Speeding penalties to be relaxed in Switzerland under new plans
The National Council has voted to approve a plan that would see more lenient punishments for drivers in Switzerland who speed. The revised Road Traffic Act would impose milder penalties for going over the limit, which has appalled road safety advocates who argue it sends the wrong message.
New plans would see speeding punishments relaxed in Switzerland
After a long debate, the National Council approved a plan initially proposed in February that would see lighter punishments for speeding. Under the new plans, the drivers' licences of speeding offenders will only be withdrawn for a minimum of 12 months instead of 24, the courts will have more discretion when determining punishments for speeding and the statutory minimum sentence for serious speeding offences is to be abolished.
According to the National Council, drivers who have just passed their test will also be punished less, and the hurdles to get a learner licence revoked will be made higher. The plans reverse policy imposed in 2013, which saw speeders penalised more severely, in laws that many politicians saw as an overreaction. The National Council said the new rules will not stop serious offenders from being punished.
Disappointment from road safety advocates
While some celebrated the change, others made the point that the decision will not improve road safety. National Councillor Jon Pult said the new rules are a mistake as current laws have “proven themselves as a tool for preventing speeding offences.”
Willi Wismer, President of the Foundation Council of RoadCross Switzerland - a road safety and traffic victim charity - said that the result would jeopardise road safety and send the wrong message to offenders. He argued the changes to discretion are not justified as “nobody simply drives over 100 kilometres an hour in town."