Rules and regulations

Speeding fines in Switzerland – what should I expect to pay?

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Speeding is not just dangerous – it can be very expensive too. Source: iStock / zheltikov

The “Via Sicura” road safety programme launched by the Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) in 2013 resulted in the tightening of traffic laws. The idea was to prevent serious road accidents by introducing measures such as stricter fines and penalties for speeding offenders. So far, the effect has been positive: there are fewer fatalities and severe injuries on Swiss roads. The list of fines imposed in Switzerland is updated periodically. Find out here what fines are currently payable.

Most motorists adhere to road traffic rules as a matter of course. Nevertheless, some significant violations of these rules still occur, particularly with regard to prescribed speed limits. One of the aims of the Federal Council's “Via Sicura” set of measures is to reduce speeding on Swiss roads. These measures are designed to deter the worst speeding offenders in particular and therefore reduce the number of accidents.

In October 2018, accident data published by the Federal Road Office (FEDRO) showed that the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents fell during the first half of 2018 (page in German, French and Italian only).

What is considered a speeding offence?

A dangerous driving offence is deemed to have been committed when the speed limits have been exceeded as outlined in the following table.

Zone Speed limit exceeded by Margin of error
30 zone
40 km/h
1 km/h
50 zone (built-up areas)
50 km/h
5 km/h
80 zone (outside built-up areas)
60 km/h
8 km/h
120 zone (motorways)
80 km/h
10 km/h

The penalty for committing a dangerous driving offence is the withdrawal of your driving licence for at least two years. Motorists who repeat the offence will lose their licence permanently. What’s more, they could face between one and four years in prison. In the case of gross violation of speeding limits, the car may be confiscated and even sold.

How much are the fines?

According to government recommendations, the fines for exceeding the speed limit and the margins of error that are deducted from speed measurements are as follows (fines and penalties may vary according to canton): 

Fines

Excess speed Built-up areas Outside built-up areas Motorway
1-5 km/h
CHF 40 CHF 40 CHF 20
6-10 km/h
CHF 120
 CHF 100 CHF 60
11-15 km/h
 CHF 250  CHF 160  CHF 120
16-20 km/h
 C  CHF 240  CHF 180
21-25 km/h
 C  C  CHF 260
26-39 km/h
 C  C  C
40-80 km/h
 D D
 D

C = criminal charge, D = dangerous driving offence

Margins of error

Measurement type Up to 100 km/h 101-150 km/h Over 150 km/h
Fixed radar
5 km/h
6 km/h
7 km/h
Fixed laser 3 km/h
4 km/h
5 km/h
Mobile radar
7 km/h
8 km/h
9 km/h

Harsh penalties even for young drivers

The penalties set out in the Swiss Federal Road Traffic Act (SVG) are no less tough for young drivers who break traffic rules. The penalties and fines can vary considerably, depending on the offence. They are regulated in the government's fixed penalties ordinance, which list all offences and their possible penalties (page in German, French and Italian only).

Although as a rule, young drivers don’t pay higher fines than older, more experienced drivers, there are some penalties that are particularly tough for young drivers. For instance, they can be fined 20 francs just for failing to carry their driving licence. Adding money to a time-limited parking meter is punishable with a fine of 40 francs. Anyone caught on their phone while driving without a hands-free set can expect to pay a fine of 100 francs.

So clearly, adhering to road traffic laws is not just about protecting your own life and that of others – it can save you money too.