How do I pay my speeding ticket in Iceland?

South Coast driving, speeding ticket

It’s a beautiful summer day, and you’re travelling around Iceland on the ring road—life is good! Until your mind slowly starts wandering away, inspired by the wild landscapes. Suddenly, your foot gets a bit heavy on the gas pedal, and it’s too late—you’ve already been caught by a speeding camera. Many visitors and residents have been through this exact scenario.

But what should you do now that you’ve been caught speeding in Iceland? 

Hefty fines for speeding

When driving in Iceland, it is important to keep track of the varying speed limits. Generally, the speed limit on the ring road and other “highways” is 90 km/h (55 mph); on gravel roads 80 km/h (50 mph); and in populated areas, it is 50 km/h (31 mph). The limits can always vary depending on the road, season and sharp turns. Therefore, it is crucial to keep track of signage while you are driving to avoid unnecessary fines.

There are stationary speeding cameras all around the country, which are usually indicated by signage beforehand. Nevertheless, sometimes there are even hidden cameras or even police cars pulled over on the side of the road to catch naughty speeders! Read more about driving in Iceland here.

The latest trend in Iceland is automated monitoring of drivers’ average speed. In the tunnel Hvalfjarðargang, on the way from Reykjavík to Borgarnes, you can find such a system, which basically takes a photo of you when you enter the tunnel and calculates when you should come out again. If you speed and arrive earlier than calculated, you will be fined.

The fines associated with speeding can be quite hefty in Iceland. Check out this calculator by the Icelandic police, to know the exact fees. Also, note that additional fines can be imposed if you are driving a bus, other heavy vehicles over 3.5t or when towing a trailer.

Here are a few examples of fines:

  • Driving 41km/h or faster over the allowed top speed (80-90 km/hour)
    • ISK 130,000 – 150,000 (€ 864-1,000 / $ 930-1,070)
  • Driving 36km/h or faster over the allowed top speed (50-60 km/hour)
    • ISK 65,000 – 80,000 (€ 432-530 / $ 465-572)
  • Driving 26km/h or faster over the allowed top speed (30-35 km/hour)
    • ISK 40,000  (€ 266 / $ 286)

How to pay the fine

If you were speeding in a rental car, the rental company will forward your personal information upon request to the police (as required by law). Rental companies often charge an extra service fee for this procedure. If you are living in Iceland, you will be contacted directly by the police. 

The Icelandic police will then email you a speeding ticket with different payment options. You can either pay via direct bank transfer to the specified account number, online via the official traffic management website or if you are still in Iceland, at local post offices.

If you pay within a certain time period, you can expect to decrease the total amount by 25%. The same goes if you are caught by police officers on the road – if you pay the ticket on the spot, you can knock down the fine by 25%. Usually, police officers have a card reader with them on patrol, so you can just pay the fine with your credit card.

Administrative Fine Imposed on Hvalur After Welfare Law Breach

Iceland whaling Hvalur hf

Iceland’s only whaling company has been fined ISK 400,000 ($2,900 / €2,700) for violating animal welfare laws by delaying a necessary follow-up shot on a fin whale in September of 2023. This breach of regulations led to a temporary suspension of the company’s whaling activities last year.

Fin whale shot outside designated target area

On September 14, the operations of a whaling vessel owned by Iceland’s sole whaling company, Hvalur hf, were temporarily halted due to alleged breaches of animal welfare laws. The suspension followed an incident on September 7 where a crew member shot a fin whale “outside the designated target area,” resulting in the animal not dying immediately. The whale was subsequently shot again nearly half an hour later.

Recent regulations mandate an immediate follow-up shot if the initial attempt does not result in the animal’s death. The vessel was docked for eight days following this incident, during which representatives from Hvalur hf. made improvements to the ship to obtain permission to resume hunting.

A statement on the website of the Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) notes the following: “The company violated animal welfare laws during whale hunting by allowing thirty minutes to pass between the first and second shots. The animal died a few minutes after the second shot. According to the regulations on whale hunting, a follow-up shot must be carried out immediately if the animal does not die from the first shot. The administrative fine is ISK 400,000 ($2,900 / €2,700).”

Other companies also fined

Other companies also received administrative fines, including an ISK 160,000 ($1,200 / €1,000) fine imposed on a slaughterhouse in Southwest Iceland for leaving a pig with a broken leg in a slaughter pen over an entire weekend before it was slaughtered, an ISK 120,000 ($870 / €800) fine for delaying the veterinary care of a sick cat that was later euthanised, and an ISK 418,000 ($3,000 / €2,800) fine on an aquaculture company in East Iceland for improper euthanasia of farmed fish.

