Speeding Fines In Switzerland – Things You Need to Know
There are very few expats I know in Zurich who drive, who haven’t at some stage talked to me about their speeding fines or the amount of speeding cameras there are in the country. Someone once told be that there are more speeding cameras in the Canton of Zurich than the whole of Germany! I don’t know if this is a true fact – but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is.
There are two main types of speed cameras – the permanent ones and the mobile ones. All are difficult to spot – unlike in the UK where I come from and where they are bright yellow – and yes, people still get caught!! In Switzerland they are usually grey and placed in very unobtrusive locations for maximum impact. Sometimes they are right after a bridge on the motorway, sometimes partially hidden by trees or bushes, or located next to a junction box or a concrete building. You may also come across temporary police speed checks occasionally, where they set up in a lay-by or at the side of the road with a speed trap, and of course there are also police patrols on the motorways too.
Speed Limits Change Frequently
The speed cameras have a very low threshold, so to avoid racking up huge amounts in fines, it’s worth getting to know the speed limits and watching out for the frequent changes in speed limits. This latter point is very important, as even on the same road you can find the speed limits changing several times in different sections – so it is so easy to miss the fact that you are currently driving in a lower speed limit area.
Budget For Fines When You First Arrive
When we arrived in Switzerland a friend of ours told us to put aside a minimum of CHF 100 per month in a special collections for speed fines. That way you don’t get too upset when you get your first fine or two through and can regard it is a planned expense – though ideally you hope you never have to use this fund! In fact the longer you stay in Switzerland the more used you get to the speed limits, meaning you hopefully incur fewer penalties. In the UK I had been driving for over 20 years without any speed fines at all, yet within the first year of driving in Switzerland I had already incurred my first Swiss speeding fine.
Pay Your Fine Straight Away
Another tip is to always pay the fine immediately, and this is also the case for parking fines too. If you don’t pay within a certain amount of time you may find the fine actually increases. However, most importantly for peace of mind, it’s much better to just pay and get on with your life without thinking of it all the time and making you feel bad. 🙂
So that you know here are a list of the Speed Limits in Switzerland:
- On a motorway the maximum is 120 km/h
- On a dual carriageway the maximum is 100 km/h
- On roads outside built-up areas it is usually 80 km/h
- In towns and built-up areas it is usually 50 km/h.
However, these are simply guidelines and due to accidents, road or weather conditions or construction works, the speed may be lowered. In certain areas in villages and town you may also encounter areas where the speed limit is 30km/h or even to 20km/h. Be especially vigilant in these areas as even a small amount over the threshold can result in a large fine and it is so easy to exceed the speed restrictions when the speed is so low.
If you drive too fast you will face the following fines and penalties:
Serious Speed Infringements
If you commit a serious speed infringement you are most likely to incur serious financial penalties and you may even be banned for driving. These instances are for example speeding by 35 km/h on the motorway, by 30 km/h outside built-up areas, or by 25 km/h in built-up areas. Not only is the offence is entered into the criminal convictions register but there is a lot of paper work involved and there is usually also a right of appeal if there are extenuating circumstances. In serious cases you may need to seek advice from a lawyer and you may even have to go to court.
Frequent Speeding Violations
If you continually incur speeding penalties, you can be banned from driving for long periods of time. If you are a serious offender you may even be be banned from driving until it has been decided whether to disqualify you on a permanent basis and you may need to see a psychologist for an assessment on whether you are fit to drive. Please see the tables below on disqualification from driving:
Did You Know?
The highest recorded speeding fine ever issued was to a 37 year old Swedish man in 2010 in Switzerland! He was fined a total of CHF 1.08 Million for driving at 290 km/h on a 120 km/h stretch of motorway.
Wishing you safe travels and safe driving!
Both information tables courtesy of Ch.ch
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