Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Beware of The Swiss Law

Swiss Law. Take it serious. Very Serious indeed!

Yes, I saw this 'postcard picture' in my rear view mirror many times.
Believe me, you don't want to...
Switzerland used to be a country where you could speed on your motorcycle as long as you were willing to pay the high speeding fines. It used to be a money game; rich people (and they have a lot of them there), could ride as fast as they wanted, since if one of the many radars caught them, they just pay the fine. For mere mortals, the fine would be prohibitive, but for the rich, it's just cigar money. Fines are determined by the monthly income you have, so the amount of money you pay is related to your income. So speeding could be very expensive, but no serious harm done. But not anymore. A new law passed recently, calling for strict measures against speeders and dangerous driving. Now the Swiss will be sent to jail, from 1 to 4 years.

Swiss Radar. Looks like fun, but the Swiss don't like fun. At all.
Some of the new rules and speed limit thresholds are: 70 kph in a 30 kph zone, 100 kph in a 50 zone and 140 kph in an 80 zone. Do one of those, and you'll end up in a cell with a cell-mate named Bubba (or whatever the Swiss equivalent). To make sure the Swiss obey the law, they have outlawed vehicles from warning each other of there's a speed check up ahead. They will not throw you in prison, but you can expect a hefty fine.

You have to ask yourself; do they serve cheese and chocolates in Swiss cells..?

And another one you should be aware of: Your Motorway Tax Sticker

If you have ever ridden your motorcycle (or car) in Switzerland, you'll know what I'm talking about. When you take the motorway in the country of cheese, chocolate and bankers, you'll need to pay an annual tax, even if you're only on the motorway system for 10 minutes. You can get the tax sticker at the border, motorway offices, post offices or garages. The CHF40 (32) sticker needs to be displayed on your car windshield, though motorcycle are allowed to put elsewhere on their bike. But riding on the motorway without the sticker is going to get tricky, or expensive. Starting today, the fine for being caught without the tax sticker is doubling, from CHF100 (€ 80) to CHF200 (160). And since the cops who patrol the roads are always on the lookout for citizens to fine, chances are you'll be caught. So better pay the annual tax, which is not proportional, so if you need to take to the excellent road system on 30 December, you'll pay the same as someone who went on the 1st of January.

Switzerland is beautiful. But the old saying 'Wenn es kein Gesetz ist - ist es Verboten'
 (If it's not a law - it's vorbidden) is absolutely true. Think about it. Be careful, you're warned.

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