Driving For Members

How you do contest a speeding fine in Switzerland?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
How you do contest a speeding fine in Switzerland?
Unless you are driving a Batmobile, you should respect speed limits. Image by Doris Metternich from Pixabay

Nearly everyone who drives a vehicle in Switzerland has received a speeding fine at one time or another. And most people end up paying for it without much ado.


It is easy to exceed a speed limit if you are not familiar with local laws — and even if you are. 

That's why it is essential to know what speeds are enforced on Swiss roads.

The maximum speed is determined by the roads and areas in which you travel.

On motorways, for instance, it is 120 km / h, reduced to 100 km / h on main roads (Autostrassen / semi-autoroutes / semiautostrade).

On roads in built-up areas located outside towns, the speed is 80 km / h, and in the cities, 50 km /h.

Then there are some streets near schools, in residential areas or in villages, where the speed is reduced to 30 km / hour.

Speed limits can also be temporarily adjusted in the event of road repairs or construction work.

As for penalties, the amount depends on how fast you drive, in what kind of neighbourhood you are, and how many other speeding violations you already have.

If you exceed the speed limit by up to 5 km / h, your fine will be 20 francs on the motorway and 40 francs if the infraction happened on main or secondary roads.

The fine for driving between 6 and 10 km / h over the legal limit is 60 francs on the motorway, 100 on the main roads, and 120 francs in built-up areas.

Driving 11 to 15 km/h over the maximum speed will cost you 120 francs on the motorway, 160 on the main road, and 250 in built-up areas.

Exceeding the limit by over 16 to 20 km/h gets you in more trouble: 180 francs on the motorway and 240 on the main road. But if you get caught dashing at this speed through a built-up area, you will be issued a heftier fine or a summons to appear in court.
READ ALSO: What you should know about speeding fines in Switzerland


What if you want to contest the ticket?

You have the right to do so, with your chances of success (or lack thereof) depending on several factors.

If you genuinely think the radar ‘exaggerated’ your speed, you should let the authorities know.

In some (though rare) cases, it turned out that the equipment was indeed faulty, as happened recently in Bern, where 9,604 erroneous fines were issued and 6,000 francs in fines were collected due to faulty speed cameras.

READ ALSO: Hundreds of drivers in Switzerland hit with erroneous speeding fines

So if you think this might have happened to you, you can contest the ticket.


When you receive your fine by mail, it includes the QR code with which you can pay the demanded amount.

But the ticket will also state that if you are not the person who drove your car at the time of the infraction, you should write the name and the address of the driver on the back of the ticket and send it back to police.

They will then investigate and establish who is at fault and who should pay the fine.

If someone else was responsible, then you will be off the hook (even if you are the rightful owner of the car), and the police will go after the other driver.

Keep in mind, however, that you should be truthful, especially as the speeding cameras take pictures, so the police will see who drove the car — you or someone else.


If you were the one driving (and speeding) but still want to contest the fine by claiming extreme circumstances, you can take this matter to the administrative district court.

However, here too, your chances of success are slim, though much depends on what extreme and urgent situations forced you to drive like a bat out of hell.

It is not clear what constitutes, legally, a valid reason, but know that claiming an urgent need to use the toilet will not work.

In 2021, Switzerland’s Federal Court considered a case of a motorist who drove 123 km/h  in an 80 km/h zone, supposedly because a sudden onset of diarrhea forced him to hurry up to find a toilet.

The Court ruled that this sudden need may be uncomfortable, but doesn’t justify endangering other motorists.

The plaintiff not only had to pay his original fine, but also court and administrative costs.


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