As reported in January, Hvalur hf. has filed a claim against the Icelandic state, citing significant financial losses due to a temporary whaling ban imposed by the Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries, Svandís Svavarsdóttir last year. The claim, supported by the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s conclusion that the ban lacked legal basis, seeks compensation for the company and its employees.

Samskip Fined ISK 4.2 Billion for Violating Competition Laws

Moving trucks

The Competition Authority of Iceland has imposed an ISK 4.2 billion ($32 million / €30 million) fine on shipping company Samskip for serious violations of competition laws. Samskip strongly disputes the charges and plans to appeal, questioning the Authority’s methods and criticising Eimskip’s earlier settlement in the seven-year-long investigation.

“Incorrect, misleading, and insufficient” information

The Competition Authority has levied an ISK 4.2 billion ($32 million / €30 million) administrative fine against the shipping company Samskip, citing serious violations of competition laws, RÚV reports. According to the Authority, the company “provided incorrect, misleading, and insufficient” information over the course of the investigation. The same applies to the company’s disclosure of documents.

The case centres on the illegal collusion of Samskip and Eimskip, another major player in the shipping industry. While Eimskip had settled their part of the case in 2021 for a considerably smaller ISK 1.5 billion ($11 million / €11 million) fine, Samskip has been slapped with a considerably larger penalty.

A seven-year investigation reveals extensive violations

As noted by RÚV, the probe into these activities was initiated in the fall of 2013 when searches were conducted at Samskip and Eimskip offices, followed by a second round of searches the subsequent summer. The violations, according to the Competition Authority, spanned five years, from 2008 to 2013, involving a litany of anti-competitive practices, such as:

  • Coordinating changes in shipping systems and limiting transport capacity.
  • Dividing markets based on large customers in sea and land transport.
  • Colluding on the imposition of fees and discount terms.
  • Sharing of sensitive pricing and business information.
  • Collaborating on specific transport routes within Iceland and international sea transport.

The Competition Authority minced no words in its judgement, declaring Samskip’s actions “serious and extensive,” especially as they occurred “in markets where the participants of the collusion had a dominant position.”

Hörður Felix Harðarsson, Samskip’s legal representative, expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome. “We are disappointed with both the investigation and the results. The only option now is to appeal to the Competition Appeals Committee. We strongly believe that neither the charges nor the fine amount can withstand scrutiny,” Hörður told RÚV yesterday. Hörður also indicated that court action is on the table if the appeals committee doesn’t render a satisfactory verdict.

Managers face legal repercussions, authority’s tactics questioned

Upon the revelation that Eimskip was negotiating a settlement, Samskip also sought a similar resolution. However, talks disintegrated after the Competition Authority determined the dialogue would not yield fruitful outcomes. The authority has also referred complaints against specific employees of both companies to the district prosecutor’s office three times – in 2014, 2016, and 2018 – further complicating the legal landscape.

“During the prosecutor’s investigation, two managers from Samskip and two from Eimskip were accorded the legal status of a defendant. The probe remains incomplete,” the Competition Authority’s report adds.

Samskip condemns Eimskip’s settlement

In an official statement, Samskip blasted both the Competition Authority’s investigative tactics and Eimskip’s amicable settlement.

“It raises significant ethical questions when a dominant market player can essentially use its financial resources to sidestep additional legal scrutiny. Equally concerning is the prospect that the overwhelming influence of regulatory bodies could pressure a company into pleading guilty and paying a substantial fine, all without concrete evidence – essentially forgoing the chance to present a fact-based defence before higher judicial authorities or the courts.”

Samskip alleges that the Competition Authority’s rigorous probe has severely impaired its operations and staff morale.

“The Competition Authority has overstepped its bounds in both the scope of its investigation and its data collection methods. The conclusions reached are entirely disconnected from the facts on the ground. Accusations are being levied without the support of concrete evidence, relying instead on conjectures and theories. These theories are often underpinned by blatant misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the data and the true circumstances of the case.”

The company emphasised that it had no intention of accepting the verdict as it stands and is committed to pursuing all available legal avenues to have the decision overturned.

Costco Fined ISK 20 Million for Gross Negligence Over Oil Spill

Costco

Costco has been fined ISK 20 million ($152,000 / €141,000) after 111,000 litres of diesel leaked into Hafnarfjörður’s sewage system. The Environment Agency of Iceland stated that it was fortunate that the consequences were not more severe, RÚV reports.

A threat to environmental and public health

The Environment Agency of Iceland has imposed a hefty fine of ISK 20 million ($152,000 / €141,000) on Costco for a diesel spill originating from the retail giant’s gas station in Garðabær. The spill saw 111,000 litres of diesel contaminating Hafnarfjörður’s wastewater system and eventually making its way into the ocean last December, RÚV reports.

