Swiss parliament to vote on enforcing horsepower limit for new drivers

Swiss parliament to vote on enforcing horsepower limit for new drivers

The National Council of Switzerland is set to discuss a new law that would restrict some drivers in Switzerland to low horsepower cars, in an effort to reduce the number of accidents. In the plan, those who have just passed their driving test would only be allowed to drive a car with a maximum of around 200 brake horsepower.

Horsepower cap for new Swiss drivers designed to reduce accidents

National Councillor Gabriela Suter has submitted a motion to the Swiss parliament that calls for new drivers to be limited in what vehicles they can drive. The last year has seen a huge increase in the number of vehicle accidents in Switzerland, which the Federal Roads Office attributes to a significant rise in the number of new drivers.

Suter argued that most road accidents involving young people are a result of a new driver behind the wheel of a powerful car. “A fatal mix of high risk-taking, overestimation of oneself and lack of experience with high-powered vehicles sometimes result in terrible accidents,” Suter told the Tages-Anzeiger.

To combat the problem, Suter wants to implement a limit of around 200 brake horsepower for new drivers. The exact horsepower limit and the length of the ban are yet to be determined. She argued that a similar provision is already in place for new motorcyclists in Switzerland, so it wasn't a stretch to include new drivers too.

Federal Council calls on Swiss parliament to reject the idea

In response, the Federal Council has recommended that parliament reject the motion. In a statement, they claimed that the move would not reduce road accidents in Switzerland and called on politicians to dismiss the proposal when it is submitted next week.

The plan also hasn’t gone down well with young people, with the vice president of the Young Greens, Julia Küg, noting that, “Age is not a determining factor in accidents where speed is involved.” Instead, she called for a general cap on horsepower in Switzerland, to help with combatting climate change.

Even among Suter’s own party, the proposal has been met with a mixed response. Young Socialists President Ronja Jansen said that speeding occurs in all age groups and instead advocated for a speed limit reduction on Swiss motorways.

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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