Swiss 30km/h zones dramatically reduce serious road accidents, study finds

Swiss 30km/h zones dramatically reduce serious road accidents, study finds

As a number of Swiss cities prepare to reduce the speed limit on local roads to 30 kilometres per hour, a new report by the Accident Prevention Bureau (BPA) revealed that the policy is able to reduce serious road accidents by 38 percent. Other road-calming and driving policies were also found to help significantly.

Lower speed limit effective at reducing road accidents in Switzerland

Out of the 600 roads studied by the BPA, they found that reducing the speed limit to 30 km / h “made it possible to reduce the number of serious accidents by 38 percent on average." In a statement, the BPA explained that "this result shows that limiting the speed to 30 km / h has enormous potential for improving road safety."

It follows a move by a number of city governments to limit the speed on local roads. A report by the Swiss Association of Cities in December 2022 said that the 30 km / h policy would reduce the burden on the emergency services and healthcare system through reduced accidents and pollution, lower noise pollution by three decibels and allow entrepreneurs and pedestrians to use the streets as “public spaces.”

It also comes after the latest road accident statistics were released by the Federal Roads Office, which found that the number of serious road accidents in the alpine nation increased again in 2022. The rise was significant enough that the government has commissioned a full report into why accidents are increasing.

Lower speed limits not the only tool to prevent road accidents

As a result of the BPA report, the organisation said that it was in favour of a “paradigm shift” in how roads are managed in Switzerland. They called on the state to impose the new limit, "wherever road safety requires it, not only on neighbourhood roads, but also on certain sections of the roads assigned to general traffic."

However, the study's authors also noted that other road management tools have proven effective for Swiss councils and cities across the country. Of particular note are black and white arrows on bends, removing the centre line on two-way roads and marking cycle lanes, policies which reduce serious accidents by 63, 73 and 78 percent respectively.

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...

Read more



Leave a comment