If you drive in Switzerland...

Jan 26th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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If you drive in Switzerland...

If you drive in Switzerland, be aware that speeding tickets can result from in-ground sensors that trigger a camera (the measurement is done by the in-ground sensors, the photo is only there as proof), from radar readings, or from laser readings. Because of technical differences in these methods, the tolerances are as follows:

Laser:

Up to a speed reading of 100 km/h—3km/h (less than two miles!)
For to a speed reading from 101-150 km/h—4km/h (2.5 miles)
For a speed reading over 151 km/h—5 km/h (3 miles)

Radar:

Add two km/h to each of the above

Pursuit vehicle:

Speed measured from a pursuit vehicle (the longer they watch you speeding the less tolerance they allow):

500 Meter at less than 100km/h: 15km/h deducted
500 Meter over 100km/h: 15% deducted
1000 Meter at less than 100km/h: 10km/h deducted
1000 Meter over 100km/h: 10% deducted
2000 Meter at less than 100km/h: 8km/h deducted
2000 Meterover 100km/h: 8% deducted

Other infractions:

Seat Belt CHF60
Red light CHF 250
Parking (up to 2 hour over posted time) CHF40
Use of telephone while driving CHF100
Driving on Autobahn (Expressway) without Vignette (road-tax sticker) CHF100

Alcohol:

0.3 0/00 (promille) can be used against you in court
0.5 promille—CHF600 plus warning
0.6 promille—CHF700 plus warning
0.7 promille—CHF800 plus warning
0.8 promille Fine of ten daily units as assessed by court plus loss of license for 3 months
1.2 promille Fine of twenty daily units as assessed by court plus loss of license for 3 months
1.6 promille Fine of thirty daily units as assessed by court plus loss of license for 3 months or more
2.0 promille Fine of sixty daily units as assessed by court plus loss of license for 3 months or more

Tailgating: It is on the books, but unlike Germany where distances between vehicles are measured by fixed cameras and tickets are mailed, Switzerland requires that a law officer witnesses the incident and stops the driver to issue a ticket.

The above amounts go back to 2006 and may have been changed since then.

The left lane on expressways is only to be used while in the act of passing slower vehicles. “In the act” is taken literally - not creeping up on a slower car from miles behind. Passing on the right on expressways is forbidden, except in exit lanes approaching an offramp.

A recent post of mine (If You Drive In Germany) disintegrated into a slugfest when some US-American drivers tried to belittle the dangers of the widespread idiocy of tailgating (unfortunately not as stringently enforced in the US as in Germany for example) and also tried to defend their supposed “right” of being supposedly “allowed” to exceed the posted speed limits by ten miles per hour (16 km/h) or more. As if such dangerous nonsense was defensible... Well, don’t try that in Switzerland where going less than 2 miles over the limit gets you nailed.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 08:05 AM
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My husband just got a ticket this past Saturday on the motorway near Interlaken for improper lane change without other cars present (he changed lanes where there was a solid line). Definitely my husband was in the wrong and deserved to pay a fine.

The fine was 850 CHF (600 CHF for the infraction, 250 CHF for the admin fee) and had to paid on the spot because we are foreigners (even though we are moving to Switzerland and will be Swiss residents in one month). They said we couldn't leave until we paid the full 850 CHF ($780 USD). The fine would have been even higher if there were other cars present on the motorway.

Take care to follow the laws in Switzerland. My husband was obviously not out to break any laws, but made a mistake and found himself in the wrong lane heading in the wrong direction. Yes he should have just exited the motorway, then turned around and gone back. Instead he looked back to see there were any cars (there weren't any), put on his blinker, and crossed the solid line out of the exit lane and back into the motorway lane. He made a poor last minute decision that ended up costing a lot of money. Drive very carefully in Switzerland.
amy_zena is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 08:28 AM
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My friend was locked up for falling asleep in a graveyard on a warm afternoon without "a penny in his pocket". It wasn't the sleep it was the lack of money to support his life style that got him locked up
bilboburgler is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 09:42 AM
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- Don't drive too slow in Switzerland, or there will be angry tailgaters on your back.

- Be aware there are lots of bikes on narrow roads. You never know what you'll be confronted with every turn.

- Lots of tractors on the roads too.

- Talking on a mobile while driving will get you a fine.

- You can transport alcohol in front or in the back of your car (correct me if I'm wrong.)

- The scenery can be breathtaking and can often affect your concentration while driving. After 20 years of CH, I still find the scenery on my way to work stunningly beautiful.
kleeblatt is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:45 PM
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Good advices!!!!
helen63 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 12:32 PM
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>>>- You can transport alcohol in front or in the back of your car (correct me if I'm wrong.)<<<

Everywhere in Europe, you can have a barrel of schnapps resting on the passenger seat - unless your blood alcohol is below 0.0005.

