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  #21  
Old 14.01.2020, 15:56
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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I have to point out that if you find driving in Switzerland difficult, don't dare move any further South and try and drive in Italy or the South of France. Traffic lights are purely decorative as are most road signs.
My first experience driving in Europe was renting a car from Naples Airport to City Center and then on to Gaeta. At night. HOLY HELL! Why are you honking at me? The light is clearly red up there!

Then I moved to the UK.

It all seems so easy now...
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Old 14.01.2020, 15:57
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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An American friend of mine visited the UK many years ago, had never driven on the left and when he first encountered a roundabout he completely lost it. And promptly drove right over the middle of it.
Reminds me of this
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Old 14.01.2020, 15:58
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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My first experience driving in Europe was renting a car from Naples Airport to City Center and then on to Gaeta. At night. HOLY HELL! Why are you honking at me? The light is clearly red up there!

Then I moved to the UK.

It all seems so easy now...
Naples is the worst. Grannies on vespas, the speed of light.
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Old 14.01.2020, 16:05
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

I thoroughly enjoyed that mini rant on the misunderstandings of driving here. It is possible to drive for fun here, you just need to know where to go and expect to meet other cars at all times.
There's a certain element of fun in giving a scare to people from countries with wide roads and plenty of view and bringing them on a spin up a pass. Or better again, a spin down a country road in Ireland where the hedges block all possible visibility and there's clearance for about 2.01 cars to pass.

The roundabouts here are a breeze, the Arc de Triumph has been mentioned, but my last experience of gritted teeth driving was in Barcelona involving what could have been roundabouts, might have been circular roads and were very possibly just circular areas of pavement with no markings and multiple exits. Add traffic lights to taste.

But I will agree that the lack of indicators on roundabouts is a frustration here, I hate myself every time I push the stalk for a 3 blink to exit the roundabout only to notice I've not pushed far enough, I have become the very thing I hate.
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Old 14.01.2020, 16:12
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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They meant that is an acceptable behavior? Joinging the autobahn with 60 km/h is suicidal and the license should be revoked on spot..
Read it again - BB2 clearly meant it as anything other than acceptable behaviour.

60 is perhaps slightly exaggerated. But I find 80 or so to be horribly common on joining.
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Old 14.01.2020, 16:20
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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An American friend of mine visited the UK many years ago, had never driven on the left and when he first encountered a roundabout he completely lost it. And promptly drove right over the middle of it.



The name "Anne Sa cool ass" springs to mind.....
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Old 14.01.2020, 16:31
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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Read it again - BB2 clearly meant it as anything other than acceptable behaviour.
"They" is thalcave not BB2.

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60 is perhaps slightly exaggerated. But I find 80 or so to be horribly common on joining.
Unfortunately 60 km/h is not that exaggerated when you see trucks hitting the break.
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Old 14.01.2020, 16:33
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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Read it again - BB2 clearly meant it as anything other than acceptable behaviour.

60 is perhaps slightly exaggerated. But I find 80 or so to be horribly common on joining.
It took the post as irony.

BTW every slip in lane has an upside down triangle sign, meaning the one joining should give way...
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  #29  
Old 14.01.2020, 16:49
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

afraid in glarus joining / leaving at 60 isn't exaggerated
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  #30  
Old 14.01.2020, 16:55
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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When roundabouts were first introduced into France, they were known as cercles anglais. They're an English invention. Here's a magic roundabout.


For real fun, try the Arc De Triomphe in Paris. It looks like a roundabout, but has full priority to the right. You enter at high speed - then slam your brakes on.
When it was built I was living with my parents in the County Ground Hotel pub, within a couple of hundred metres from said roundabout. We would hear countless horns and crunches but people soon learnt and as said it is very fluid, as long as everyone knows what they are doing. As well as being able to go around the outside using each individual roundabout, you can go straight over, a bit scary the first time!
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  #31  
Old 14.01.2020, 17:20
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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They meant that is an acceptable behavior? Joinging the autobahn with 60 km/h is suicidal and the license should be revoked on spot.....
I had one of those in front of me last week. It was VERY strange
I was seriously wondering how he would deal with joining the traffic on the highway. Luckily I knew I didn't have to change lanes as the one I would automatically be on would take me off direction Schaffhausen.

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..... An American friend of mine visited the UK many years ago, had never driven on the left and when he first encountered a roundabout he completely lost it.....
Left hand roundabouts are the worst!

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..... Or better again, a spin down a country road in Ireland where the hedges block all possible visibility and there's clearance for about 2.01 cars to pass.....
Okay, nope, those roads are. Kent is full of them. I have no clue how I survived them without a scratch. Nor a ripped off side-mirror.
Lots of wasted adrenalin, that's for sure.
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Old 14.01.2020, 19:03
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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This magic roundabout i have used very often, it's in Swindon and it is actually surprisingly fluid and easy to use
Trivia question is this the only roundabout in the UK you can traverse in the "wrong direction"

I've driven it a few times it's fun
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  #33  
Old 14.01.2020, 22:59
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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Trivia question is this the only roundabout in the UK you can traverse in the "wrong direction"
It's not though. There's one at the end of Colne Causeway in Colchester - 5 mini roundabouts in a circle. When I learned to drive it was one big one called Greenstead Roundabout

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  #34  
Old 14.01.2020, 23:00
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

An American complaining about driving in Switzerland? That's a good one.

