The Swiss parliament took a step towards legalizing the sale of alcohol in motorway service stations when the lower house on Tuesday voted in favour of overturning an old law that bans the practice.
Restaurants and shops in motorway rest areas have been banned from selling alcohol since 1964, reported news agencies
But the law is unfair, think some MPs, since service stations and shops just off the motorway are allowed to sell it.
Among the 155 MPs who voted in favour of lifting the ban, Swiss People’s Party (SVP) member Nadja Pieren said every individual knows the law on drink-driving and is responsible for respecting it.
Fatal road accidents on motorways have decreased not due to the 1964 ban but because of other prevention measures, said another MP.
However some 62 parliamentarians opposed the move, saying the general population didn’t want the ban lifted.
Swiss President Doris Leuthard hinted that, after rejecting previous moves to lift the ban, the Federal Council may be in favour of it this time.
Figures show that of 18,000 traffic accidents on Swiss roads last year only 2,000 occurred on motorways, and of those most were due to speeding, not alcohol.
Given it’s already very easy for drivers to pick up alcohol just off the motorway, lifting the ban would change nothing, she said.
The upper house of parliament must still approve the change.