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Tourists complain about speeding fines

In the last two days, police in the vicinity of Blönduós in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Northern Iceland have fined 15 drivers for speeding, 13 of whom were foreign tourists. Most of them seemed to be unaware of the speed limits and found the amount they had to pay “very upsetting”, according to Höskuldur Erlingsson, duty officer in Blönduós, in an interview with Morgunbladid. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

Earlier this year penalties for speeding were stiffened. Anyone caught driving at the speed of 111-120 km/h (68-75 mph) can expect a fine of ISK 50,000 (USD 816) and those caught driving at the speed of 141-150 km/h (88-94 mph) will have to pay ISK 130,000 (USD 2,121). The speed limit on the Highway 1 ring road is usually 90 km/h (56 mph).

A man from the Czech Republic whom Erlingsson caught on Sunday complained that the fine was equivalent to his monthly salary and an Italian woman started to cry when she was told how much she had to pay. “Of course this is sad but the same rules must apply to foreign tourists as to Icelanders,” says Erlingsson, adding that car-rental companies should keep their customers better informed about the traffic law.

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