Honking after Euros matches allowed for exactly 1 hour, say Swiss police

Honking after Euros matches allowed for exactly 1 hour, say Swiss police

As people across Switzerland cheer on the Nati at the Euros, the thorny issue of how drivers can celebrate the team’s successes (and near-misses) has come across the desk of the police. In a typical Swiss compromise, a majority of local authorities have said that they will tolerate the honking of horns by drivers after Euro 2024 matches, but only for an hour.

Swiss police faced with honking football fans

It was an infamous part of the last World Cup: as soon as the national team won a game, the streets of Swiss cities were a cacophony of honking horns and wild celebrations. Now, with Switzerland’s Euro 2024 campaign already underway, the Keystone-SDA news agency has conducted a survey of police forces, to see how much revelry will be tolerated this time around.

First off, technically speaking, "honking as an expression of joy" is illegal in Switzerland under the Road Traffic Act. However, a majority of cantonal police forces told the news agency that they would be using “discretion” and “common sense” when enforcing the rules during the European Championships.

Therefore, in a compromise that would make the government proud, the majority of forces will allow people to celebrate their team’s victories in the Euros by honking their horns. However, this new tolerance will be extinguished exactly an hour after the final whistle blows, after which the police will act and fine as usual.

What Euros celebrations will not be tolerated in Switzerland?

However, this discretion is not universal: for example, in Lucerne, a police spokesperson added that there would be no tolerance for honking in residential areas and near hospitals and retirement homes. Elsewhere, forces in St. Gallen, Zurich and Aarau confirmed that if car-related celebrations turn into a slow convoy of jovial football fans, road closures and diversions are likely.

There are also behaviours that no force will tolerate: if a person is determined to be endangering themselves or others, such as by leaning out of the car and celebrating, they will be stopped by police. In addition, the cantonal police in Solothurn said there will be “no match bonus” for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Euro 2024 a positive event for Swiss police so far

So far, the vast majority of Swiss police forces asked by Keystone-SDA reported that the Euros have been a positive event. For instance, officials in Basel confirmed that police interventions have been very rare, with the Chur city police adding that they have had “almost no” problems related to the Euros or World Cups in the last 20 years.

In fact, only Canton Bern said it has had major problems with Euros football fans in the past: in 2016, a motorcyclist died during the celebrations after a match.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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