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Old 11.11.2015, 00:27
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Driving license suspension

Couple of months ago I had an incident where I barely touched a scooter which was illegally overtaking the whole line of cars that was queueing at the lights.
Nobody was hurt and there wasn't any damage. However somebody in a car behind me called the police and they arrived and afterwards we gave declarations about what happened. Everything was done quickly and nobody seemed to give much importance to what it seemed to be just a boring paperwork procedure. There were no witnesses at that time.

Couple of days ago I received a letter saying that they will suspend my driving license (they don't say for what period and how much) and that basically I have 20 days to check their report and to fight their decision.

Now what puzzles me is how can I even decide if I want to fight their decision when I don't even know how much they plan to suspend my license. Is this just a standard procedure ? I heard that you can delay (with good reasons) the suspension, is that still possible ?

Help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11.11.2015, 08:29
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Re: Driving license suspension

Your description of 'illegally overtaking the whole line of cars', and you 'barely touched' and the fact that they will suspend your licence make me wonder if it was judged there was some intent on your behalf....
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Old 11.11.2015, 09:11
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Re: Driving license suspension

You should immediately write to the road traffice authority and object to the threats. It is the accusations you can object to, not the level of fines. If your French is not excellent, you need a lawyer. Were there two witnesses in the accusers car, or only one?

Denouncing people is very common in France, and it might be creeping into Switzerland.
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Old 11.11.2015, 09:21
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Re: Driving license suspension

So what happened? You didn't like what the scooter rider was doing, so nudged your car out to block him and he went into you?
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However somebody in a car behind me called the police
and
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There were no witnesses at that time.
don't match.

Perhaps the car behind had a dashcam?
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Old 11.11.2015, 09:47
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Re: Driving license suspension

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Couple of days ago I received a letter saying that they will suspend my driving license (they don't say for what period and how much) and that basically I have 20 days to check their report and to fight their decision.
This sounds odd - I'm no legal expert but I'm sure they can't suspend your license without giving you the time period, and I also thought that sort of penalty had to go through a court it's not a basic tariff like low level speeding fines.

Sounds like they skipped the court case and went straight to the sentencing! Even if that was the case they should reference the relevant law that you're guilty of breaking (e.g. dangerous driving).

Is there more detail here?
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Old 11.11.2015, 09:52
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Re: Driving license suspension

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Is there more detail here?
What makes you think people exclude important information when posting on EF?
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Old 11.11.2015, 10:34
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Re: Driving license suspension

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This sounds odd - I'm no legal expert but I'm sure they can't suspend your license without giving you the time period,
They can confiscate it pending a court decision.
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Old 11.11.2015, 10:52
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Re: Driving license suspension

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I barely touched a scooter which was illegally overtaking the whole line of cars that was queueing at the lights.
The cars were waiting at the traffic light (assume that they were not moving).
The scooter was barely touched by the OP.

How did he do that? Open the door and the scooter bumped into it?
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Old 11.11.2015, 11:01
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Re: Driving license suspension

Standard procedure consists of two parts. One is the legal aspect, i.e. you get fined (or sentenced to do prison time, perhaps conditionally) for breaking some part of the law. The other one is administrative, which is essentially the license suspension.

However, you don't need to have broken any law to be unfit to drive. That's why for instance the elderly have to take a periodic medical check by a doctor of their choice.

What may have been enacted here may be a "vorsorglicher Entzug" (preventive suspension) as part of a process called "Sicherungsentzug" (license withdrawal for safety/security reasons). In such a case you'd need to pass certain physical and/or psychological checks and tests (costs to be paid by OP). Until all test have been passed the "vorsorglicher Entzug" will be in place. Kanton Zürich police site (german only) says the license must(!) be suspended if the driver is unfit to drive, reasons can be health, addiction, physical inability, drug abuse, problematic character(!). Presumably the latter includes aggressive behavior on the road.

This is a preventive measure. There may be no recourse other than successfully passing the checks. If you're found fit to drive standard procedures will start/resume, inluding fines and license withdrawal if any (withdrawal times under preventive measure seem to be taken into account).

Now, OP says he (yes, quite probably a male) touched the scooter, which implies action came mostly from him. This is quite unusual as the car was waiting in line and shouldn't do anything but either be stationary or move straight ahead. Maybe it is suspected that he intentionally hit the scooter effectively using his car as a weapon.

But even in such a case there would probably have to be a history of problematic incidents of some kind that make it a non-single incident.

There may be quite a bit more to this story.

