• Switzerland's news in English

Online speed camera warnings to be banned

Meritxell Mir · 22 Dec 2011, 10:29

Published: 22 Dec 2011 11:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Dec 2011 10:29 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

People who reveal the location of Swiss speed cameras on the internet face fines of up to 10,000 francs ($10,700), under new laws.

Like rebellious drivers everywhere, Swiss motorists have been using the internet to stay ahead of the police. Facebook group ‘Mobile radar reports: Switzerland’ has about 14,000 users. But a new law passed this week by the Swiss parliament will make it illegal to share information online about the location of speed cameras.

With 91 votes in favour and 72 against, the National Council approved the ban on speed camera warnings. The ban will come into effect in 2013 at the earliest.

According to socialist Edith Graf-Litscher, the spokeswoman for the national commission that proposed the ban, individuals will still be allowed to warn each other about cameras, but it will be illegal to make a public announcement on the subject on Facebook or Twitter.

Both the Swiss People’s Party and the Radical Party rejected the ban.

“This is a totally disproportionate decision,” said Radical Party councillor Markus Hutter, pointing out that even the police erect speed camera warning signs and that GPS navigation systems often alert drivers when they are approaching cameras.

“The ban is not feasible,” Hutter told Tages Anzeiger. “How can they ban warnings on the internet?" he wondered.

Graf-Litscher said the law would even prevent people with lots of friends from posting information about the cameras on their private Facebook accounts:

"It depends on how many Facebook friends someone has,” explained Graf-Litscher to the Zurich paper. “With two it is probably ok, but not so much with 1,000 friends,” she added.

Graf-Litscher said courts will have to decide the details of how the law is applied. Newspaper Tages Anzeiger writes that “apparently, Parliament has approved a ban without knowing exactly what it implies.”

Martin Steiger, a lawyer specialised on internet issues, says that if Parliament wants to ban public warnings, “they would have to prohibit the internet everywhere” and underlines that the proposed law contains “considerable legal uncertainty.”

The administrator of the Facebook group considers the decision of Parliament “ridiculous and unfeasible.” The man, who asked Tages Anzeiger to remain anonymous, says that if his speed cameras warning page is banned, “someone will start a new group immediately.”

Meritxell Mir (news@thelocal.ch)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2011-12-23 18:41:41 by jcwconsult
The only way speed cameras make enough money to justify the costs of the cameras themselves is if the posted speed limits are NOT set for maximum safety. In almost every case, you will only find speed cameras located in places where the posted speed limits are set WAY below the 85th percentile speed of free flowing vehicles under good conditions, the method that almost always produces the smoothest and safest traffic flow with the fewest accidents. It is terribly simple for a government to set the posted limit below the level that would produce the safest traffic flow, and then add ticket cameras to make money. It is simple, but corrupt. See our website for the science of the safest 85th percentile speed limits. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA (recent visitor to Switzerland in September 2011)
Today's headlines
Presented by MoneyPark
How to get a mortgage in Switzerland
Houses in Zürich. Photo: Pixabay.

Ready to buy? Here’s what you need to know as an expat about Swiss regulations, how to finance your purchase, and why you should use a broker.

Autumn in Switzerland: ten stunning Instagram photos
Photo: Swiss Tourism/Jan Geerk

Switzerland is beautiful in all seasons, but as these photos show, autumn is a special time in the alpine country.

Report: Swiss progress slows on gender equality
File photo: David Soulivet

Globally, it will take 170 years to achieve gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum.

Brothers go to court to stop suicide of sibling
File photo: Lisa Edmonds

Two men have filed a legal bid to prevent the Swiss assisted suicide association Exit from helping their older brother to kill himself.

Wawrinka snubs past form to reach Basel second round
Wawrinka beat local wildcard Marco Chiudinelli. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka has reached the second round in Basel after going out in the first round for the past four years.

Villagers asked to help fund bridge renovations
The bridge links the two villages of Veltheim (pictured) and Holderbank. Photo: Lutz Fischer-Lamprecht

The crowdfunding campaign by the two communes is the first of its kind in Switzerland.

Police discover body buried in Orbe house
File photo: Bas Leenders

Police have opened an investigation after finding a body buried in a house in Orbe, in the canton of Vaud, on Saturday.

Valais shaken by 4.2 magnitude earthquake
The earthquake hit in the canton of Valais near Sierre. Photo: Alain Rouiller

It's the biggest earthquake to hit the country for two years.

Swiss Indoors kicks off without champ Federer
Federer celebrates with ball girls and boys after winning the event in 2015. Photo: Harold Cunningham/Pool/AFP

Stan Wawrinka is top seed as injured Federer sits it out.

IOC hires Russian doping whistleblower as consultant
IOC President Thomas Bach confirmed the news. File photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has hired Vitaly Stepanov as a consultant and is helping his runner wife Yuliya.

Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben
Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: The Local
Ticino firefighters rescue cow from swimming pool
Photo: Antoni Da Campo
Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
Photo: Randy Kashka
Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Seven things you’ll miss about Switzerland if you leave
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
jobs available