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Old 13.07.2018, 13:03
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Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

Today I was walking to get lunch along Neumühlequai in Zurich, and I noticed the police had set up an inspection point and were having some cars pull over, where I assume they were doing random inspections.

In the US they would have checkpoints at night for drunk drivers, but this was at noon...

Being new to CH, what all where the police possibly looking for? Is this kind of thing normal? I saw one cop carrying some cash, can you pay fines on the spot? (maybe he was just getting lunch.. I dont' know)

Dave
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:07
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

Using a mobile phone, not wearing seat belt, etc, is my guess. And sometimes they just do random checks. We've been stopped a couple of times over the years and they wanted to see the grey card and driver's licence.

And yes, they do issue on the spot fines. Usually you have to go to a post office to pay it, but I guess they might collect money if there's no post office nearby.
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:10
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

They're doing their job, simple as that. Part of having a safe country is showing you exist and doing random checks, if all checks are predictable criminals ave a much easier time planning.
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:23
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

If they are stopping some and letting others pass, it is either/both a mobile radar and/or surveillance for talking/texting on the mobile around the the corner.



Swiss police typically do their job professionally and respectfully and don't need to make any show.
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:24
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

So far I've been checked like that three times. Once they just checked if the safety belt was on, nothing else, the other times the usual stuff (license, grey card, the tyres visually from a distance, the lights that were on, etc). If they notice something unusual (alcohol, marijuana smell, whatever) they'll check that of course.

IME these chacks are rare. Yes you can pay the fine on the spot, AFAIK they can handle credit cards as well.
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:44
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

happens all the time. especially in summer. just looking for suspicious people, worn tires, lights off etc. probably go through several a week.

it does seem a little strange at first because the rest of europe doesn't do this much (sometimes the carabinieri do in italy) and they often have huge guns too. but if you have nothing to hide, there should be no concern....

they used to regularly set one up outside my old apartment. i would sit on the balcony with a glass of wine and watch, trying to predict which cars would be pulled in for further checks. it was usually worn out italian cars and any eastern european car. so still somewhat predicable!
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:52
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

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they often have huge guns too.
If one is holding a machine gun, they are NOT looking for traffic violations.

Tom
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:53
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

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happens all the time. especially in summer. just looking for suspicious people, worn tires, lights off etc. probably go through several a week.

it does seem a little strange at first because the rest of europe doesn't do this much (sometimes the carabinieri do in italy) and they often have huge guns too. but if you have nothing to hide, there should be no concern....

they used to regularly set one up outside my old apartment. i would sit on the balcony with a glass of wine and watch, trying to predict which cars would be pulled in for further checks. it was usually worn out italian cars and any eastern european car. so still somewhat predicable!
Been stopped far more in France for spot checks than in CH.
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:53
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

Never realised up to now how rare and limited those checks are here, but indeed, hardly ever see one.

Embrace yourself if they stop you for a full check (Full technical car check, debt check, alcohol, full car search for goods, criminal fugitive, all car papers) in the Netherlands, those are normal and in collaboration with the tax and customs agency's and can easily take up over an hour. And just checking for alcohol is 24/7, having to blow at 7:00 in the morning while driving to work is nothing weird.

I wonder how many people would panic if they set such full control up 10 km's behind the border...
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Old 13.07.2018, 13:57
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

guess it depends on the area rather than the country then.

i've never been stopped randomly anywhere in europe except once in the UK (it was europe then) and a handful of times in italy.

there are literally several a week in ticino. usually in very predicable places though. sometimes near borders (customs), sometimes just off the motorway, sometimes in the center of lugano and sometimes along roads outside of towns.
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Old 13.07.2018, 14:05
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

Research has shown that the major cause of traffic accidents is inattention/distraction, and talking or texting on the mobile is the attention/awareness equivalent of being drunk. About the same goes for intense conversing with a passenger.
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Old 13.07.2018, 14:24
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

I live near a spot they like to hide and then pull people over.

It depends on time of year but have seen 4 types of reason
1. Evenings/night drunk drivers
2. Light beams at start of winter
3. Abgas / Emissions tests
4. Foreign trucks
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Old 13.07.2018, 14:40
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

I was once in such a police check. They asked for the driver's licence, asked about alcohol, where we'd come from, where we were going, for ID of each person in the car, and a few other questions.

At the end, the older of the two policemen thanked us, and told us that this had been part of a training module for police students, and that his colleague was learning, while he was in the role of watching whether the younger man did the job both correctly and politely. With that explanation, it was rather a pleasant experience.
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Old 13.07.2018, 14:45
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

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I live near a spot they like to hide and then pull people over.

It depends on time of year but have seen 4 types of reason
1. Evenings/night drunk drivers
2. Light beams at start of winter
3. Abgas / Emissions tests
4. Foreign trucks
What does "Light beams" mean in this context? Headlight angle? Headlight on?
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Old 13.07.2018, 14:51
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

I have seen it a couple of times in Zug. Seen them pulling bicycles over also. I have also seen them lurking around corners with binoculars! Happy to be stopped, they are doing their job and doing it well in my experience.
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Old 13.07.2018, 15:04
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

Check stuff like the blinkers working, the state of the winter-tires ....

Once they did one of those and I told the police guy "if you find something I'll be really angry, the car just got mot-ed". Believe it or not, he waved me on, not even checking my papers
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Old 13.07.2018, 15:08
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

Do they check if you are running bigger wheels & tyres, or coilover suspension?
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Old 13.07.2018, 15:32
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

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Been stopped far more in France for spot checks than in CH.
I guess it also depends on the region, cities and urban areas are probably more often checked than the rest.
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Old 13.07.2018, 15:38
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

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Do they check if you are running bigger wheels & tyres, or coilover suspension?

I have both coilovers and larger tires, but they are approved and entered in the registration, so no problem. Modifications must be MFK checked and entered in the registration. In traffic stops that check registration, they usually check through modifications tool
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Old 13.07.2018, 15:51
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Re: Police Stopping and Inspecting Cars in Zurich

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I have both coilovers and larger tires, but they are approved and entered in the registration, so no problem. Modifications must be MFK checked and entered in the registration. In traffic stops that check registration, they usually check through modifications tool
Ok, but in practice, during these street checks, are they going to look inside the wheel well and check whether it's a coilover and if it's in the registration?
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