========================

From the Zürcher Polizei website:
"Der Sicherungsentzug ist ein Ausweisentzug auf unbestimmte Dauer und erfolgt aus Gründen der Verkehrssicherheit wegen eines Fahreignungsmangels (Krankheit/Gebrechlichkeit, Sucht, Charakterdefizit). Besteht bei einer Person der Verdacht auf eine verkehrsrelevante Fahrunfähigkeit (Alkohol-, Betäubungsmittel-, Arzneimittel-, Gesundheits- oder Charakterproblematik), so muss der Führerausweis bis zur Abklärung von allfälligen Ausschlussgründen vorsorglicherweise auf unbestimmte Zeit entzogen werden (sog. vorsorglicher Entzug)."

Edit:
Quote:
There were no witnesses at that time.
But of course there was, or what would you call the driver behind you who called the police? Even had he left the scene the police still had at least his phone number.

Last edited by Urs Max; 11.11.2015 at 11:28.
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Old 11.11.2015, 11:24
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Re: Driving license suspension

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There were no witnesses at that time.
They have your statement (hoisted by your own petard?) and the scooter drivers statements, which seems to have been enough to draw a conclusion. Perhaps they also did a home visit to the guy who called it in.


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Couple of days ago I received a letter saying that they will suspend my driving license (they don't say for what period and how much) and that basically I have 20 days to check their report and to fight their decision.
The report states the reason why you will be suspended.

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Now what puzzles me is how can I even decide if I want to fight their decision when I don't even know how much they plan to suspend my license. Is this just a standard procedure ? I heard that you can delay (with good reasons) the suspension, is that still possible ?
And it sounds like you accept the reason why you are getting the suspension and are only considering fighting it if it's too inconvenient?

Last edited by Fish Paste; 11.11.2015 at 11:25. Reason: more
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Old 11.11.2015, 13:23
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Re: Driving license suspension

I didn't include much details as I wanted to keep it short. This is how the incident took place:

The line of cars was stationary and one car made a sign and left enough space for me to enter the main road. When I started the maneuver the scooter, which was overtaking the cars waiting in line, touched my front bumper, lost control and fell down about 5 meters away after braking hard on a slightly wet tarmac.

The letter says that I failed to give the priority when joining the main road. The law says that you need to make sure that you are able to join a main road safely. I am well aware that this is how they decided to suspend my permit while the driver of the scooter will probably receive something as well for overtaking stationary traffic.

The lack of whiteness is explained by the fact that the incident was minor and nobody wanted to waste time stopping since these things go away normally by shaking hands or by filling-in a standard form. Apart from one guy of course, who was waiting in line behind us and stopped and insisted that we should be calling the police. We replied him that there's no need for that. He replied back that he will do it anyway for us. We sat there waiting and when the police arrived the guy was declaring that he didn't see how the incident happened and went away. Since there were no witnesses to be found, an investigation was to be conducted based on our individual report.
A classic case of one's word against another's I'd say.

The police report was later sent to authorities. It seems now that the driving suspension and the decision from the judge can run independently. My understanding is that if I decide to fight in court, I will keep my license until the court will give its verdict.

I am willing to take it as "bad luck" if the suspension period is reasonable (one month).
My record was clean prior to this incident.

Last edited by sannder; 11.11.2015 at 14:14. Reason: Answer Fish Paste
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Old 11.11.2015, 14:50
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Re: Driving license suspension

Yep, that is bad luck.
Scooter should have slowed significantly and crept past the t-junction.

Also, if the driver signaled you to cross, he could have at least made sure it was safe to do so.

Pisser.
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Old 11.11.2015, 14:59
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Re: Driving license suspension

I'm amazed at how often people here don't bother to really survey the situation, make eye contact with others, etc. before they enter traffic or a potentially dangerous situation. (whether they are legally have the right of way or not)

I had a fast moving jogger run out from behind some bushes straight onto a pedestrian crosswalk in front of me yesterday. Right at dusk, in rush hour traffic. He didn't break stride or make eye contact with anyone, and cars going both ways had to slam on the brakes. No accident, luckily.

Of course it would have been my fault had I bumped into him, or the guy behind me's fault if he had hit me - but a little common sense would prevent these situations from happening in the first place.

Good luck, op
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Old 11.11.2015, 15:04
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Re: Driving license suspension

OP, are you sure that this is an actual suspension, rather than just a warning? Whenever I've been done for a speeding offence outside the 'acceptable' range there's always been a notification letter from the prosecuting canton which comes with or at the same time as the calculated fine, warning that it will go before a judge in the licence-issuing canton who may decide to apply a licence suspension and/or an additional fine.

