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Sneak preview: Switzerland's new 'on-the-spot' fines for 2020

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Sneak preview: Switzerland's new 'on-the-spot' fines for 2020
File photo: Kantonspolizei Zürich

From January 2020, a whole range of minor offences will no longer result in criminal proceedings in Switzerland.


Under the regulations that come into force at the start of next year, people who are caught committing a minor infraction listed in the new rules can pay an on-the-spot fine without police even needing to note down their personal details. 

Alternately, people can choose to pay within a 30-day period. In those cases, police will take their personal details and provide them with a payment slip. If the payment is made on time, the police record of the offence will then be destroyed. 

Read also: Driver fined for failing to go on green light

This system of replacing criminal notices with simple fines has the advantage of not leaving a paper or data trail. It means no criminal record for people caught offending.

It also ends up cheaper for both the authorities and offenders, Swiss daily Tages Anzeiger reports. 

The system has actually been in place for a range of minor traffic and drug offences since 2016.

But a new regulation announced by the Swiss government on Wednesday details the exact fines to be levied for the first time while extending the current arrangements to include infractions outlined in 16 separate Swiss laws.

Over 420 offences, mostly traffic-related, appear on the list. The maximum fine is 300 Swiss francs, while the minimum is just 10 francs. 

Here are some of the fines listed in the new regulations:

1) Unauthorised, intentional consumption of non-legal cannabis: 100 francs.  

2) Carrying a loaded weapon (that is, not separating a weapon and ammunition when transporting a firearm in cases where no permit is required to do so – for example, when moving house): 300 francs. 

3) Using a mobile phone will riding a bicycle: 40 francs. 

4) Making use of a recycling depot outside of opening hours: 50 francs. 

5) Failure to carry your driving licence with you: 20 francs 

7) Crossing a street near a pedestrian crossing: 10 francs 

8) Stopping on a motorway or road because you have run out of petrol: 120 francs 

Read also: Zurich is the 'fines capital' of Switzerland for 2019


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