That is the hope of a group collecting signatures for a national vote on the subject. They would like to see the maximum speed on Swiss motorways increase from 120 km/hour to 140 km/hour. Last Friday the vote’s initiators, a group of seven young people from Zurich, claimed to have collected 90,000 of the 100,000 required to put the question to a national vote. Time is running out however. To pass the first hurdle they must get 100,000 verified signatures by 20 November 2015.
Speaking to the newspaper Le Matin Amanda Gavilanes, spokes-person for the group Switzerland without an army, who has experience collecting votes, said “At a federal level it is totally possible. It’s not unusual to collect 3,000 to 4,000 votes a week.” According to the initiative’s Facebook page they collected 9,000 signatures in the three weeks from 10 to 31 October.
This is not the first attempt to change Swiss speed limits. In 1989 a vote called “Pro vitesse 130/100” failed after 62% voted “no” to proposed speed limit increases to 130 km/hour on motorways and from 80 km/hour to 100 km/hour on regular roads. Votes in French-speaking Swiss cantons by themselves showed a “yes” majority however.
The Swiss Automobile Club (ACS), which supports the initiative, indicated that Swiss motorways had been designed for speeds of 130 km/hour and that a limit of 140 km/hour would not compromise safety on the safest sections. The ACS pointed out that between 1977 and 1985 the speed limit was 130 km/hour until the Federal Council reduced the limit to 120 km/hour.