Drivers pick and choose among the laws

Swiss drivers do not take very seriously the ban on using mobile phones at the wheel, a study published on Monday reveals.

This content was published on August 25, 2008 - 15:27

In a survey conducted by the Federal Statistics Office, more than half of them admitted to having broken the law by using a mobile phone when driving, and two-thirds saw this as only a minor offence.

A third of those questioned also admitted not wearing a safety belt when driving. A fifth said they didn't always bother to belt up when in the front passenger seat, and as many as half of them fail to do so in the back.

By law anyone making or taking a phone call when driving must use hands-free equipment, but only just over a quarter of drivers said they had used one. Eleven per cent even said they had written text messages when driving, and 20 per cent had read them.

However, speeding and drink-driving is taken more seriously. The number of people who say they drink and drive continues to fall. The overwhelming majority – 89 per cent – believe driving when drunk should always be a punishable offence. Just over half think the same should apply to speeding.

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