New laws

From January 1, 2021, new regulations will apply on Swiss roads. The biggest change certainly affects the new drivers. You will find out how to get a Category B or BE learner’s license at the age of 17 here.

The other changes mainly serve traffic safety and make traffic more fluid. Here is an overview:

The following applies to motorized traffic

Zipper Merge for lane removal and motorway entrances

Zipper Merge for lane removal and motorway entrances

When removing lanes, the zip system is now mandatory. This applies wherever lanes end: For example, when changing from three to two lanes, in the event of an accident or construction site. You drive on both lanes until the lanes are removed. There, every car in the next lane lets a car thread in front of them from the dismantled lane using the zip fastener principle. The cars have to let the vehicles merge in from the removed lane. This is to prevent a change to the remaining lane too early when lane dismantling occurs, as is often the case today. So the traffic can flow better. However, vehicle drivers merge in are not allowed to force the gap;
The zipper system now also applies to slow traffic when entering the motorway. Failure to observe the zipper principle will be punished with a fine.

Rescue alley

An emergency lane must now be kept free for emergency vehicles on motorways, even when traffic is only moving at walking pace. This also applies if no blue light vehicle can be seen or heard. On two-lane roads, the emergency lane must be formed between the two lanes; on three-lane roads, always between the extreme left and middle lanes. Failure to observe the rescue lane will result in a fine.

Passing right

The right-hand drive law still applies on the motorways. If a column has formed on the left-hand lane (or on the left-hand and / or middle lane in the case of three-lane motorways), road users may again drive past in the right-hand lane with the necessary care, even if a column has not yet formed on the right. Overtaking to the right (swiveling out to the right lane and swiveling back in to the left) is still prohibited and will be punished with a fine.

100 km/h for light trailers

Anyone pulling a trailer with a car or delivery vehicle (less than 3.5t) can now drive at a maximum of 100 km / h on the motorways. The trailer must not be heavier than 3.5 tons and must be suitable for this speed. This also applies to the towing vehicle and the tires. It is advisable to clarify questions about the maximum speed and weight with the dealer or importer or as part of the vehicle inspection at the Road Traffic Office before driving.

This applies to bicycles

Turn right at red traffic light for bicycles and Moped

“Red is red!” This principle continues to apply. What is new is that cyclists and moped riders are allowed to turn right at traffic lights when this is indicated by a sign with a yellow bike and an arrow. Pay attention to pedestrians and cross-traffic, as they have right of way. If nothing is indicated at a traffic light, red also applies to bicycles and mopeds.

Primary school children with bicycles on the sidewalk

Children up to the age of 12 are now allowed to use the sidewalk on their bikes – but only if there is no cycle path or cycle lane. They must show consideration for pedestrians because they have right of way.

Bicycle paths

New bicycle paths can be set up in 30 km / h zones. Vehicles on bicycle paths have right of way over converging roads, that means the previously applicable legal precedence in Tempo 30 zones does not apply on bicycle paths. Accordingly, “Stop” or “Yield” is indicated on the roads that flow into it. Yellow bicycle signs on the ground can mark a cycle route, but do not have to. Tempo 30 still applies.

Stationary traffic

The “charging station” symbol is being created for stationary traffic. This can be used to designate parking areas that have a charging station for electric vehicles. Parking spaces with charging stations for electric vehicles can now be colored green so that charging stations are easier to find

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