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Old 10.11.2011, 17:49
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Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

Hello,

I am just wondering if anyone knows of any helpful websites or other sources where I can brush up on my knowledge of the rules of the road here before getting a hire car next week to move house with. I learnt to drive in the UK and have been driving there for about 6 years.

Any heads up on rules that are completely different would be great too, or tips from drivers who have come to Switzerland from the UK and have had to get used to driving on the other side of the road. I don't want to get caught for speeding or anything as the penalties seem pretty strict here.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
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Old 10.11.2011, 18:15
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

scroll down to the bottom of the page. all the tricks you are looking for there.
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Old 10.11.2011, 18:32
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

Driving here is dead easy...

Rule 1:
On approaching a roundabout do not attempt to brake. Instead, put your foot down hard, do not indicate and just squeeze in with the rest to help the flow.

Rule 2:
At a T junction you have right of way, just ignore incoming traffic, pull-out regardless and if you cause them to brake and honk then you have executed this manoeuvre to perfection.

Rule 3:
Always be sure when cruising, to sit as close as possible behind the car in front. Preferably close enough to see their face in their rear view mirror fuming with rage!

Hope these tips help.

happy driving.
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Old 10.11.2011, 19:16
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

Golfprostew has hit upon the main differences, albeit with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

Treat roundabouts with caution here -- some of the older Swiss drivers still haven't figured them out, and the teaching here is that you only indicate when you are exiting a roundabout, so just because the guy doesn't indicate, don't assume he's heading straight over the roundabout.

The other big rule here is priority from the right. Unless otherwise indicated (by road markings indicating you must yield) or a diamond-shaped sign (indicating you are on a priority road), you must give way to traffic entering the road from the right. It doesn't matter if you're on a main road and they're entering from a side road. You have to stop, they don't.

You can find everything you need to know about driving in Switzerland here:
Driving Today - Switzerland Traffic Regulations Driving Handbook
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Old 10.11.2011, 19:45
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

Thanks very much all.

I am actually from the land of roundabouts, Milton Keynes, so I'm used to the accelerating up to the roundabout as fast as possible trick!

Thanks for the info an for the link, I'll check it out, looks really useful
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Old 10.11.2011, 19:51
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

I like that a book called 'driving today' can look so dated! should be called driving in the 80s. but it is v useful
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:10
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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Hello,

I am just wondering if anyone knows of any helpful websites or other sources where I can brush up on my knowledge of the rules of the road here before getting a hire car next week to move house with. I learnt to drive in the UK and have been driving there for about 6 years.

Any heads up on rules that are completely different would be great too, or tips from drivers who have come to Switzerland from the UK and have had to get used to driving on the other side of the road. I don't want to get caught for speeding or anything as the penalties seem pretty strict here.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
Look out for pedestrians on crossings. They _will_not_ look for traffic before stepping out, so be prepared to brake suddenly if necessary.

Watch out for cyclists in town. They often don't look before moving out/across and very rarely indicate their intentions.

Also in town, more so in residential areas, some/many junctions will be priority a droite, so you, on what you may consider to be the main road, have to give way to cars coming out from a side road on your right. And they often don't bother to look first either. You won't have any indication of these roads, other than looking to see if there's a white line across the minor road - difficult in the dark, to say the least.

Be careful out there! But seriously, most Swiss drivers are pretty good, although regional differences may be apparent in this as with most things Swiss.
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:12
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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I am actually from the land of roundabouts, Milton Keynes, so I'm used to the accelerating up to the roundabout as fast as possible trick!
The problem here is that all the old dears haven't really learned how to use the roundabouts. They assume that it's still priority from the right, so they'll go charging into a roundabout, oblivious to the fact that the don't have the priority, and cut off traffic that's already on the roundabout. Or they'll do the opposite -- they'll be going around the roundabout and stop dead to allow traffic to enter the roundabout from the right.

I've nearly rear-ended a few oldtimers who've done this. My village seems to be particularly blighted with them...
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:17
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

Straight forward not an issue, just display confidence.

Best tip if you are going to speed then the do it on an auitobahn as the fines get bigger if you speed in low speed zones and threshold less. In other words speeding in a 120zone is safer then a 30zone which you should obey at all costs.

Also - remember the steering wheel is on the right hand side if you get in the left side there will be no steering.
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:21
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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the teaching here is that you only indicate when you are exiting a roundabout
Which is the only thing that makes sense!

Why signal if you are NOT leaving?

Tom
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:28
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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Which is the only thing that makes sense!

Why signal if you are NOT leaving?

