The 10 cities with the world’s highest fines for offending drivers

1 July, 2024

Today, traffic offences are commonplace in the world’s major cities, but the penalties imposed vary greatly from city to city. Some cities are stricter than others, and offending drivers can expect to pay hefty fines for their actions. In this article, we present the 10 most expensive cities in the world for offending drivers, analysing the penalties imposed for different categories of offences such as parking, speeding, running red lights and drink driving.

10. Madrid, Spain

The Spanish capital scored 5.96 out of 10. The study set certain limits for the inclusion of fines, limiting parking fines to up to one hour and speeding fines to up to 10km/h over the limit. The researchers also only calculated fines for drink-driving up to a BAC of 0.05%, the starting point at which Australian drivers are considered too drunk to drive safely.

9. Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw ranks ninth with a score of 6.05 and imposes the second highest fines for drink-driving at $1,884.10; however, it has the lowest speeding fines in the top ten at $21.48.

8. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague ranks eighth with a score of 6.34.

7. Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada has a score of 6.44. The city has the highest fine for parking offences at $501.11.

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam scores 6.63 out of 10. Analysts found that the city imposes the same fine for running a red light as it does for minor drunk driving, at $489.52.

5. Sydney, Australia

Sydney is the fifth most expensive city in the world for offending drivers, with a score of 6.92. Fines are broken down as follows:

  • Parking time violation (up to one hour): $215
  • Excessive speeding (up to 10 mph): $137.
  • Red light violation: $514
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (up to 0.05% BAC): $603.

Melbourne missed out on the top 10 for the first time, coming 11th with a score of 5.86. The Victorian capital imposes a fine of $481 for red light running and $475 for drink-driving.

4. London, United Kingdom

Despite coming fourth with a score of 7.11, London is relatively lenient on red light running, with a fine of $190.88 – the second lowest in the top ten.

3. Oslo, Norway & Bern, Switzerland

There’s a tie for third place between Oslo, the capital of Norway, with a score of 7.4, and Bern, Switzerland, also with a score of 7.4. Oslo has higher fines for speeding and red light running, while Bern is tougher on parking offences and drink-driving.

2. Dublin, Ireland

Dublin ranks second despite having the lowest fine in the top ten for a red light violation, at just $130.54. However, its overall score of 7.79 is significantly boosted by the highest drink-driving fine on the list – $8158.70. Apart from London ($4771.96), none of the other cities in the top ten have drink-driving fines exceeding $1900.

1. Sacramento, California

With a score of 8.27, Sacramento, California is ranked number one in the world. California’s capital city imposes fines of around $1521.13 for drunk driving and $760.56 for running a red light. However, the State of California imposes a modest fine of $362.03 for speeding up to 10 mph over the speed limit and $114.08 for exceeding a parking time limit.


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