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Automatic traffic surveillance

In addition to traditional surveillance methods, the police use automatic traffic surveillance equipment on heavily trafficked roads and urban areas.

Besides monitoring speeds, the equipment is used to monitor observing traffic lights and the use of mobile phone during driving, for instance. Road signs indicate the presence of fixed automatic traffic cameras. No signs are provided for surveillance using mobile equipment.

A radar speed gun in operation inside a police car with the speed readings visible.

Automatic traffic surveillance

Traffic penalty fee

A traffic penalty fee is an administrative fine issued for minor traffic offences, such as exceeding the speed limit by no more than 20 km/h. A traffic penalty fee can also be issued for the use of mobile phone during driving or not wearing a seatbelt, for example. The traffic penalty fee is vehicle-specific and sent to the registered owner, holder or main operator of the vehicle without first finding out who was actually driving the vehicle.

Traffic penalty fees issued through automatic speed surveillance

Exceeding the speed limit by no more than 10 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 20-60 km/h: EUR 100

Exceeding the speed limit by 11-15 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 20-60 km/h: EUR 170

Exceeding the speed limit by 16-20 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 20-60 km/h: EUR 200

Exceeding the speed limit by no more than 10 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 70-120 km/h: EUR 70

Exceeding the speed limit by 11-15 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 70-120 km/h: EUR 140

Exceeding the speed limit by 16-20 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 70-120 km/h: EUR 170

Failure to observe a prohibitory sign: EUR 100

Unauthorised driving on a bus lane: EUR 100

Failure to observe a red traffic light: EUR 100

Use of a communications device during driving: EUR 100

Not wearing a seatbelt: EUR 70

Increased traffic penalty fee 

If the driver is guilty of several traffic offences at the same time (such as  speeding and not wearing a seatbelt), one traffic penalty fee is issued for the offences. The amount of the traffic penalty fee is determined so that the traffic penalty fee issued for the most serious offence is increased by EUR 40.

For example, a traffic penalty fee of EUR 70 is issued for driving without wearing a seatbelt. If you drive 59 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 40 km/h, you will be issued a traffic penalty fee of EUR 200. If you are found guilty of both the offences at the same time, you will be issued a traffic penalty fee of EUR 200, plus an increase of EUR 40. Thus the total sum you have to pay is EUR 240.

Traffic penalty fees and driving bans

Traffic penalty fees issued for the most minor traffic offences do not affect your right to drive. If you receive a traffic penalty fee decision for an offence that someone else has committed using your car, you can directly transfer it to the actual driver for payment. There is no need to submit an appeal.

Traffic offences not affecting your right to drive include:

  • exceeding the speed limit by no more than 10 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 20-60 km/h
  • exceeding the speed limit by no more than 15 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 70-120 km/h
  • failure to observe a prohibitory sign
  • unauthorised driving on a bus lane
  • not wearing a seatbelt.

Some of the traffic penalty fees will affect your right to drive. A driving ban can be imposed on the driver if they have committed three traffic offences affecting the right to drive in one year or four in two years. If the driver has held a driving licence less than two years, the limit for assessing their right to drive is two offences in one year or three offences in two years.

Traffic offences affecting the right to drive include:

  • exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 20-60 km/h
  • exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 km/h in an area where the speed limit is 70-120 km/h
  • failure to observe a red traffic light
  • use of a communications device during driving.

It always reads in the traffic penalty fee decision whether the traffic offence will affect your right to drive.

You can pay the traffic penalty fee even if you had not committed the offence. If the question is of a traffic offence affecting the right to drive, it will remain in the name of the person to whom the traffic penalty fee decision is addressed. If you receive a traffic penalty fee decision for an offence that someone else has committed using your car, you can appeal the decision.

Requesting an appeal of a traffic penalty fee decision

You can request an appeal of the traffic penalty fee decision through the police’s online services. You can also fill out the form on the reverse side of the traffic penalty fee decision and return it to the Police’s Traffic Safety Centre by post or e-mail. You must make the appeal in writing within 30 days after you received the traffic penalty fee decision. You must state grounds for your appeal.

Traffic offences

Traffic offences punishable with a day-fine include exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 km/h, failure to observe the red traffic light and operating a vehicle without a licence. The amount of the day-fine is determined according to the driver’s income.

The processing of traffic offences detected through automatic traffic surveillance is subject to the same legal provisions as other road traffic offences. Before starting pre-trial investigation, the police send a letter to the registered owner or operator of the vehicle, requesting the identity of the driver shown in the photo taken by the automatic traffic camera. The letter states that there is a photo of the incident.

When the owner or operator of the vehicle responds to the letter, informing the police of the driver, the police will send a request for official assistance to the police department in the driver’s domicile. The driver is asked to visit the police station where they are personally informed of the fine.

For additional information on the summary penal fee, see Traficom’s website (in Finnish)

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Frequently asked questions about automatic surveillance

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Traffic surveillance devices and control points

There are 1,085 fixed control points for automatic traffic surveillance in Finland, covering approximately 3,784 km of the road network. (The total length of the network of paved roads in Finland is approximately 51,000 kilometres) The number of the control points will be increased in the near future. The traffic control points are selected on the basis of road accident statistics, for example. The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency is responsible for the planning, construction, upkeep and maintenance of traffic control points.

The police have 26 automatic traffic surveillance vehicles for monitoring road speed limits and driving on bus lanes.

The police are responsible for the use and upkeep of traffic surveillance devices as well as the handling of traffic offences and violations photographed using the devices.

Road sections subject to automatic traffic surveillance (fixed control points) according to police department

The length of the controlled road section and number of control points is shown after the area controlled. 

The total length of the controlled road sections is 3783.90 kilometres. There are 1,085 control points. 

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