Frequently Asked Questions on Speeding Fines in Iceland
Updated: Aug 24, 2019
When you are visiting Iceland for the first time, it can be very exciting and tempting to jump behind the wheel and race up on the road with your car rental because of the beautiful scenery and landscapes. However, as in every country, you need to keep to the regulated speed limit and Iceland is no different. There are Iceland police everywhere keeping watch of car speed in the cities and not to forget the speed cameras on the roads.
There are differences in speed limits in towns and the surrounding countryside and they are all well marked for drivers’ attention. Fines for speeding are quite different from other offences.
As a driver, before you jumped behind any vehicle to drive, it’s your responsibility to know the traffic laws of the country you are driving in. Understanding the speed limit is about as basic as knowing if to drive on the right side of the lane or the left. The good thing is that, in almost all the roads in Iceland, there are ample signs with speed limit. These are internationally acceptable signs just like you have it in any European countries.
If you are still convinced you want to self-drive and rent a car in Iceland but not too sure of the signs, here are some frequently asked questions on speeding fines in Iceland in case you got on the wrong side of the traffic law:
What happens if a visitor is caught in a speeding camera?
If you are caught violating the speed limit – Either:
1. Mobile radar detects your speed and you are intercepted by the police in such cases, you are asked to pay immediately and might likely get a discount (25% discount if you pay it within two weeks) OR
2. Your car is captured by a speeding camera - In this case, the Icelandic police will trace the speeding car to the car rental company and subsequently send a mail requesting information on the offending car. The car hire agency is required by law to send this information back to the police. The speeding ticket is then charged on your credit card by the booking agent.
Are There Cameras in The Remote Countryside of Iceland?
There are speed cameras all over the country. However, most of the speeding cameras are located in the south part of Iceland that has fewer police patrols. Just like there are speed cameras, there are also mobile cameras in cars. So do not assume that the countryside is not well covered with speed cameras. The speed cameras are of multi-national standard and are the same found all over Europe and the UK.
How Expensive are the Speed Fines in Iceland for Offenders?
There are varying opinions based on the speed fines in Iceland. While some tourists view it as very high, there are others who believe the fines are the same with every other country in Europe.
Recently, a tourist from Czech Republic who was fined for speed violation complained that the fine was equivalent to his monthly salary also an Italian woman was noticed to be in tears when she was told how much she has to pay for violating the speed law.
However, some tourist says they pay more in speed fines in countries like Finland, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.
Is There Adequate Speed Warning Signs For Tourist in Iceland?
Although some car hiring service could be blamed for not doing enough to spreading the word - That said, many car rental companies go out of their way to make speed limit and road limitations known to their clients. They have a brochure that shows the maximum speed limits printed on the pages. Some have the speed stickers posted on the dashboard while some have a big sign in their main office with the speed limit boldly written on it.
Each and every rental service demands you sign a contract where you agree to adhere to the traffic law.
Can I Choose Not to Pay My Speed Fines?
This is totally your choice to make. If you want to, you can choose not to pay the fine!
It’s just that the car rental company has your registered card information and you would have signed a document agreeing to comply with their fine requirement when you took the car.
Again this is all about your moral and ethical value to the society. If you decided not to pay, the Icelandic police will probably not do much as contacting an international booking agency to force you to pay (when you must have returned to your home country) because of the high cost that might likely be involved in persecuting such offense. In fact, this is the reason they give you a 25% discount to encourage you to pay the fine.
However, if you refuse to pay your fine, you should also never think of returning to Iceland because if you do and the police stop you the next time you visit, you will go to jail.
Here are some other reasons why you need to pay your speed fine:
The cost of speeding damage on roads, traffic delays caused by accidents, medical costs or the SAR helicopters for rescue missions etc. could easily be sourced from the fine - so it could be easier for the Iceland government to continue to provide excellent service to its people and visitors when such fines are paid.
Why Are Fines Imposed
According to online statistics, road accidents by foreigners with rental cars is about 157 fatalities from 2007-2017. And most of these accidents are caused by speeding. So, if you do get tickets, then as most Icelandic guide will humorously tell you: "Smile and Pay Up" (well, you really don’t have to complain much for your negligence) you violated the traffic law, you got caught so your speed fine is your punishment.
Here is a table showing how much you are likely to pay when you violate any of the speed offences mentioned above.
20% will be added to this if:
· A bus is driving faster over the legal limits
· A vehicle over 3.5000 kg is driving over the legal limits
· A car pulling any type of trailer is driving over the legal limits.
Iceland Parking Fines
Here is another tricky part of your travelling to Iceland…the Iceland parking fines!
Iceland is not a friendly place for a learner driver, especially if you are a visitor to the country. If you must drive in Iceland, you need to acquaint yourself with the right information about their driving laws else, you might be forced to cough out more fines than you ever expected.
If you ever got a parking ticket stuck under your windshield wiper, you know how annoying and frustrating that could be, especially when you thought you have your car parked at the right place. In fact, you might be tempted to toss a parking ticket into your glove compartment and forget about it but if you give into such temptation, you might face some consequences for giving in to such thought.
In Iceland, there are two types of parking violation charges.
The #1 parking violation charge is a fine meant for vehicles that failed to park at the right designated parking areas or for drivers who stays longer than necessary at the parking area.
The #2 is parking fines that are imposed on vehicles that are illegally parked that violate the traffic regulatory law.
Extra Parking Fines
Here are the fees to expect when you break any of the parking laws in the country:
Parking Violation Charges
The parking violation fines are imposed on vehicles when a parking offence like parking where there is a marked "No Parking Zone" or where the driver parked on the curb or too close to the walkway. These are not the only offences under this violation for more information on offences under parking violation charges you can refer to Article 108, Traffic laws no. 50/1987
Here are the fees associated with these offences
Parking Violation Charges- Parking in a handicapped parking space
Observing all traffic laws will save you lots of embarrassment from the Iceland authorities and also save you your hard earned dollars if you don’t over speed or parked at the wrong place. It is indeed a good idea to first understand the traffic law of any country you are visiting if you intend to drive around.