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Old 18.11.2020, 17:56
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Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

There are low speed regulations for highways. This is a strange question for many, but I still wish to clear this out for myself:


Is there any regulation against driving 35 km/h on the inner city road, where the top speed limit is 50 km/h?


It is important for me, since there are a couple of places in the city of Zürich, where I don't feel safe to drive 50km/h, although it is allowed an some drivers go there even faster. For example here:
https://goo.gl/maps/EdAdbCyaescXhr7J8
A narrow street, wide tree trunks, sometimes cars and bikes parked on a curb, some banners and, of courses, roadworks a couple hundred meters ahead. Chances to hit a pedestrian or an animal are high (a bad visibility and a close proximity) and it is not worth getting a couple seconds earlier to the following clogged crossroads. How slow am I allowed to go on this or similar road without breaking any official rules?
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Old 18.11.2020, 18:12
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

Somebody might be along with the actual law shortly, but 50 is the limit, if it's not safe to do 50 go slower. I can't see any reason for there to be a regulation stating that you can't go slower as long as you are not holding traffic up with no reason.

In my own experience, I've been beeped at for slowing down before blind pedestrian crossings, but screw them, you stay safe.
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Old 18.11.2020, 18:18
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

No there is no minimum speed by default.

Switzerland also uses the minimum speed signage where required (white number on blue circle), but I've never actually seen one.

Motorways can only be used by vehicles capable of a sustained 80 km/h, but there isn't a law that says you have to do this speed.

I think you could be stopped for dangerous driving if you go very slowly on a motorway, but I couldn't find this specifically covered by the law, but of course the law can't cover all dangerous situations.
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Old 18.11.2020, 18:29
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

Have you seen the movie 'Speed'? The roads through Zurich are not like that.
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Old 18.11.2020, 18:46
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

A friend of mine was driving trough tunnel of San Bernardino going 60km/h (it's 80km/h) if i remember the story right. She was stopped few kms later by the police, asking her why she was driving so slow. She didn't get any fine, but they were not happy.
I guess someone called the police and they checked if she was drunk or something. She was with small kids in the car.
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Old 18.11.2020, 20:00
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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A friend of mine was driving trough tunnel of San Bernardino going 60km/h (it's 80km/h) if i remember the story right. She was stopped few kms later by the police, asking her why she was driving so slow. She didn't get any fine, but they were not happy.
In the tunnels, they even tell you on the radio info channel to NOT do less than 80, as it holds up traffic flow.

Tom
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Old 18.11.2020, 20:01
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

My daughter's husband failed his motorcycle A test first time around for driving too slow.

Tom
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Old 21.11.2020, 17:08
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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My daughter's husband failed his motorcycle A test first time around for driving too slow.

Tom
I believe he failed because he decided to drive it rather than riding it
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Old 14.12.2020, 00:17
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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A friend of mine was driving trough tunnel of San Bernardino going 60km/h (it's 80km/h) if i remember the story right. She was stopped few kms later by the police, asking her why she was driving so slow. She didn't get any fine, but they were not happy.
I guess someone called the police and they checked if she was drunk or something. She was with small kids in the car.
I hope your friend then promptly surrendered her driving licence for good....
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Old 31.01.2021, 12:42
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

We got followed by a car for 10 minutes to our home, and they called the police who visited us at our house, and took an alcohol test for both me and my wife. Because we were driving slowly late at night. Police mentioned the flow concept, but there is no flow with only two cars in my opinion. We noticed we were followed, and the guys got out of their car to see where we live, and made us really unsecure at that time ( not knowing that they did this because they thought the driver was drunk, and planning to call the police). I was planning to make a complaint or something like this for this stalking thing, but after reading all these experiences I dont think I will bother

Apparently this speed limit is elastic, when the road is empty late at night, people expect you to drive faster than usual, even over the speed limit, otherwise they will suspect you for drunk driving. During the day, this never happened to us. Anyway, I think the police are more worried about the "flow" and have nothing against tailgating or stalking, so probably complaining about this behavior will lead nowhere.

