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More courses planned for new drivers

Newly qualified drivers may face further testing Keystone Archive

Switzerland wants to impose additional courses on all new drivers, in an effort to diminish the high rate of accidents affecting them.

The legislation was approved on Tuesday in the House of Representatives by 97 votes to 65. It would oblige all holders of a provisional driver’s licence to take three more courses during their three-year probation period.

The measure was criticised by some politicians, who questioned the efficiency of the driving test if additional courses were required.

A member of the Swiss People’s Party, Max Binder, said the new legislation was pointless, arguing that 13 per cent of young drivers have an accident within the first nine months – while the first new course would be given after six months.

The transport minister and Swiss president, Moritz Leuenberger, brushed aside the objections. He said extra courses should be seen “not as a punishment, but rather as an opportunity.”

Accidents in Finland have been reduced by 20 per cent since the country adopted similar measures.

The three courses will cost an estimated SFr600. It is not yet clear whether insurance companies will be asked to assume part of the cost.

The measure will now go back to the Senate for minor revision before its final approval.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR