The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Speeders Beware: New Rules for Road Traffic Take Effect Sunday

Those who speed on Swiss roads can now be punished less harshly under certain conditions. The courts have been granted more discretion. This is one of several changes to the Road Traffic Act that came into force on Sunday. The Parliament had approved the revision of the Road Traffic Act in the spring session. The changes will be implemented in stages. The first package includes, among other things, the following topics:. The Swiss Parliament has recently changed its stance on the minimum sentence for reckless driving offences. Previously, the minimum sentence was one year of imprisonment, but now it can be reduced to less than one year if the motorist acted "for worthy reasons" or if they have no prior convictions. Similarly, the minimum driving ban of two years can be reduced to twelve months. Initially, the National Council and the Council of States wanted to abolish the minimum sentence, but a referendum threat from the Roadcross Foundation caused them to reverse their decision. Authorities must now reduce the penalty for drivers of police, fire or medical vehicles who violate traffic regulations during operations and are subsequently judged to have acted disproportionately. In such cases, police officers, paramedics and firefighters will now only be punished for the difference between the speed that was appropriate for the mission and the signaled maximum speed. Previously, the signaled maximum speed was used as a reference. Companies are now subject to the so-called holder liability: If it cannot be determined who was driving a certain company car at a certain time, the company owning the vehicle can be fined. This same principle has already applied to natural persons, for example in cases where someone lends out their car. If someone commits a minor violation of traffic regulations during their probationary period, their probationary period will not be extended or their license annulled. The probationary period will only be extended by one year if someone has to surrender their license due to a serious or medium-serious violation. A license will be annulled if someone commits another medium-serious or serious violation during their probationary period.

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