Switzerland’s government is considering stiffer sanctions for drivers who fail to make room for emergency services to pass in emergencies, according to SonntagsZeitung. The government wants to better inform drivers too.
At this stage all options remain open. Switzerland’s Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) has not yet decided how to sanction drivers, according to the newspaper.
One option would be to follow Germany. Drivers there who fail to move face fines of 200 euros, and those who clearly put someone’s life in danger risk losing their licenses.
Current Swiss law already requires drivers to allow emergency services through. Article 16 of Switzerland’s road regulations states that fire service, health service, customs service and police vehicles with flashing blue lights have priority over all other road users and that other users must immediately get out of their way.
Part of the problem appears to be that drivers are not well informed on what they must do. In addition, public perception of the police is shifting. The police are more and more seen as an enemy according to Max Hofmann, a senior police official.
Another challenge is increased traffic.
So what should drivers do?
On motorways it is important to stay out of the emergency lane. Where there is no emergency lane drivers need to move to the left or right to create a central corridor for emergency vehicles. And, not forget to indicate.
Article 16 of of Switzerland’s road regulations (in French) – Take a 5 minute French test now
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