Reader question: Does the new EU automatic speed limit apply to Switzerland?

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Reader question: Does the new EU automatic speed limit apply to Switzerland?
A speedometer. Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

From July 6th, an EU rule requiring cars to install automatic braking technology when they cross the speed limit will come into force. What does this mean for cars in Switzerland?


The rule will only apply to new cars sold on or after the deadline, i.e. cars will not need to be retrofitted with the technology. 

What is an intelligent speed assistance system (ISA)?

Pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/2144, all cars sold in the EU must be equipped with an intelligent speed assistance system (ISA). 

This is a technology that automatically slows down cars breaking the speed limit. 

READ MORE: The roads and dates to avoid driving in Switzerland this summer

It uses GPS and speed cameras to determine whether a car is exceeding the speed limit in that area, and then prompts the driver to slow down before gently pushing back on the acceleration pedal and automatically reducing engine propulsion.

From July 2022, all new car models sold in the EU will have to have this technology installed. From 2024, even older car models being sold will have to have to be equipped.


From July 6th cars will also be required to have a black box which records a range of driving parameters like speed, acceleration or braking phases, wearing (or not) of a seat belt, indicator use, the force of the collision or engine speed, in case of accidents.

This information will be available to the police only in the event of an accident and will not be accessible by insurance companies. It will also not be available to the police for the purpose of checking speeding fines. 

What about cars in Switzerland? 

The rules will also apply in Switzerland. 

While Switzerland is not a member of the EU, it is a party to several agreements which mean certain EU regulations apply here as well. 

This means that all cars sold in Switzerland after July 6th will need to comply. 

Why is the rule coming into place? 

The major reason is road safety. 

READ MORE: What is Switzerland’s ‘traffic calendar’ and how can it help me save time?

In Switzerland, along with several other EU countries, speeding is the most common cause of accidents. 

The rule hopes to reduce accidents by 20 percent. 

While many modern cars already have this technology on board, this will be the first time it is mandated. 


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