Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

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

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

Old Jun 20th, 2013, 05:16 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,321
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's a crazy thought - follow the rules of the road and you dont need to worry about this?

We always look up the rules of the country we are in and do everything in our power to stay within those rules. Havent had a ticket yet (knock on wood)...
jamikins is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 05:21 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
DMB is somewhere between a poster and a troll. But even knowing that the thought of him not returning to Canada hurts. A lot.
colduphere is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 05:23 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,584
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
My mother was killed by a speeding driver.

I have absolutely NO sympathy for you and think you are pathetic to come here and cry like a big baby because you got caught breaking the law.

I think it is cavalier to write that speeding laws save a life or two, no big deal.

What if that life happened to be your child?

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 05:31 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 650
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Somone once stepped on my foot in Iceland. I am never returning. DMB has Ptolemaic view world, he is the earth and everything revolves around him.
BigAleinstein is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 05:37 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My husband has received two tickets from speeding in Switzerland. You have to roll with the punches.

That said, my BIL is fighting a speeding ticket in France, which was issued on a DIFFERENT car, and on a date when he and his wife were already back HOME in the USA. He is having a very difficult time proving this with Avis. You can't speak to a real person on the phone!! Aaaarrrghhhhhh..... I just hope he gets it straightened out....soon.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 05:52 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 608
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Belgian chocolate>Swiss chocolate
tailsock is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 06:46 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
DMB gives American travelers a bad name (even with his US trip reports). Geez.

Fact is, Americans normally drive 5-10 mph above the speed limit. Part of the reason is artificially low speed limits in many areas (divided 4-6 lane roads without residences that have 35 mph limits or similar) but most of the reason is law enforcement. The police allow a 10 mph cushion on most non-residential roads before they start ticketing people. In some states, the cushion is larger because the roads are so empty (think Big Sky country) or because tickets are part of the locality's budget and fines increase exponentially at a certain level (e.g., 15 mph over = 2-3x the fine). So an American applying American rules of the road outside America (the logical flaw inherent in this should be obvious) will think that a ticket for going 3.7 mph over the limit is uncalled for.

But this notion does not apply in Europe, which is more densely populated than any area of the US other than the Northeast. It also doesn't apply in Australia, which is as sparsely populated as most of Alaska. Driving in either Europe or Australia AT the speed limit means you'll be the fastest driver on the road (or tied for the honor) and this is easy to tell shortly after merging into traffic. Why DMB didn't figure this out is a question for another time . . .
BigRuss is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 06:46 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 390
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Umm... DMB:

Of course you can have due process of law. Just contest the charge and you will get a charming invitation from Zurich penal court. The proof will be exhibited at your trial.

In Switzerland speeding tickets are a way to simplify the process. But you are entitled to go to court and engage all instances up to the Supreme Court. If you want to pay for a hopeless case.

And no, there is no sympathy for you or other speeders. Switzerland reduced traffic fatalities by 70% since the sixties in spite of quadrupling the number of cars on the road. This is due, among other things, to cracking down on speeders.

Phil.
Phil is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 07:47 AM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 26,116
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
trouble is more people based on miles traveled die in the US than in the classier countries in Europe, and the rules help to save lives.
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 08:25 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<i><font color=#555555>"I think it is cavalier to write that speeding laws save a life or two"</font></i>

A "cavalier" ticket, given when driving only 5-mph over the limit, is a whole another animal. Thin, I'm sorry to hear about your tragedy, but perspective matters in these blog-style conversations. And excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but European freeway drivers are much more (speed) aggressive than their American counterparts. And I speak from experience.

When communities need money because tax revenue is low due to high unemployment, local governments set the fault lines when it comes to speed infractions. As a foreign traveler who rents a car, you have no idea if the camera-ticket you receive truly belongs to you. There's almost no reasonable way to check it, and no matter how careful you are, there's no way to drive safely in a foreign country and pay that close attention to your speedometer.

The moral of this story: Don't rent a car in Europe if getting one these camera-tickets is a concern to you.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 08:34 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Switzerland reduced traffic fatalities by 70% since the sixties in spite of quadrupling the number of cars on the road. This is due, among other things, to cracking down on speeders."

