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I'm Boycotting Switzerland And I'm Glad Belgium Makes Great Chocolate Too!

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As has become sort of a tradition, every year we try to bring in the New Year in a not yet visited country. For 2013 we brought in the New Year in Zurich, Switzerland and to our surprise it was done with not much fanfare from the locals.

No 10, 9, 8 …. Countdown or New Year Ball Drop. However, a very nice fireworks display (which was about 20 minutes late) and lots of fun into the early morning hours at music venues set up along a park near downtown. This was all fine with us as our traveling is to experience new and different things.

Six months later, I am finding out that our trip to Switzerland had a few more expenses than expected. Just the other day I received a “Traffic Law Violation” letter from Stadt Zurich, Stadtpolizei that somewhere in our travels around Switzerland I went 6 kmh over the speed limit and it is going to cost me $129.00 plus $65 in administrative fees that Sixt Rental Car is trying to charge me.

What I find interesting about the process is that as stated on the back of the letter I received “The City Police Authority Of Zurich does not grant access to records (incl any available photographs). However, the rental car company must provide to the police information about the person who rented the car. This is fair but should the driver not also have access to evidence that is the basis of the charges?

I guess if you get a traffic law violation in Switzerland then you are guilty as charged without due process. This is not the type of process I would expect from a country with a free society. I wonder how the locals deal with such situations.

For me, paying a traffic fine is not the issue it is the principle of the process. In all my travels this is only the second time I have had to deal with traffic law violations which is not bad. The other time I had to give an “Erick Estrada” cop in Cancun a US$20 bill, part of his wage enhancement package from harassing tourists.

It would be interesting to hear what other run in with authority stories others have had. These type of situations are a stain on a country no matter how beautiful it is.

For me, Switzerland will now join Mexico and Canada as places I am reluctant to spend my vacation time or dollars especially when there are so many other places on the planet to see and enjoy without feeling ripped off or cheated.

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