I believe the consequences of these habits of the people and police can also be negative, since probably the people who drink and drive know this, and they will drive faster just to avoid this, faster than they can handle maybe. Anyway... just an opinion
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Old 31.01.2021, 12:49
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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We got followed by a car for 10 minutes to our home, and they called the police who visited us at our house, and took an alcohol test for both me and my wife. Because we were driving slowly late at night. Police mentioned the flow concept, but there is no flow with only two cars in my opinion. We noticed we were followed, and the guys got out of their car to see where we live, and made us really unsecure at that time ( not knowing that they did this because they thought the driver was drunk, and planning to call the police). I was planning to make a complaint or something like this for this stalking thing, but after reading all these experiences I dont think I will bother

Apparently this speed limit is elastic, when the road is empty late at night, people expect you to drive faster than usual, even over the speed limit, otherwise they will suspect you for drunk driving. During the day, this never happened to us. Anyway, I think the police are more worried about the "flow" and have nothing against tailgating or stalking, so probably complaining about this behavior will lead nowhere.

I believe the consequences of these habits of the people and police can also be negative, since probably the people who drink and drive know this, and they will drive faster just to avoid this, faster than they can handle maybe. Anyway... just an opinion
What a weird episode. I would complain. Please, do so. What if one of you had been drinking that evening and was accused of driving under influence even if they didn't drive? And following you till home when it was simple to just write down your number or take a photo of your plates?
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Old 31.01.2021, 12:49
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

i love this country!
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Old 31.01.2021, 13:37
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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We got followed by a car for 10 minutes to our home, and they called the police who visited us at our house, and took an alcohol test for both me and my wife. Because we were driving slowly late at night.
How slow and why?

Sounds like you were a danger and likely to cause others to overtake you, perhaps dangerously...
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Old 31.01.2021, 16:51
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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We got followed by a car for 10 minutes to our home, and they called the police who visited us at our house, and took an alcohol test for both me and my wife. Because we were driving slowly late at night. Police mentioned the flow concept, but there is no flow with only two cars in my opinion. We noticed we were followed, and the guys got out of their car to see where we live, and made us really unsecure at that time ( not knowing that they did this because they thought the driver was drunk, and planning to call the police). I was planning to make a complaint or something like this for this stalking thing, but after reading all these experiences I dont think I will bother
That's what you perceived. Just how do you know that was the reason? and there was nothing else?

The problem with your description is that you only register (and potentially remember) what you perceive. When you're engaged in conversation with a loved one that's what you will focus on, and your brain will automatically ignore lots of other stuff, maybe even everything else.

You say your speed was clearly below the limit. Obviously on average. Which may well mean that you were doing 50 at some point and 90 at another in a 80km/h zone, that's 70 on average. To someone driving behind you such would be a clear indicator of the driver not paying attention to the road/traffic, for unknown but often obvious reasons.

The other is your wife's driving. Moving within the lane, left-right-left-right, wouldn't be too unusual while in conversation. You, the passenger, might not notice because you're not driving, and the driver may immediately forget about it whenever she's moving back towards the center of the lane because there's more important stuff (the conversation with her loved one) to focus on.

In this time and age you should expect to have been filmed in such an occasion. It's not useable in court but the police will still see it as supporting evidence to a report made. Heck, they'd be stupid if they didn't. They wouldn't show up at your door in the middle of the night and have you both(!) take a blow test unless there was more than just a couple in one car placing an otherwise uncorroborated report.

There's a reason why most drivers think their own driving is far above average even though that's mathematically impossible. You may well have fallen victim to the same mechanisms.
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Old 18.11.2020, 18:47
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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Is there any regulation against driving 35 km/h on the inner city road, where the top speed limit is 50 km/h?
The posted or default speed limit sets the upper limit. So what about going bellow it?

Let us check what the Swiss Road Act says:
Quote:
Art. 32 Speed

1 The speed must always be adapted to the circumstances, in particular to the characteristics of the vehicle and load, as well as to the road, traffic and visibility conditions. Where the vehicle could impede traffic, it must be driven slowly and, if necessary, stopped, especially in front of unclear areas, road junctions that are not clearly visible and level crossings.

2 The Federal Council shall limit the speed of motor vehicles on all roads.1

3 The maximum speed set by the Federal Council may only be reduced or increased for certain stretches of road by the competent authority on the basis of an expert opinion. The Federal Council may provide for exceptions

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
the traffic rule ordinance further says:
Quote:
Art. 4 Adequate speed

1 The driver may only drive as fast as he can stop within the visible distance; where crossing is difficult, he must be able to stop within half the visible distance.

