Police camera on Langstrasse "earns" Zurich 1,73 million francs in a month

Police camera on Langstrasse "earns" Zurich 1,73 million francs in a month

While traffic on the infamous Langstrasse in the heart of Zurich has been heavily restricted since September, some motorists are still not following the new rules. Authorities in the city confirmed that police issued 17.310 fines to drivers attempting to motor down the "party street" illegally in just one month, adding 1,73 million francs to cantonal coffers.

Traffic calming measures being ignored on Langstrasse

As part of a new city initiative, traffic has been heavily restricted on Langstrasse - the most famous street in Zurich for nightlife. Since late September, only buses, taxis and cyclists have been able to use the street in both directions during the day. Drivers and motorcyclists have also been banned from using the street entirely from 5.30am to 10pm between the junctions of Ankerstrasse and Kanonengasse. 

However, soon after the measures were imposed, police noticed that a large number of motorists were simply ignoring the rules. Therefore, as of January 8, a camera has been set up, fining every driver that uses the road incorrectly 100 Swiss francs.

Zurich police issued 17.310 fines in a month

Now, authorities in the city revealed that in just one month of operation, the camera issued 17.310 fines. The fines totalled 1,73 million francs for the month, meaning authorities were raking in 38 francs a minute from drivers on Langstrasse alone. 

Needless to say, the revelations have not been well received by the public, with 20 Minuten reporting that many locals have taken issue with the sheer value of fines issued in such a short period. The newspaper also questioned the effectiveness of the programme to begin with, with a local reporter noting that the traffic rules are still being ignored on Langstrasse.

Only a matter of time before drivers respect new rules, say officials

Speaking to the newspaper, a spokesperson for the security department of Zurich, Mathias Ninck, assured that the “new traffic regime is not about filling the city’s coffers with fines” and is simply trying to enforce the new rules. He noted that the problem may lie in the fact that many in-built satellite navigation systems do not take the new rules into account and that “many people driving are more likely to look at the navigation system than at the traffic signs.”

Ninck added that the policy was “implemented using a complex process and in close collaboration with the neighbourhood and residents.” He said he understood why people are annoyed by the fines, “But ultimately it is the responsibility of drivers to follow the rules.”

What’s more, the spokesperson noted that many other traffic changes have led to similarly severe fines, concluding that the number of fines issued on Langstrasse should decline precipitously, once motorists get accustomed to the new regulations.

Thumb image credit: Thomas Stoiber /

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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