Nobody in Europe can understand that in the U.S. drivers get in trouble when they are completely sober but when there is a bottle of alcohol in the car (for the pleasure of the passengers).
traveller1959 is offline  
Jun 25th, 2009, 03:40 AM
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>U.S. drivers get in trouble when they are completely sober but when there is a bottle of alcohol in the car

So how are you supposed to get that case of beer home???
altamiro is offline  
Jun 25th, 2009, 03:52 AM
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Put it in the trunk.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 03:40 PM
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Radar speed traps are everywhere and like everything in Switzerland,expensive as hell.
roche is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 05:08 PM
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I don;t know anyone who got a ticket in the US for driving with alcohol in the car. The problem is if the bottle is OPEN - then it's presumed your are drinking from it and will continue. If the bottle is sealed and in a bag - as in bought from a store - you won;t have a problem.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 10:27 PM
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Sp0eed tickets can be cumulative. Someone just told me that he accumulated four speeding tickets going for a week from Paris to Bilbao. Since he did not receive the first ticket in the mail until he had finished his trip, he had no warning that he could be ticketed for going over the speed limit.
Michael is online now  
Jan 16th, 2010, 10:28 PM
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Speed tickets can be cumulative. Someone just told me that he accumulated four speeding tickets going for a week from Paris to Bilbao. Since he did not receive the first ticket in the mail until he had finished his trip, he had no warning that he could be ticketed for going over the speed limit.
Michael is online now  
Jan 16th, 2010, 10:39 PM
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Huh?

When one drives over the speed limit, he/she is always subject to a ticket, no?
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2010, 11:18 PM
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Usually there is a leeway in the States (5 miles over the speed limit is very common). Speeds of 80 are common on I5 in the Central Valley in CA with no tickets issued. There is a narrow window in Europe too, as pointed out by the OP. It is natural to assume such a leeway unless warned otherwise by a ticket, particularly on limited access highways.
Michael is online now  
Jan 16th, 2010, 11:30 PM
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Usually there is a leeway in the States (5 miles over the speed limit is very common). Speeds of 80 are common on I5 in the Central Valley in CA with no tickets issued. There is a narrow window in Europe too, as pointed out by the OP. It is natural to assume such a leeway unless warned otherwise by a ticket, particularly on limited access highways.

Not having received a moving violation in Europe since 1967, I posted it as a warning for those who choose to push the speed limit a little bit.
Michael is online now  
Jan 17th, 2010, 12:52 AM
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We are pretty conservative drivers but in our first year in Switzerland racked up chf 2500 in tickets. You can see from the above post that this is really not that hard to do. Most tickets we received were for doing 60km in a 50km or something stupid like that.

The Swiss are terrible tailgaters and that was part of the problem as we would hurry to get away and then 'blink-blink' see the camera too late. We also learned to get behind someone - don't be a leader. The locals know where the traps are and will slow right down. Follow their lead and you'll be fine.

In the second and third years here we've gotten just a few tickets for low amounts. Most are my very pokey husband's ironically - I am the one with the lead foot! He did once get pulled over by the police for driving too slow. We still tease him about that one!

gruezi
gruezi is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 01:19 AM
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I think most European countries have similar strict rules for speeding. Here in the Netherlands they certainly do - my husbands last speeding fine was €79 for going 6km over the speed limit (in a 100km zone - it would have been more in say a 50km zone.) If he didn't pay it on time (within two months) then the fine increases to €97.25 then to €142.88. If it still not paid it is on the computer and he can be arrested at any time. Luckily for him I always pay the fines the day they arrive - if I left it up to him he'd be in jail by now .

As well as well marked fixed cameras there are hidden mobile cameras on motorways and other roads, plus unmarked cars and motorbikes, and plods with radar guns on occasion too. Foreigners stopped by the police must pay their fine immediately - they do accept credit cards.
Tailgating, driving in the left lane unnecessarily, using a hand held phone, carving people up, undertaking, all subject to big fines. I won't even begin on driving while drunk or under influence of drugs (including prescription drug which can affect your ability to drive).
Only people who have had their licence less than 5 years get points on their licence, though anyone caught speeding fast enough can lose not only their licence but also their car.

Belgium also has huge fines but they seem seldom to be applied.

Probably just as well most visitors take the train
hetismij is offline  
Jan 17th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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More reasons not to drive in Switzerland. Just stick to the magnificent (from an American point of view) public transportation.
Mimar is offline  
Sep 27th, 2010, 08:57 AM
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Just thinking of driving in Switzerland is driving me mad.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 27th, 2010, 09:58 AM
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I think you need to remember that regardless of COUNTRY or natural origin, people here are always going to disagree, especially about driving.

We had a little flare-up once a couple of years ago when someone blatantly declared that the law requiring headlight use during the daylight hours, "Is the stupidest law there ever was."

Perhaps it is or isn't...kinda like seat belts, steel-belted radials, windshields, etc., all have had their detractors over the years.
Dukey1 is offline  

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