Swiss town to implement 200-franc fine for spitting

Swiss town to implement 200-franc fine for spitting

While considered a bad habit in most places in the world, many wouldn't expect spitting on the ground to be an offence of fineable proportions. However, thanks to a new law in Wallisellen, Canton Zurich, anyone caught spitting in public in the town will be charged 200 francs for the privilege.

Wallisellen approve 200-franc spitting fine

In early December officials in the commuter town near Zurich voted in favour of implementing a 200 franc fine for spitting in public. According to a statement from Wallisellen City Council's head of security Thomas Eckereder (SVP), “Anyone who ostentatiously spits on the ground will feel it in the wallet.”

The fine for spitting is not entirely new, as previously the police were able to issue a 30 franc fine for every gobby expulsion. Wallisellen itself was the first part of Switzerland to enforce the rule, launching the policy in 2006 - at the time it was labelled the “Singapore of the Alps”, a homage to the country where spitting carries a 650 franc (1.000 Singapore Dollar) minimum fine. According to official estimates, 10 people in Wallisellen were fined for spitting every year between 2006 and 2010.

Other towns in Canton Zurich set to follow suit

Authorities in the town told that the main reason for the fine is the “hygiene factor.” They argued that so soon after the COVID pandemic, it made sense to debate policies that combine public decency with good hygiene - however, when asked by the Swiss media, officials from Canton Zurich said that there is no evidence that such a policy would have any marked impact on an epidemic.

The fines will come into force from January 1, 2024, with neighbouring communities like Opfikon, Dietlikon, Kloten and Bassersdorf expected to follow suit. However, speaking to, Kloten Mayor René Huber (SVP) said that his community is not enthusiastic about the plan. He announced that while he would implement the fines “out of solidarity” with other towns, the fine would “certainly be significantly less” than 200 francs.  

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...

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