Swiss city does U-turn over 100-franc fine for 5-year-old girl without ticket

Public transport authorities in the northern Swiss city of Schaffhausen have decided not to push ahead with a controversial 100-franc fine for a five-year-old girl who was recently caught travelling on a bus without a valid ticket.

Swiss city does U-turn over 100-franc fine for 5-year-old girl without ticket
File photo: Depositphotos

The young girl was fined while travelling with her ten-year-old sister, as The Local reported last week.

Under Swiss rules, children under six travel free, but only if they are accompanied by someone aged 12 or older.


Was the ticket inspector right to fine the five year old for travelling without a ticket?



Speaking about the case, Switzerland’s public transport union CH-Direct said the ticket inspector had acted correctly, but added there was “scope for discretion”.

The union said it would now review the current rules to see if they were appropriate, according to regional daily Schaffhauser Nachrichten.
Meanwhile, the mother of the girl fined last week said she was happy that the “stupid rule” would now be reviewed.
In comments made to Swiss national broadcaster SRF, she said her ten-year-old was also delighted but that that the whole experience had been no big deal for her younger daughter.
“She is five. The whole thing passed her by,” she said.

The decision to fine the girl stirred plenty of debate among readers of The Local as can be see in the comments section of our Facebook post here.

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REMINDER: What are the fines for breaking shutdown rules in Switzerland?

From failing to wear a mask or taking part in an illegal protest, here's how much you'll be fined for breaching coronavirus measures in Switzerland.

REMINDER: What are the fines for breaking shutdown rules in Switzerland?
Mask requirement is one of many in effect in Switzerland. Photo by AFP

PLEASE NOTE: The fines have since been partially relaxed. Please click here for more information. 

The rules went into effect on January 18th in an effort to rein in the spread of coronavirus infections, including those with the mutated strains, which have been on the increase in recent weeks.

These measures include the closure of bars, restaurants, and all non-essential businesses. Also, there is a limit of up to five people for public and private meetings, along with the working from home order whenever possible.

“Anyone contravening the measures to fight the epidemic will be committing an offence; persons who fail to comply with the rules may be fined between 50 and 200 francs, depending on the offence”, the government said. 

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What are the details of Switzerland’s coronavirus restrictions? 

So what are the penalties for violating the above rules?

  • Organising a private event attended by more than five people: 200 francs
  • Gathering of more than five people in public space: 50 francs
  • Participating in an illegally organised event: 100 francs
  • Not wearing a mask on public transportation or in an airport: 100 francs
  • Not wearing a mask at public demonstration: 100 francs
  • Standing up while consuming in a bar or restaurant: 100 francs
  • Not complying with a quarantine requirement: up to 10,000 francs

Hundreds of fines have already been handed out for breaking Covid-19 rules.

For example, the police in the canton of Zurich imposed around 100 fines in the first week of February alone. Vaud handed 106 fines, while in Geneva, Valais and Thurgau, between 30 and 40 fines were issued in the first days of February.

Most fines have been imposed for exceeding the limit of five people for both public and private gatherings, cantonal police departments report.

READ MORE: Here’s how much you’ll be fined for breaching Switzerland’s coronavirus measures