police inspector in Stykkishólmur, where photos from speed cameras are analyzed, jokingly remarks, “We were just discussing this morning how many screws on front license plates come loose.” She adds, “If the cars have no front license plates, there is nothing we can do.”

Icelandic law requires a car to carry both a front and a rear license plate. According to Superintendent Jónar Vilhelmsson Jensen in East Iceland, rental cars oftentimes don’t have a license plate in front. “The excuse we get from car renters,” he says, “is that the car rentals tell them it doesn’t matter. I’d rather not believe that to be true.” The fine for driving without a front license plate is ISK 10,000.

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