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OFFBEAT

Cops cut fine for ‘poor’ Swedish truck driver

A truck driver fined for having sub-standard brakes was given a hefty discount by Norwegian police who reckoned the fact he was Swedish meant he probably earned much less money than his colleagues.

Ulf Anders Andersson, 61, was driving a truck for his Norwegian employer when he was pulled over by police.

They concluded the vehicle was a traffic hazard due to its shoddy brakes, and issued an 8,000 ($1,330) kroner fine on the spot last March, newspaper VG reports.

But Andersson later received a surprising letter saying the Norwegian police had taken the fact he was Swedish into consideration, and cut the fine in half "in light of your income level.”

"I’m happy to have got the discount since I’m contesting the fine, but I find it very strange,” he said.

Andersson pointed out that he actually made more than his Norwegian colleagues since he lives over the border in Sweden and benefits from the relative weakness of the Swedish krona.

"They should have been able to figure that out,” he said.

Police did not wish to comment on the case but conceded that foreign drivers occasionally have their fines reduced since they tend to earn far less than Norwegians.

The Swedes, for their part, have no plans to cut their Norwegian neighbours any slack when it comes to coughing up for traffic violations.

“Norwegians receive exactly the same fines as Swedes,” said traffic police officer Jeanette Olsson in Vänersborg, Sweden. 

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OFFBEAT

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.

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