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Speeding – severity of violations

The Swiss law knows three levels of criminal gravity in road traffic, namely:

  1. slight negligence (LCR 90 al. 1);
  2. serious misconduct (LCR 90 al. 2);
  3. the offence of reckless driving (LCR 90 al. 3 and 4).

Administratively, there are five degrees of fault:

  1. the very slight fault (LCR 16 al. 2);
  2. minor misconduct (CRL 16a);
  3. average fault (CSF 16b);
  4. serious misconduct (LCR 16c);
  5. the offence of reckless driving (LCR 16c al. 2 lit. a bis).

The penal sanction (fine, “days’ fine”, imprisonment, etc.) as well as the administrative measure (withdrawal of driving license, warning, extension of probationary period, etc.) depend on the seriousness of the offences described above.

Swiss law qualifies the seriousness of traffic offences by applying scales. Thus, the severity of the behavior is determined abstractly on the basis of whether the speed limit was exceeded, depending on the type of road on which the speeding occurred. The actual dangerousness of the behavior in the case is not taken into account.

Seriousness of the offences from a criminal perspective

As explained above, the type of road on which the speeding occurred will be a determining factor in determining the seriousness of the violation. You can use our free virtual assistant to obtain an assessment of the penalties incurred in your specific situation.

Speeding in localities (including 30 km/h zones and meeting zones)

The seriousness of theoffense committed is thus determined according to the speeding offence committed:

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 15 km/h or less is a minor offence (orderly fine).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 16 km/h or more and less than 25 km/h is a minor offence (fine).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 25km/h or more constitutes gross misconduct, subject to the cases of hit-and-run offences described below.

    • In a 30 km/h zone or in an encounter zone, exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or more is a “hit and run” offence.

    • Outside of the 30 km/h zone or a meeting zone, exceeding the authorized speed limit by 50 km/h or more is a “hit and run” offence.

Speeding outside of localities (including semi-motorways)

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h or less is a minor offence (orderly fine).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 21 km/h or more and less than 30 km/h is a minor offence (fine).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 20 miles per hour or more is a serious offence, subject to the offence of hit and run as described below.

    • Where the speed limit is 80 km/h or less, exceeding the speed limit by 60 km/h or more is a driving offence.

    • Where the speed limit is 100 km/h, exceeding the speed limit by 80 km/h or more is a ” hit and run” offence.

Speeding on the highway

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 25 km/h or less is a minor offence (orderly fine).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 26 km/h or more and less than 35 km/h is a minor offence (fine).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 35 km/h or more constitutes gross misconduct, subject to the cases of hit-and-run offenses described below.

    • Where the speed limit is 80 km/h or less, exceeding the speed limit by 60 km/h or more is a driving offence.

    • Where the speed limit is 100 km/h, exceeding the speed limit by 80 km/h or more is a ” hit and run” offence.

Administrative severity of violations

In contrast to the criminal classification, where any speeding violation will result in a penalty, very minor violations are not subject to any administrative penalty. You can use our free virtual assistant to obtain an assessment of the penalties incurred in your specific situation.

Speeding in localities (including 30 km/h zones and meeting zones)

The seriousness of theoffense committed is thus determined according to the speeding offence committed:

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 15 km/h or less is a very minor offence (no administrative penalty).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 16 km/h or more and less than 21 km/h is a minor offence (warning).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 21 km/h or more and less than 25 km/h is a medium offence licence withdrawal one month’slicence withdrawal ).

    • Exceeding the speed limit by 25 km/h or more constitutes a serious offence.
      serious offence
      (three-month suspension), subject to the hit-and-run offences described below.

    • In a 30 km/h zone or in an encounter zone, exceeding the authorized speed limit by 40 km/h or more constitutes a
      a “hit and run” offence
      .
    • Outside of the 30 km/h zone or the pedestrian zone, exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more constitutes a
      offence of reckless driving
      .

Speeding outside of localities (including semi-motorways)

The seriousness of theoffense committed is thus determined according to the speeding offence committed:

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 20 km/h or less is a very minor offence (no administrative penalty).

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 21 km/h or more and less than 25 km/h is a minor offence (warning).

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 25 km/h or more and less than 30 km/h is a medium offence licence withdrawal one month’slicence withdrawal ).

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 30 km/h or more is a serious offence.
    serious offence
    (three-month suspension), subject to the hit-and-run offences described below.

  • When the speed limit is 80 km/h, exceeding the speed limit by 60 km/h or more is a driving offence.
  • When the speed limit is more than 80 km/h, exceeding the speed limit by 80 km/h or more is a driving offence.

Speeding on the highway

The seriousness of theoffense committed is thus determined according to the speeding offence committed:

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 25 km/h or less is a very minor offence (no administrative penalty).

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 26 km/h or more and less than 30 km/h is a minor offence (warning).

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 30 km/h or more and less than 35 km/h is a medium offence licence withdrawal one month’slicence withdrawal ).

  • Exceeding the speed limit by 35 km/h or more constitutes a serious offence.
    serious offence
    (three-month suspension), subject to the hit-and-run offences described below.

  • When the speed limit is 80 km/h, exceeding the speed limit by 60 km/h or more is a driving offence.
  • When the speed limit is more than 80 km/h, exceeding the speed limit by 80 km/h or more is a driving offence.

Consideration of driving history

Your past record, if any, has no impact on the legal qualification of the seriousness of the new offense. On the other hand, your history may involve an increase in the administrative penalty that will be imposed.

You can use our free virtual assistant to obtain an assessment of the penalties incurred in your specific situation.

For more information on the consideration of prior convictions, we invite you to consult our page dedicated to the influence of prior convictions on the length of the license withdrawal.

Would you like to discuss your personal situation with one of our lawyers?

Do you need to be advised and represented by one of our Partner lawyers?

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CH - 1003 Lausanne
+41 21 552 78 20

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