Hans-Peter Portman, a parliamentarian from Zurich, wants cyclists who break the road rules to suffer the same penalties as drivers. Last week, he, along with 72 other members, signed a parliamentary motion to have the sanctions stiffened for errant cyclists.
According to Blick, the most common transgressions are crossing white lines, running red lights, weaving between stationery cars, and cycling on the footpath. Fines for these offenses currently range from CHF 20 to CHF 60.
Hans-Peter Portman’s motion proposes hitting cyclists with the same fines and penalties as drivers. Under the plan, a cyclist running a red light would face a fine of CHF 250, the same as a driver. Serious violations would result in a loss of license.
Thomas Rohrbach, from Switzerland’s Federal Roads Office (FEDRO), admitted that the Police spend more time policing drivers than cyclists, pointing out that a car can cause more damage than a bike. He also admitted that it was rare for a cyclist to lose their driving license, something that typically only happens if drugs or alcohol are involved.
Evi Allemann, president of the association for transport and the environment has a different view. She thinks reckless cyclists are a minority that are causing problems for the majority of other bikers who follow the rules. Instead of fining cyclists she thinks it would make more sense to improve cycling infrastructure.
Cyclists are sometimes victims of rule-breaking drivers, in particular those who park illegally. To illustrate this point, after getting ticketed for not cycling in the cycling lane, New Yorker Casey Neistat created a video of his attempt to cycle around the city in cycling lanes. The video, which looks very painful, went viral.
In 2015 in Switzerland, 4,004 cyclists1 were injured or killed, representing 18.4% of total Swiss road accident victims. Cyclists were ten times more likely to be killed in and accident than car drivers2.
1 Including those on cycles and electric cycles. OFS figures (in French)
2 Victim rate per distance covered. OFS report – opens PDF (in French)
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Is the whole idea not to induce cycling , to bring about more cyclists , a greener society a car- less state. With no or very little cycle paths or lanes and with pedestrians ever walking in them ( especially along the lake area) what is left to do than to find your best way. First bring and or empower the riders with proper infrastructure and then regulate them properly – this works in Nedl , Germany and many others .One can construe this as a politician , probably a non cycling 38 year old seeing this as her big break into some form of political campaign . Well done then ! this could score one some browny points in parliament… But as a counter proposal why is there no initiative to rather find something real to do like raising funds to build new cycling networks .( and not from the taxpayer ) I really hope this politician can spend 2017 more positive and finally do something good and constructive for her political career .
I hope the authorities really cracked down.
This interim period is actually more dangerous for me personally. I’m elderly and slow and I’ve been enjoying the relief of no threats from wheeled vehicles on pavements, but there are still renegades menacing us and I’ve had four close calls around park des Bastions. Not expecting to be run over in fact I’ve had close calls.
Also my visiting very small grandchildren have been endangered along the lake and around other parks.
Frankly I’m very annoyed by skate boards, almost got hit in face recently.
Thanks for bringing attention to this hazard, but perhaps we need even more public awareness.