Residents in the western region of Hafnarfjörður raised complaints about a pervasive smell resembling oil or tar cleaner. After an exhaustive investigation, evidence began to converge on the Costco gas station as the source of the leak.

In a public statement, the Environment Agency expressed its concern over Costco’s apparent lack of proactivity, oversight, and timely response to the incident. The agency further accused the company of “gross negligence,” marked by a notable level of indifference toward the spill, which led to a substantial volume of diesel leaking into the natural environment, much of which is irrecoverable.

Costco’s response and ongoing scrutiny

In response, Costco emphasised its full compliance during the investigative process. The company also challenged the notion that it was merely fortuitous that the spill did not result in more severe environmental degradation.

The Environment Agency countered by reiterating that the spill constituted a significant threat to both environmental integrity and public health, citing a lack of proper organisational protocols and attentiveness on the part of Costco.

While the Environment Agency acknowledged Costco’s subsequent cooperative stance, it pointed to past interactions as indicative of a less-than-transparent relationship. Reports from the health inspectorate suggest that in earlier stages of the investigation, the company was slow to respond and failed to provide necessary information in a timely manner.

Birna Einarsdóttir, CEO of Íslandsbanki, Resigns

Íslandsbanki bank

In a press release sent to the media last night, Birna Einarsdóttir announced her decision to step down as the CEO of Íslandsbanki. Birna’s resignation comes on the heels of Íslandsbanki agreeing to pay a fine of ISK 1.2 billion [$8.8 million, €8.1 million] due to “serious and systematic violations” during the sale of the state’s 22.5% stake in the bank in March last year, RÚV reports.

Shouldering responsibility

In a press release sent to the media at 4 AM tonight, Birna Einarsdóttir, CEO of Íslandsbanki, announced her decision to step down. The decision was made with “the bank’s interests in mind” and in order “for peace to be attained following Íslandsbanki’s agreement with the Financial Supervisory Authority of the Central Bank (FME).”

The resignation, Birna states, is her way of shouldering responsibility for her role in the affair. “The discussion has been unsparing and various politicians have frequently called for my resignation; I wish them well in their work,” Birna stated.

While reluctant to leave Íslandsbanki, she highlighted her long-standing commitment to the bank throughout her career, emphasising that the settlement with the Financial Supervisory Authority only pertains to a single project and the rest of her tenure has been successful.

“Under my management, the bank’s equity has increased by almost ISK 150 billion [$1.1 billion, €1.1 billion], and more than 110 billion [$810 million, €740 million] have been paid in dividends to shareholders,” Birna stated.

In her concluding remarks, Birna expressed a bittersweet farewell to the bank. She extended well wishes to her colleagues and expressed her hope that her decision to step aside would foster a sense of peace within the company and among the individuals she holds dear.

Jón Guðni Ómarsson will succeed Birna as the CEO of Íslandsbanki.

Birna’s full statement was posted on Vísir this morning.

Election Supervisors Fined as Investigation Continues

parliament Alþingi

A preparatory committee met in Borgarnes yesterday to investigate ballot papers in the Northwest Constituency, RÚV reports. Thirteen people have filed legal complaints over the election results in the constituency following the September 25 election, including five politicians who lost their seats after votes were recounted. Ballot papers were not sealed and were left unsupervised after the initial count, both breaches of regulation that have led some to wonder whether votes could have been tampered with.

Same number of unused ballot papers

Unused ballot papers were recounted yesterday by staff of the National Electoral Commission and the District Commissioner’s Office. The counting revealed that the number conformed with voting document records. Birgir Ármansson, chairman of the preparatory committee, stated that staff were working to “rule out all sorts of possibilities to try to get a holistic picture of what really happened.”

Read More: 13 Legal Complaints Filed Over Election 

The committee questioned staff at Hotel Borgarnes, where ballots were counted and stored, as well as Ingi Tryggvason, chairman of the constituency’s election supervision committee. All of these individuals had already been questioned by police. Birgir says the committee will continue to gather information in the coming days and could not tell reporters when its work would be completed.

Fines issued to election staff

The West Iceland Police department’s investigation of the matter is, on the other hand, complete. The Chief of Police has issued fines to Ingi and all other members of the Northwest Constituency’s election supervision committee, as a proposal for closing the case. According to RÚV, the fine is likely issued on the basis that ballots boxes were left unsealed after the initial count, though this is not confirmed.

According to RÚV’s sources, Ingi has been fined ISK 250,000 [$1,938, €1,666] while others on the committee were fined ISK 100,000 [$775, €667]. If the committee members refuse to pay the fine, the police must decide whether to issue an indictment, which would bring the case to court.