Foreign nationals accrued over 13 million euros’ worth of fines in 2020 on the roads of Hungary, and even that huge number pales in comparison with the data from 2019. Culprits come from many countries, but there’s one nation that easily takes the cake.
As 24.hu reports, based on data obtained from the Hungarian Police, in 2020, a total of 160 745 foreign citizens were financially penalised for traffic-related reasons. That’s 44% less than the figure from 2019 (285 392), a reduction that is clearly a consequence of the pandemic.
As the average fine imposed on drivers is approximately 80 euros, the numbers add up to a whopping 13 million euros in 2020 and 23 million in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, individuals from nearby countries use Hungarian roads most often and are consequently more likely to get into trouble with the local police than those from further away. Concerning the nationalities of drivers who were caught, data is only available in the case of those who were charged based on objective responsibility; that is, their number plates were photographed while breaking the law.
In almost all vehicle categories (cars with and without trailers, buses, and vans), Romanian citizens were responsible for the largest share of violations.
An extreme example: in 2020, out of 855 bus-related incidents, 647 (75.6%) were committed by Romanian citizens. They also stand out in the category of “horror caravans” – small, beat-up vans with a trailer attached, pulling one or two cars behind them, exceeding the towing limit and putting others at risk. In 2020, Romanians were involved in 1413 such offences, almost ten times as many as Germans were found guilty of, who occupy the second place on the list, with 153 cases.
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The remaining countries in the top 5 of culprits are Austria, Slovakia and Poland. The citizens of the latter two were also responsible for the majority of motorbike-related incidents in 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Journalists had also requested information on the highest traffic-related fines imposed on foreign citizens and the number of cases where the offenders had attempted to evade payment. Still, the Hungarian police declined to provide those figures.