Slow driving zones have risen sharply in Switzerland, says report

Burgeoning slow drive zones are a hot issue in Switzerland. Keystone

The number of zones with a speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour has “exploded” in Switzerland over the last decade, according to the SonntagsBlick newspaper.

This content was published on March 18, 2018 - 18:57

There are no official statistics, it says, but the German-language newspaper has gathered information from several cantons.

In canton St-Gallen, excluding the cantonal capital, there are currently 92 slow driving zones, 72 of which have been created in the last ten years, it says. In canton Fribourg, there are 172 of these zones compared with 56 in 2007.

The newspaper reports that in canton Lucerne, 234 of these zones have been created in recent years. But it is canton Bern that seems to have slowed things down most. It has 493 slow zones, including 356 introduced between 2007 and 2017.

The issue is controversial in Switzerland, SonntagsBlick points out. It quotes Thomas Hurter, president of the Swiss Automobile Club, who says that “under the pretext of fighting noise, car driving is being made unattractive”.  

But Christine Steinmann, head of traffic safety at the Association of Transport and Environment, says the increase in slow zones is a “vote for a better quality of life, especially for safety and co-existence on the streets”.   

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