Tom
You signal right for first exit, left for 3rd exit (then right when you are coming off) and don't signal if you are taking the second exit until you are going off.

Here people don't signal for the first exit at all, especially on smaller roundabouts. This leaves people who learnt to drive in the civilised world a bit confused because they think they are going for the second exit and don't come out when they could have come out causing congestion behind the confused civilised person.

Then when they don't signal left when they are taking the third exit it leads people to think they are taking the second exit. Chaos
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:29
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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Which is the only thing that makes sense!

Why signal if you are NOT leaving?
Because it improves the traffic flow. If someone is indicating left, I know that it is not safe to enter the roundabout as they're going to continue around the roundabout. However, if they were going straight across (and I were travelling straight across or turning right, entering from the opposite direction) I could enter the roundabout without having to wait to see if they were going straight or continuing around left. Without a signal upon entering the roundabout, I have no way of knowing whether their intention is to take the first, second, or third exit, so I have to wait until they've entered the roundabout, chosen where to get off, and indicated right.

In the UK, this is how everyone is taught to indicate on a roundabout:
  • Notice that the blue car enters the roundabout without signalling ("I'm going straight") then indicates left when he's going to exit the roundabout ("I'm leaving the roundabout").
  • Notice the red car indicates as he enters the roundabout ("I'm taking the first exit")
  • Notice the green car first indicates right ("I'm continuing around the roundabout") until he finally reaches his exit, when he indicates left ("I'm leaving the roundabout")
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAn...code/DG_070338



In all three cases, we know what the car is going to do before it enters the roundabout. Here, you only know when the car finally exits. Almost anyone who has experienced both systems will prefer the UK system -- it prevents a lot of confusion.
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:29
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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You signal right for first exit, left for 3rd exit (then right when you are coming off) and don't signal if you are taking the second exit until you are going off.
Sounds like a rather bizarre system.

Tom

P.S. What happens if there are more (or less) than four entrances/exits?
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:31
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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You signal right for first exit, left for 3rd exit (then right when you are coming off) and don't signal if you are taking the second exit until you are going off.

Here people don't signal for the first exit at all, especially on smaller roundabouts. This leaves people who learnt to drive in the civilised world a bit confused because they think they are going for the second exit and don't come out when they could have come out causing congestion behind the confused civilised person.

Then when they don't signal left when they are taking the third exit it leads people to think they are taking the second exit. Chaos
Spot on. Also if you signal right to exit, the poor guy waiting at the third exit (or even the second) cannot see that side of the car therefore signalling left for the third exit makes sense.
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:32
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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Then when they don't signal left when they are taking the third exit it leads people to think they are taking the second exit. Chaos
If your involved in an accident it will be assumed to be your fault & you will be found guilty in your absence. You then have to appeal to not get a fine when it's clearly not your fault! Been there won the case, the Police are not independant they have a horse in the race!
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Old 10.11.2011, 20:35
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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Sounds like a rather bizarre system.

Tom

P.S. What happens if there are more (or less) than four entrances/exits?
You would do exactly what the green car in my example has done. You would indicate right ("I'm continuing around the roundabout") until you eventually reach your exit, when you would indicate left ("I'm leaving the roundabout").

It might sound complicated, but once you know the theory, you soon get used to it and it works very well.
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Old 10.11.2011, 21:50
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

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You would do exactly what the green car in my example has done. You would indicate right ("I'm continuing around the roundabout") until you eventually reach your exit, when you would indicate left ("I'm leaving the roundabout").

It might sound complicated, but once you know the theory, you soon get used to it and it works very well.
You'd use common sense you mean!
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Old 11.11.2011, 10:00
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

ok so I'll be careful on roundabouts!
thanks for all advice, I'm feeling much more confident already.

Cheers
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Old 11.11.2011, 12:13
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Re: Driving on the 'other side' and driving rules in CH

Swiss tip - pay attention to the two little letters on the number plates of the cars around you, e.g AG stands for Achtung Gefahr (warning dangerous driver)

Its good that NZ has the same roundabout rules as the UK now, but many people don't really grasp them and perhaps the swiss simplified version would be better.
The painful problem for me is people who interpet the second exit as perhaps not straight on, maybe a few degrees left or right, and then they indicate left or right as enter the roundabout = confffussed everyone.

Does switzerland have any micro-roundabouts? Probably not, I mean those roundabouts that really only serve to slow down traffic on a 4 or 3 way intersection. For those, there may not be enough time to indicate both on and off, but traffic certainly won't flow if people do not indicate when they are going around (right) the roundabout
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