Disputing Bilbo's erroneous notion of "classier countries in Europe" (just an anti-American crock of hooey) and the above quote from Phil.

The fact is that auto fatalities in the US have NOT increased even as speed limits have. Since 1994, auto fatality rates in the US have declined from 1.73 to 1.1 per 100M miles. Countries in Europe with higher fatality rates include Spain, Belgium, Austria, Greece, and every former Iron Curtain country (whether part of the USSR or not). This is based on available data - e.g., nations from the former Yugoslavia, except Slovenia, and France were not measured. Evidently, Bilbo is denigrating all of those European nations.

The single largest difference in the respective justice systems, and in reducing fatalities, is the treatment of drunks. The US is relatively lenient - DUI and DWI penalties are weak for first- and second-time offenders if there is no other victim of the violator's drunken driving. European countries (especially the Scandinavians) are far harsher even when the only person affected by the drunk is the drunk.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 08:48 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 650
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is not about speeding, it is about how people react to travel.

How about speed traps all over the US, where safety is not the issue but filling the local coffers is.

For some reason I always get into trouble driving in Italy and strange things have happened driving in Spain but I think they are funny and the substance of good stories. If someone wants to pout and blame entire nation, then that, of course, says more about the individual than the country.
BigAleinstein is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 09:13 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 118
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree it's ridiculous the OP is whining about a traffic ticket. I've gotten my share of tickets in the US and it's never pleasant and sometimes the reasons don't seem fair, but you have to see the big picture that the laws are there for our good and accept them even though they aren't always carried out for noble reasons.

BigRuss, I totally agree on drunk driving laws, it has never made sense to me why they are not much more harsh here in the US. I think you should go to jail for 30 days minimum for a first offense, six months for a second offense. I bet that would slow people down.

Oh, and one other thing, I absolutely love chocolate and in my opinion France is the world's greatest producer of fine chocolate. For me Italy even beats Belgium and Switzerland with brands like Amedei and Domori.
Blaise22 is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 09:19 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 118
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't know if this thread is accurate, but I really like these laws for DUIs. They are duly harsh.

http://www.ehow.com/list_6129868_dui-laws-france.html
Blaise22 is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 09:46 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,886
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do you have the option to go to Switz and protest the ticket in court? I'm sure they would have the evidence there. (Which is exactly the same due process we have - it't not their fault you live a plane trip away.) But it doesn;t seem worth it for $129.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 10:30 AM
  #36  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,080
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
janisj,

I do read other postings (don't make assumptions) and was well aware of speeding ticket situation in Europe. As stated in my posting what I find unique about this situation is the "guilty" and till proven "innocent" aspect of the process.

If you are going to charge someone with a violation then evidence should be provided without for example having to hire a lawyer.

I am just not willing to accept a government entity saying that someone broke the law because it says so.

I guess it is one of the reason I enjoy living where I do. To an extent I respect how other countries do things differently but find it interesting.
DMBTraveler is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 10:35 AM
  #37  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,080
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
NYCFoodSnob,

Well said... it is all about the money
DMBTraveler is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 10:36 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,886
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well as far as I know when a cop stops you in the US and gives you a ticket - you are guilty and have to pay it. OR - can go to court and protest - and have the judge look at the evidence. The cop doesn't show you his radar gun or pic of his speedometer to prove you were speeding - he just hands over the ticket.

The due process is afterwards - and you can protest in Swtiz if you want. And, just like in the US - they don;t have to prove anything until you go to court.

Innocent until proven guilty is for crimes - not infractions (like parking or speeding tickets). Like the cop says - ignorance of the law is no excuse.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 03:14 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73,203
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
>>I am just not willing to accept a government entity saying that someone broke the law because it says so.<<

There is no difference between getting a red light ticket in the mail in the States or getting a speeding ticket in the mail from Switzerland. You have every right in the world to appeal - same as back home. You just have to present yourself in person before a magistrate/judge.

Your headline is a crock.
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 20th, 2013, 03:27 PM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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.>

If this is your criteria you should boycott just about every country in Europe as most do exactly the same thing as many posts, especially regarding Italy say.

Do the crime and do the time - that's what your civilized societies do yet you think you can break a law and go Scot-free. Weird logic there but typical.
PalenQ is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -