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Old 07.06.2020, 16:13
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Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

I never drive, but my friend at her first visit got in trouble; driving 80km/h in a 50km/h zone near Zürich.

She's never had problems in italy and we were very confused, until I went to check and found that the area didn't look urban at all. There was a 50km/h sign but over 2 km earlier, and no houses at all for 1 km before the autovelox.

She's in her final years of trainig as a doctor, and deadly afraid that getting an entry in the penal registry will be considered a deal breaker or at least a significant impediment, not just for immigrating in Switzerland like she hoped to do shortly, but also to get a job in her field anywhere including Italy. Professional orders for doctors, understandably, are very strict on penal convictions; and require reporting them not just if they were "suspended", but apparently even after technically they were successfully "deleted" at the end of probation. So, it would be a curse for life.

If we wanted to find a lawyer to try and convince the attorney not to saddle her with a penalty incomparably heavier than what would have been given in Italy for the same -where could we find one?
My friend can speak decent German, if it helps.
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Old 09.06.2020, 10:18
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

Well the first thing to do is forget anything about what goes on in Italy as far as speeding fines are concerned. It's totally and utterly irrelevant to the Swiss authorities and may even encourage them to push the penalties up.
Frankly, if you've broken the speed limits, there's not an awful lot you can do about it. You might get away if you can show that the limitation signs aren't visible, but otherwise you're probably wasting your time. If the speeding excess wasn't more than 30 km/h over the limit, it will almost certainly be only a fine (though a pretty heavy one). Over 30 km/h, you'll end up in court.
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Old 09.06.2020, 10:28
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

First, can you tell us the exact location/street? Thank you.

Second, 50 km/h indicates inside urban area (sometimes, but rare there is 50 outside urban area).
30 km/h over in the urban area is out side the the set fines according the price list.
30 km/h over is even outside the range where a fine (set by a prosecutor) is possible.
30 km/h over is a wage based monetary penalty of about 50 days of income (suspended/on probation + a fine). There will be a criminal record entry which appears on the public extract for about two years.
This might impeded naturalization but should have no effect on doctors license.

The regular Swiss fines assume, oopss I did not see the sign, luckily no one was endangered. More or less exactly your friends situation.

For more details see https://www.englishforum.ch/transpor...law-fines.html and you can also ask further questions right here.
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Old 09.06.2020, 11:14
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

Roads in the middle of nowhere that connect farms, military grounds, and places with heavy truck traffic have 50 km/h limits in the middle of nowhere. Hope the lesson is not that expensive.

It's not possible to follow speed limits by only reading the signs if you drive in an unfamiliar road. A GPS with speed limits is the only way to avoid fines. Local drivers respect the limits because the have memorized their town, not because they're able to read the signs while driving.
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Old 09.06.2020, 11:31
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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...... It's not possible to follow speed limits by only reading the signs if you drive in an unfamiliar road. A GPS with speed limits is the only way to avoid fines. Local drivers respect the limits because the have memorized their town, not because they're able to read the signs while driving.
Not always.
Which then can lead to fines as one doesn't notice the change. Yes they must indicate "Signalisationsänderung" for a while yet, but as I noticed, they often don't.
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Old 09.06.2020, 11:34
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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It's not possible to follow speed limits by only reading the signs if you drive in an unfamiliar road. A GPS with speed limits is the only way to avoid fines.
Really? I've been driving for 30 years without a GPS telling me speed limits (ok, some of those were before speed cameras were invented), and have had 3 speeding tickets in my life - only once in a unfamiliar area.
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Old 09.06.2020, 11:37
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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It's not possible to follow speed limits by only reading the signs if you drive in an unfamiliar road.
If you find it impossible to read traffic signs while driving, than perhaps you should trade in your car and take the bus.
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Old 09.06.2020, 12:26
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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If you find it impossible to read traffic signs while driving, than perhaps you should trade in your car and take the bus.
Yes, it's impossible. I have zero fines in my record because I read most of speed limit signs, approaching 100%, but never 100%. If I have zero fines is because the times I failed to read the sign there was no speed camera.

Last weekend I got a warning from the car that I was at 50 km/h area. I told my wife: hey, the stupid sign recognition camera made a mistake once again. Sometimes the car sign recognition system makes mistakes because it recognizes a sign that apply to other lanes, not the one I'm on. She just replied: did you not see the 50 km/h? I immediately slowed down. I'm human, I fail, no big deal.

If we drive carefully there's a quite high probability of never being caught breaking a traffic law. But, it's just not being caught, it doesn't mean being a perfect driver that reads and interprets correctly 100% of signs....and follows them.

@EdwinNL: the people who believe in their own infallibility are first ones doing costly mistakes. Careful with that confidence.

PS. we humans fail to the point that the sign recognition system (speed intelligent assistant) will become mandatory on 2024. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/...es-in-vehicles

Last edited by Axa; 09.06.2020 at 13:28. Reason: changed radar for speed camera,
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Old 09.06.2020, 12:34
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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Yes, it's impossible. I have zero fines in my record because I read most of speed limit signs, approaching 100%, but never 100%. If I have zero fines is because the times I failed to read the sign there was no radar.

Last weekend I got a warning from the car that I was at 50 km/h area. I told my wife: hey, the stupid sign recognition camera made a mistake once again. Sometimes the car sign recognition system makes mistakes because it recognizes a sign that apply to other lanes, not the one I'm on. She just replied: did you not see the 50 km/h? I immediately slowed down. I'm human, I fail, no big deal.

If we drive carefully there's a quite high probability of never being caught breaking a traffic law. But, it's just not being caught, it doesn't mean being a perfect driver that reads and interprets correctly 100% of signs....and follows them.

@EdwinNL: the people who believe in their own infallibility are first ones doing costly mistakes. Careful with that confidence.

PS. we humans fail to the point that the sign recognition system (speed intelligent assistant) will become mandatory on 2024. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/...es-in-vehicles
Only on new cars and I find it indeed a dumb thing to make mandatory. All it takes is one funny kid who puts a picture next to the highway and chaos assured.
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Old 09.06.2020, 12:50
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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Only on new cars and I find it indeed a dumb thing to make mandatory. All it takes is one funny kid who puts a picture next to the highway and chaos assured.
How is it different from a kid who puts a fake sign on the highway today?
Speed assistance simply shows to the driver that they are driving over the last seen limit. Since the majority of people in this thread seem to be robots that never accidentally go above the speed limit and always know the last speed sign that they saw - the same chaos would happen today with a fake sign
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Old 09.06.2020, 12:53
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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How is it different from a kid who puts a fake sign on the highway today?
Speed assistance simply shows to the driver that they are driving over the last seen limit. Since the majority of people in this thread seem to be robots that never accidentally go above the speed limit and always know the last speed sign that they saw - the same chaos would happen today with a fake sign
No, robots sometimes make mistakes, they're only as good as the engineers that debugged them. Infallible people is near to god-level of infallibility, perfection on two legs
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Old 09.06.2020, 13:02
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

In general, I too find absurd people who claim that a careful driver never goes above the speed limit here.
Axa never said that he/she does not give a shit about limits: just that it happens to be wrong. I try to drive with manic precision w.r.t. speed limits in Switzerland and rarely get fines, but we are humans, not robots: we do miss signs sometimes, we do forget them after a while and especially we make assumptions all the time (in life as on the road). We spent many hours on the road and get used to make a lot of assumptions, that's how we become efficient at it.

It is true that OP probably will just have to accept whatever punishment, and we should not encourage speeding. But with benefit of doubt, the situation "I did not notice/forgot about a limit, a road totally seemed like XX km/h and instead was YY km/h" does happen from time to time, let's not be hypocrites.

If you never assume anything about the speed limit, it means that if you happen to realize that you are not sure about the current limit, you stop your car and walk by foot in the direction you came from to check where was the list sign, intersection or city delimitation.
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Old 09.06.2020, 13:28
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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I try to drive with manic precision w.r.t. speed limits in Switzerland and rarely get fines.
I rarely get fines, and don't give a shit about the limits.

Tom
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Old 09.06.2020, 14:08
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

Axa's statement was:
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Local drivers respect the limits because the have memorized their town, not because they're able to read the signs while driving.
Which is plain stupid. While it might be an exceptional case where one misses a sign, a fully licensed driver should be able to see and read nearly all speed limit signs. If the driver actually adapts the speed to the displayed limit is a complete other question which shall not be part of this discussion.

That you must have "local knowledge" to avoid regular traffic tickets is just utter rubbish and prone to actually get a hefty ticket as you might miss a new speed limit which was not there a week ago.

Maybe riding a crotch rocket on unknown roads and being labeled as organs on wheels makes one more aware about the surroundings, street conditions, traffic situation, and potential hazards. But honestly keep yourself focused on driving safely is just the bare minimum basic of road usage.

Someone which regularly misses speed limits signs should surrender its driving license for the safety of all others on the road. What is the next thing you miss? The kid crossing the street?
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Old 09.06.2020, 14:48
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

As I understood Axa's messages, it was that it is impossible to be 100% fault-proof unless driving in a very familiar area:
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Yes, it's impossible. I have zero fines in my record because I read most of speed limit signs, approaching 100%, but never 100%.
I agree though that missing speed limits should be an exception.

But it does happen from time to time that I find myself in a situation "oh shit, I was going too fast, luckily no speed cameras were there". OP is saying that it was one of those and it happened to have a speed camera - in benefit of doubt I can see that it can happen. Not that it will influence their fine anyway.
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Old 09.06.2020, 15:03
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

OP, you mentioned "your friend got in trouble"... how exactly? Did she see a camera flash, was she stopped by the polizei, or did she already receive the traffic fine in the post? Sorry for asking as it is not clear to me what exactly is the status, best case maybe she is worrying about nothing.

Disputing a speeding is pretty much futile, unless you can prove that the sign was obstructed. Getting a lawyer will only add up to her bill.
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Old 09.06.2020, 15:31
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

Trying to involve a lawyer when she clearly made a mistake will only antagonise whoever will be in charge of ruling her case. Accept the judgement and be more careful in future.
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Old 09.06.2020, 15:37
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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I never drive, but my friend at her first visit got in trouble; driving 80km/h in a 50km/h zone near Zürich.

She's never had problems in italy and we were very confused, until I went to check and found that the area didn't look urban at all. There was a 50km/h sign but over 2 km earlier, and no houses at all for 1 km before the autovelox.

She's in her final years of trainig as a doctor, and deadly afraid that getting an entry in the penal registry will be considered a deal breaker or at least a significant impediment, not just for immigrating in Switzerland like she hoped to do shortly, but also to get a job in her field anywhere including Italy. Professional orders for doctors, understandably, are very strict on penal convictions; and require reporting them not just if they were "suspended", but apparently even after technically they were successfully "deleted" at the end of probation. So, it would be a curse for life.

If we wanted to find a lawyer to try and convince the attorney not to saddle her with a penalty incomparably heavier than what would have been given in Italy for the same -where could we find one?
My friend can speak decent German, if it helps.
Seriously, do you believe that any employer would care about any traffic violation she has committed as a student?
Was she driving on Italian plates? If she ever gets the fine, she should better pay, but I doubt anyone would link this fine with her future endeavours, like immigration etc.
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Old 09.06.2020, 16:44
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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Axa's statement was:


Which is plain stupid. While it might be an exceptional case where one misses a sign, a fully licensed driver should be able to see and read nearly all speed limit signs. If the driver actually adapts the speed to the displayed limit is a complete other question which shall not be part of this discussion.

That you must have "local knowledge" to avoid regular traffic tickets is just utter rubbish and prone to actually get a hefty ticket as you might miss a new speed limit which was not there a week ago.

Maybe riding a crotch rocket on unknown roads and being labeled as organs on wheels makes one more aware about the surroundings, street conditions, traffic situation, and potential hazards. But honestly keep yourself focused on driving safely is just the bare minimum basic of road usage.

Someone which regularly misses speed limits signs should surrender its driving license for the safety of all others on the road. What is the next thing you miss? The kid crossing the street?
Thanks for the wish of getting a hefty ticket. But don't worry, seeing myself as fallible contributes to safer driving.

I should charge for consulting, but a freebie doesn't hurt: beware of overestimating your abilities. Lots of accident investigations find overconfident people miss crucial decisions that could have avoided catastrophic outcomes. From an accident prevention perspective all this "better than you" and "I'm better than average" attitude just makes you more prone to make a mistake.
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Old 09.06.2020, 17:54
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Re: Traffic lawyer for quick second opinion.

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Axa's statement was:


Which is plain stupid. While it might be an exceptional case where one misses a sign, a fully licensed driver should be able to see and read nearly all speed limit signs. If the driver actually adapts the speed to the displayed limit is a complete other question which shall not be part of this discussion.

That you must have "local knowledge" to avoid regular traffic tickets is just utter rubbish and prone to actually get a hefty ticket as you might miss a new speed limit which was not there a week ago.

Maybe riding a crotch rocket on unknown roads and being labeled as organs on wheels makes one more aware about the surroundings, street conditions, traffic situation, and potential hazards. But honestly keep yourself focused on driving safely is just the bare minimum basic of road usage.

Someone which regularly misses speed limits signs should surrender its driving license for the safety of all others on the road. What is the next thing you miss? The kid crossing the street?
You have obviously not driven around the Lucerne area; speed limits on the motorway going up and down like a yo-yo. Same in the urban areas and when you go from Canton Luzern (really tight) to Canton Schwyz (really lax) to Canton Zug (really $$$) in the space of 10km then reading speed limits is dangerous as you take your eye off the traffic.
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