Yielding to pedestrians on pedestrian crossings exists in the USA too. The things is that nobody cares. In recent years, in many towns here in Michigan the local authorities have armed all pedestrian crossings with forests of signs, to absolutely no avail. As a pedestrian at a a crossing without lights you still are free game.

Yielding to right in situations where no other kind of regulation applies is a thing in the USA too. Again, just nobody cares. When I showed the relevant passages to my (American) wife after her having driven cars in the USA for more than 40 years, her jaw dropped to her chest.

Because nobody knows about the yield-to-right rule, practically every crossing or T-junction has to be peppered with Stop signs. That's why, for instance, Traverse City, MI (about 15,000 inhabitants) sure like heck has way more Stop signs than the entire metropolitan area of Zurich. And don't get me going on the ridiculous nuisance called four-way stop crossings, not to mention the fact that no American - I repeat: no American - ever really stops at a Stop sign, unless they have to because there's another vehicle forcing them to do so.

Granted, traffic lights are placed somewhat differently in various countries, but does anybody really think the US system makes any more sense? It took me quite a while to figure certain things out.

Lest I forget, does the OP think it makes any sense that the basic traffic rules are different in the USA depending on where you are, see left turn on red and suchlike.

Brett, thanks for your extensive essay, welcome to the EF, Switzerland and the fact that some things are not American outside of the USA. Now please use the search function for brown sugar and bread that can be kept four months without getting moldy, sometimes called "real bread" by noobs. (Hint: bread in bakeries is not stale; that's called "crust".)
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Old 15.01.2020, 01:23
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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.....Granted, traffic lights are placed somewhat differently in various countries, but does anybody really think the US system makes any more sense? It took me quite a while to figure certain things out.
The traffic lights hung high above - on the other side of the crossing in the US, I remember. So I always did stop in front of the read light - basically on the crossing. Which immediately made me move on of course.
My guardian angel must have worked over-time back then as I never got into an accident nor did the police ever see/fine me. (Or maybe what must have looked like extremely strange behaviour simply flabbergasted them? ) It was a long time ago when things were a lot more relaxed.
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  #36  
Old 15.01.2020, 03:09
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

I always found drivers in Switzerland were in their own little world when driving thinking they were bomb proof in their tin boxes, probably why our neighbours repair shop was always full of crash repairs.
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Old 15.01.2020, 04:52
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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The direct swapping of a US licence for a Swiss one really does seem like a bad idea in your case.
Anyways not sure why this works. When I moved to California I was unable to just swap licenses. One has to retake the full drivers exam, written and behind the wheel test.
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  #38  
Old 15.01.2020, 08:11
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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Speeding. Speeding is a juxtaposition here in Switzerland. The Swiss are all about speed limits and speed enforcement, except where they think they can’t get caught. The Swiss have these ingenious moveable radar boxes that can be snuck into the smallest of places. They sit there, silent, waiting for the unsuspecting driver and then in a flash of bright light, nail them. These things are everywhere, and just when you memorize the location, they move them. I have been in Switzerland for eight months. In that time I have had two tickets from these automated menaces. My wife always said, DO NOT SPEED IN SWITZERLAND! And she was right. But then…why do people ride my bumper when I am dutifully driving the speed limit on the country roads? Why do people fly by me on the highway when I am obeying all the rules and scowl at me as they do it? Why do I witness the Swiss drive with abandon, ignore the speed limits and race along when everyone knows, DO NOT SPEED IN SWITZERLAND? I believe It is because of this funny little thing I have learned about the Swiss. They are people of rules. They like rules. They like precise. They like on time and they like organization. They like predictable and they like everyone to follow those rules…but themselves. I am convinced that there is this tiny little gene in all Swiss. It has been there for generations upon generations. It is the gene that says rules are very, very important, except when they apply to me, then they are suggestions. But they are very, very important for everyone else to follow. Society depends on it!

More on that in another brief look at Expat life in Switzerland; Land of Confusion and other fun facts…

Feel free to share your own thoughts!
I liked this one the best!

Welcome to the forum and to Switzerland, OP! Try to keep your sense of humour up, you're gonna need it!
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Old 15.01.2020, 10:28
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

Clearly, most of you missed the tongue in cheek nature of this article. I do quite well driving in Switzerland. The point was to look at the nuances and differences in a fun way. But thank you for each of you who have shared your thoughts on what I should do with my license. It does make for some fun reading on my part.
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Old 15.01.2020, 10:34
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Re: Random thoughts on driving in Switzerland

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Clearly, most of you missed the tongue in cheek nature of this article. I do quite well driving in Switzerland. The point was to look at the nuances and differences in a fun way. But thank you for each of you who have shared your thoughts on what I should do with my license. It does make for some fun reading on my part.

I think, perhaps, your tongue should have been a little more firmly in cheek... And, as someone suggested, probably avoid driving in the UK. Many traps for the unwary.

Last edited by RufusB; 15.01.2020 at 10:36. Reason: driving
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