2 He must drive slowly where the road is covered with snow, ice, wet leaves or grit, especially if trailers are being pulled.

3 The driver must moderate his speed and, if necessary, stop when children are not paying attention to traffic on the road*.

4 ..

5 Without compelling reasons, the driver may not drive so slowly that it hinders a smooth flow of traffic.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
So here you have what is defined in the relevant laws. Unlike in the US were every single corner or curve has its own speed limit usually only a default speed is set and the rest is up to the driver. Speed is usually only lowered bellow the default if there is good reason (some might argue that even that is beyond the reasonable and there are way too many spped signs).

What about your particular case? Schweighofstrasse, Triemli side? A regular road. Nothing special and not particularly narrow. Furthermore, one which might be used for driving tests as the StVA is located at the other end. In my opinion going 35 km/h on Schweighosstrasse is a nuisance for other drives and you will fail the driving test if you would do so.
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Old 18.11.2020, 18:55
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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What about your particular case? Schweighofstrasse, Triemli side? A regular road. Nothing special and not particularly narrow. Furthermore, one which might be used for driving tests as the StVA is located at the other end. In my opinion going 35 km/h on Schweighosstrasse is a nuisance for other drives and you will fail the driving test if you would do so.



If the road is as the OP described, then I'd say you're rather more likely to fail a test (or worse) if he didn't slow down.
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Old 18.11.2020, 19:13
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

That road seems quite large with good visibility and the main road for the area. Pedestrians have crossing with traffic lights, large pavement and partial separation from the road thanks to the trees, therefore it looks like a road designed for 50 kmh, not 30. Trees are known to make drivers feel like the road is narrower than it is and that they are going faster than they really are, you are probably just responding to this element of street design.
However, you are correct to slow down to 30 near construction works esp. during working time.
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Old 18.11.2020, 20:06
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

I got once a police car requesting me to go faster when on Sunday morning 5:15am I drove my car 30kmh in 50 zone.. reasoning it's not safe as other cars may attempt to overtake. I agreed and continued at 30kmh - checking whenever my bike computer is calibrated accordingly to my GPS measurement.

Also what OP is saying is either his vision needs medical assistance (and I'd recommend to do anyway - as I had similar experiences back in time) or needs to inform police that visibility at that part of the road is not good enough for allowed speed.

it takes +300msec for person from noticing something on the road to hitting a breaks
50km is 14m/sec , so you'd need 4.5m alone to start breaking. full stop for 2T car is approx 12m ( I have a feeling it's less but anyway ) - you need min 17m visibility and perfect reaction time . I guess Swiss norm is 28m with visibility twice the distance so 55m for 50kmh zone.
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Old 18.11.2020, 20:50
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

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I got once a police car requesting me to go faster when on Sunday morning 5:15am I drove my car 30kmh in 50 zone.. reasoning it's not safe as other cars may attempt to overtake. I agreed and continued at 30kmh - checking whenever my bike computer is calibrated accordingly to my GPS measurement.

Also what OP is saying is either his vision needs medical assistance (and I'd recommend to do anyway - as I had similar experiences back in time) or needs to inform police that visibility at that part of the road is not good enough for allowed speed.

it takes +300msec for person from noticing something on the road to hitting a breaks
50km is 14m/sec , so you'd need 4.5m alone to start breaking. full stop for 2T car is approx 12m ( I have a feeling it's less but anyway ) - you need min 17m visibility and perfect reaction time . I guess Swiss norm is 28m with visibility twice the distance so 55m for 50kmh zone.
You just completely ignored the detail of the law and most of the previous posts. 50 is the limit, not the recommended speed.

If we based speed limits on visibility distance and random stuff like things on the road, they would vary not only on every little stretch of road or corner but also by the minute depending on density of fog, cats, buses, cyclists, children etc. Of these I've actually only ever seen fog and children have their own signs and limits.
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Old 18.11.2020, 21:44
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Re: Driving too slow in a 50 km/h zone

I regularly do 40 on the road leading to my home. Morons who wish to go faster (and thereby save themselves 0.5 seconds on their journey) are welcome to push their blood pressures up.

There's a guy near me who drives a McLaren SLR. Jet black. Lovely machine. I always let him into slow moving traffic.
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