Swiss litter louts to face spot fines
Disposing of glass bottles on a Sunday or leaving rubbish lying around after a picnic could soon incur spot fines if the government gets its way.
It has drawn up a list of minor offences – from littering to the unauthorized firing of a gun – that would result in spot fines of up to 300 francs, according to the Blick newspaper.
Parliament accepted the principle of extending fines last summer. Now the government has drawn up a full list of misdemeanors to which the fines will apply from January 1st, 2018.
That is assuming the plans are not challenged in the next three months – the period allowed for consultation.
Currently spot fines are applied only for violations of the road traffic act, such as failure to wear a seatbelt or ignoring road signs.
Under the government's planned changes to laws regarding foodstuffs, nature protection and weapons, anyone caught recycling cans or bottles outside the regulation hours and days will be hit with a 50-franc fine.
A smoker lighting up a cigarette in a closed, publicly accessible space could be fined 80 francs by police.
Unauthorized picking, digging up, selling or buying of wild plants or flowers will incur a charge of 100 francs.
Serving spirits to under 18-year-olds would lead to a fine of 200 francs, as will leaving your rubbish lying around after a picnic.
And 300 francs will be levied on anyone firing a gun without authorization in a public place.
At the moment the cantons are free to set their own rules regarding littering on Swiss streets, which reportedly costs authorities 200 million francs a year.