So check your translating skills carefully before inferring too much at this stage.

EDIT: I just re-read your posting, and this bit in particular
Quote:
(they don't say for what period and how much)
would certainly appear consistent with my hypothesis, as it means it's not yet been before the judge.
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Old 11.11.2015, 15:05
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Re: Driving license suspension

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However, you don't need to have broken any law to be unfit to drive. That's why for instance the elderly have to take a periodic medical check by a doctor of their choice.

What may have been enacted here may be a "vorsorglicher Entzug" (preventive suspension) as part of a process called "Sicherungsentzug" (license withdrawal for safety/security reasons). In such a case you'd need to pass certain physical and/or psychological checks and tests (costs to be paid by OP). Until all test have been passed the "vorsorglicher Entzug" will be in place. Kanton Zürich police site (german only) says the license must(!) be suspended if the driver is unfit to drive, reasons can be health, addiction, physical inability, drug abuse, problematic character(!). Presumably the latter includes aggressive behavior on the road.
From what I understand, it depends on the doctor. One of my colleagues at school had his licence temporarily suspended when he broke his leg.... which was a real pain because he couldn't drive and getting to the strassverk-place was an added pain precisely since he couldn't drive. It seemed like overkill when he told me, his leg was in a cast, there was no physical way for him to drive, what was the point of suspending it while he was unable to operate the car at all even if he tried?
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Old 11.11.2015, 15:14
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Re: Driving license suspension

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It seemed like overkill when he told me, his leg was in a cast, there was no physical way for him to drive, what was the point of suspending it while he was unable to operate the car at all even if he tried?
Overkill, I agree, but perhaps not as much as you might think. It's not at all uncommon for people with medical conditions like that to make the attempt anyway, at which point they'd already be in breach of the law for driving while not fit to do so, but I guess the licence suspension is just a way of making it crystal clear to them.

But if it's solely a medical issue it should be much simpler than would seem to be the case here, just requiring a sign-off from the doctor - I can't see any need to go and be assessed by the authorities as well.
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Old 11.11.2015, 15:22
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Re: Driving license suspension

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From what I understand, it depends on the doctor. One of my colleagues at school had his licence temporarily suspended when he broke his leg.... which was a real pain because he couldn't drive and getting to the strassverk-place was an added pain precisely since he couldn't drive. It seemed like overkill when he told me, his leg was in a cast, there was no physical way for him to drive, what was the point of suspending it while he was unable to operate the car at all even if he tried?
Are you sure he got it suspended because he had a broken leg or was it more because of the way how he broke his leg?

A suspension after a traffic rule violation is only one part, the other is that the next time you do something bad you will get an increased suspension period (up to life time/10 years min.).
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Old 11.11.2015, 15:26
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Re: Driving license suspension

Kind of big between "hitting an illegally overtaking scooter" and "I pulled into traffic and hit a scooter".

Do you work in PR?
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Old 11.11.2015, 18:23
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Re: Driving license suspension

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I'm amazed at how often people here don't bother to really survey the situation, make eye contact with others, etc. before they enter traffic or a potentially dangerous situation. (whether they are legally have the right of way or not)

I had a fast moving jogger run out from behind some bushes straight onto a pedestrian crosswalk in front of me yesterday. Right at dusk, in rush hour traffic. He didn't break stride or make eye contact with anyone, and cars going both ways had to slam on the brakes. No accident, luckily.

Of course it would have been my fault had I bumped into him, or the guy behind me's fault if he had hit me - but a little common sense would prevent these situations from happening in the first place.

Good luck, op
Yeah, couple of days ago - me standing on a tram stop, looking beyond pedestrian cross nearby, I see an older guy walking, in suit, looking semi-sharp. Don't giving a single f**k that he had a red light, looking constantly in opposite way as cars approaching, on one-way road. No headphones, call, anything.

Luckily first driver realized that this idiot ain't going to stop at the side of the road and wait, slammed breaks and nothing happened. He didn't even realized what almost happened and continued walking looking firmly where no car would come from and nothing was happening...

Some people just ask for it. I couldn't care less about them, but I feel sorry for the drivers involved
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Old 11.11.2015, 19:52
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Re: Driving license suspension

A very similar thing happened to one of our members earlier this year;

Car accident

200 francs fine, admin charges and a month's suspended license. The motorbike involved would have got the same as the blame was split 50-50.
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