Can you be fined for driving with an iced-up windscreen in Switzerland?

Can you be fined for driving with an iced-up windscreen in Switzerland?

With frigid weather in Switzerland set to continue for the foreseeable future, many drivers may be thinking of cutting down on the morning wait and heading to work with a frozen windscreen. Now, Swiss police have confirmed that driving with iced-up windows is a fineable offence that could see your driving licence revoked in extreme circumstances.

Icy conditions set to dominate Swiss weather

We’ve all been there: you open your eyes to another day living in the bleak midwinter, your alarm has done little to make waking up for work easier and to top it all off, the front windscreen of your car has fully iced up. The last thing you want to do is venture out into the cold with an ice scraper or chemicals to clear the ice, so many choose to clear a small gap on the frozen window and then hop in the car and drive on, hoping the heating will do the rest of the job.

Now, police in Zug have confirmed this technique is not only dangerous, but it also amounts to a fineable offence. A spokesperson told 20 Minuten on January 20 that they have already stopped several drivers who were travelling with iced-up windows.

In their most recent sting, the emergency services pulled over three offending drivers, two of whom had made a small ice-free window on the windscreen, while another was driving with completely iced-up windows. All three have been referred to the public prosecutor's office for fines and possible legal action.

Is driving with iced-up windows in Switzerland illegal?

In Switzerland, all windows, rear-view mirrors, lights and licence plates must be kept clean and clear by law. In addition, you are not allowed to let ice and snow fall off the roof of your car while driving, as this can blind the motorists behind you. 

Police said that people caught driving with iced-up windows are increasing the chance of a road accident. “Drivers who are on the road in this way must also expect their ID card to be withdrawn in addition to the criminal complaint. They are also threatened with a high fine,” they told 20 Minuten. Therefore, authorities have encouraged all drivers to allow enough time in the mornings to make their vehicles ice-free.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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