msnbc.com news services
updated 8/11/2010 2:44:28 PM ET 2010-08-11T18:44:28

One Swedish motorist could be facing a gargantuan speeding fine — up to $962,000 — after he was caught driving 180 mph along a Swiss motorway.

Police seized the Swede's driver's license and 570-horsepower black Mercedes-Benz after he was released from police custody, The Local, a website that covers Swedish news, reported. He could face a penalty of up to 1 million Swiss francs — or $962,000 — depending on his income level, The Local reported.

In Switzerland speeding fines are based on the severity of the offense and the offender's income level.

Police said the 37-year-old motorist was driving so fast in this $240,000 sports car that it took him nearly half a mile to stop.

Swiss officials did not know if it was a record, but that it "looks very close to one," federal roads office spokesman Thomas Rohrbach told AFP.

"We have no record of anyone being caught traveling faster in the country," a police spokesman told Britain's Daily Telegraph on Friday.

The driver's explanation to officers: "I think the speedo on the car, which is new, is faulty."

A speed camera on the A12 highway between Bern and Lausanne captured the transgression.

Police said he had eluded being zapped by numerous radars en route simply because he was going too fast and they were unable to clock speeds beyond 125 mph. A newer camera perched along the motorway was able to snap his offense.

It's not the first time someone has had to pay such a hefty fine in Europe for speeding. And even lower speeds can generate big fines.

In January, a Swiss court slapped a $290,000 speeding ticket on a millionaire Ferrari driver who drove 60 mph (nearly twice the 30 mph limit) through a small village.

The head of Finnish communications giant Nokia was ordered to may a $103,000 fine for his speeding ticket in 2002. Officers pulled over Anssi Vanjoki on his cherry red Harley Davidson in Helsinki after he was clocked driving 47 mph in a 31-mph zone.

In Finland, traffic fines are also proportionate to an offender's crime and income level.

© 2013 msnbc.com

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments