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  #21  
Old 27.01.2021, 22:13
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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You asked a question and we pretty much unanimously explained you how it works and why it happened.

Many of us don't like it (had a similar event and it was an expensive discovery but also luckily no one hurt).

It's a good reminder to keep a safe speed which means that at ANY moment you can brake and avoid hitting what is in front of you.

I would honestly just pay and count your blessings on the light injuries.
Sucks somewhat but just consider that you could have been seriously injured.... count yourself lucky, chalk it up to experience, you at least have a story to tell.... and move on.
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  #22  
Old 27.01.2021, 22:19
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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You asked a question and we pretty much unanimously explained you how it works and why it happened.
True. At least I won't feel like I'm the only guy being ripped, when paying the fine, since it seems to be within the expected range... Surprising for a foreigner, but at the end "when in Rome...".



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It's a good reminder to keep a safe speed which means that at ANY moment you can brake and avoid hitting what is in front of you.
A good reminder was already the crash itself... But safe is not a discrete concept. It could be 50% safe, 90% safe, 99% safe, 99.9% safe, never 100% safe, so which safe is safe enough and what is the best ratio between safe and practical?



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I would honestly just pay and count your blessings on the light injuries.
This will probably happen, although I will still try with an objection, since I see myself more of a victim than a criminal (and I'm really not the type of person, who sees things often this way).
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  #23  
Old 27.01.2021, 22:27
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

The rule is that you should only go at a speed that allows you to brake in time when discovering an obstacle. Failure to do so is considering inappropriate handling of your vehicle. Obviously, if something like an animal shows up unexpectedly, that is a different issue.

You actually got away quite cheaply, I've heard of way worse fines for similar "accidents". And one of them was with someone who objected, ended up paying more than double the initial fine. Something about the judge wanting to drive home the lesson to be learned, I guess...
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Old 27.01.2021, 22:48
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

It's quite possible the police did make a mistake signaling the road closure. Feeling as strongly as you do, I'd personally recommend attempting to appeal the decision at a higher court. Except for possibly incurring more expenses, you have nothing else to lose.
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  #25  
Old 28.01.2021, 00:55
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

The way Swiss courts treat such road accidents only show that justice in judicial meaning of the word and and in common sense are often totally different things. In fact, laws get outdated quite quickly but because the system is slow, courts can make really absurd but still judicially "correct" decisions.

If one follows the logic of the mentioned court decisions, the only suitable speed is 0 km/h, because at any other speed an accident could happen and the driver will be at fault. One can have very good view of the road ahead in perfect light but still oversee and hit something on the road that is small, sharp or has suitable colour and/or shape. Animals jumping onto the road is another situation which can entirely be avoided only if one stays at home.

The concept of always driving at a speed that allows stopping within a visible distance sounds nice to judges, but is unrealistic in actual driving situations on real roads. I am not saying one should drive too fast, but strict application of this principle would often result in unsafe driving patterns (with frequent braking) or else unreasonably slow speeds. And to be able to dynamically calculate this speed for every road and light configurations - even machines would fail at that (but judges will of course have no problem at this trivial task). This is actually why different roads have different speed limits - this limit suggests safe speed under prevailing conditions. Which does not mean that there still could not be an accident if you are unlucky: despite best possible conditions while you were within speed limit and paying attention. Judicial system is then only trying to reconcile reality with some (possibly old or outdated) laws made by people pursuing certain interests. It cannot be perfect or just.

I cycled across Klausen many times in both directions and think that the OP was both a bit unlucky and a bit careless. As the road was previously closed at least somewhere before, one should be extra careful on the downhill, all pass roads have multiple barriers. As for the fine - sounds excessive, but little could be done as judicial system is of little help in most such cases. Not worth the time and the risk of losing and having to pay more.


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Bluntly said you were going faster than you could stop within the visible distance. A violation of Art. 32 SVG and Art. 4 VRV
Most of us do many, many times and luckily most of those times nothing happens at all. If you drive on the autobahn 120 km/h with dipped beam and you hit an object on the road it is your fault. Federal court ruling BGE 100 IV 279 from 1979, and reaffirmed in BGer 6B_673/2011.

Nevertheless, one cannot just put a barrier on the road. If you think the signage was not good enough you have to contest the verdict and bring it to the next level all the way up to the federal court. But be sure that the pass was not just open "Bis zur Passhöhe".

Last edited by awanderer; 28.01.2021 at 01:24.
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  #26  
Old 28.01.2021, 09:55
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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This is actually why different roads have different speed limits - this limit suggests safe speed under prevailing conditions.
not in switzerland. This a very dangerous assumption. Any road in the fields has a limit of 80 km/h and in the curvy ones it's a criminal speed in the growing season, when bikers and walkers abound and the plants are tall. And of course winter too, since the winter service is not focused on them.
Any cantonal road full of hairpin turns has the same limit as well.
All that 80 vs 50 kph tells you is whether houses are present on both sides of the road or not.

Besides, at some crossings in 30 km/h zones, the visibility is so bad you're asking for an accident if you just coast through.

In general, only very main roads have limits that adapt a lot.
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  #27  
Old 28.01.2021, 10:03
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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If one follows the logic of the mentioned court decisions, the only suitable speed is 0 km/h, because at any other speed an accident could happen and the driver will be at fault. One can have very good view of the road ahead in perfect light but still oversee and hit something on the road that is small, sharp or has suitable colour and/or shape. Animals jumping onto the road is another situation which can entirely be avoided only if one stays at home.
In English law, there's the concept of the 'reasonable person' (aka the man on the Clapham omnibus) and I'd expect other jurisdictions to have the same philosophy. So what would this person think?

- Crashing because a previously unseen animal jumped into the road (reasonable).

- Crashing because somebody strung a wire across the road Great Escape-style. Who would do this...? (reasonable).

- Crashing because of a collision with static road furniture due to excessive speed for the conditions (unreasonable).

There are thousands of bike rides every day where people keep their eyes open and don't spontaneously crash into things the size of barn doors. If they do, I certainly don't want to have to pay for processing the accident. So guess who does have to pay...?
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  #28  
Old 28.01.2021, 10:15
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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All that 80 vs 50 kph tells you is whether houses are present on both sides of the road or not.
It might even have houses when it is 80 km/h.

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The way Swiss courts treat such road accidents only show that justice in judicial meaning of the word and and in common sense are often totally different things. In fact, laws get outdated quite quickly but because the system is slow, courts can make really absurd but still judicially "correct" decisions.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Read up on the wonders the Swiss courts come up in relation to Art. 31 Abs. 1 SVG Where it says the the driver must always have full control over its vehicle that they are able to comply with the duties of precautions.

Btw, forum threads related to the topic:
Cyclists Beware!
Swiss Judge doesn't understand the concept of "autobahn"
Double punishment
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Last edited by aSwissInTheUS; 28.01.2021 at 10:26.
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  #29  
Old 28.01.2021, 10:15
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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Rule number one on the roads in Switzerland is that here there is no such thing as an accident and someone is always "at fault". Even after 20 odd years in Switzerland I still don't get this way of thinking.
It's the way it works in the UK now.

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I know colegue had similar case crashing in the car in front (watching his bikecomputer ) and was ádvised' to state that his gears got stuck and was looking for short moment down when hitting the car. That got him ...insurance to cover the costs of damage (bike + car)...
Strange that he had to make a story about the gears. A colleague went into the back of a car because it braked suddenly and he was too close. The damage to the car was covered by his liability insurance, and the bike by his bike insurance. Even though it was his fault entirely.
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  #30  
Old 28.01.2021, 10:26
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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I cycled across Klausen many times in both directions and think that the OP was both a bit unlucky and a bit careless.
OP didn't actually say what they were charged with, but presumably it was careless driving. In practice I think very few people are actively dangerous, there's always going to be an element of (bad) luck.

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As for the fine - sounds excessive, but little could be done as judicial system is of little help in most such cases. Not worth the time and the risk of losing and having to pay more.
Bear in mind the fine is actually very small, the equivalent of a fine for doing 91 on an 80 road. The police and court costs are probably less than the cost of replacing OPs bike, and certainly less than the medical fees, so in context it was actually quite good value for the legal service OP received.
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  #31  
Old 28.01.2021, 10:27
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

Until about 2 years ago (and then I started a family), I used to to a lot of alpine road cycling (2-3 passes on a day ride). Fast descending is the pay-off but I was always on high-alert, and kept my speed down to the distance I could stop.

Especially on narrow pass roads (like Grösse Scheidegg) I especially dropped my speed because the road was narrow, the corners blind, and if a Post Bus came around the corner I wanted to have my "out".

Self-preservation is key, because on a bike, right or wrong, you're gonna come worst off.
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  #32  
Old 28.01.2021, 10:40
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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- Crashing because of a collision with static road furniture due to excessive speed for the conditions (unreasonable).

There are thousands of bike rides every day where people keep their eyes open and don't spontaneously crash into things the size of barn doors. If they do, I certainly don't want to have to pay for processing the accident. So guess who does have to pay...?

So why don't maintanence workers just park their car on a highway/canthonal road/wherever, and start their work. There is a sign for construction work somewhere along the way. Maybe. The will be no danger, right? It is reasonable, because it takes an unreasonable driver to hit someone.



Sorry, but in your simplistic description you forgot to mention a tunnel, a deceptively bad lightning (I could have seen anythining after the exit of a tunnel) and the fact, that the barrier was primarily meant to stop the vehicles coming from the other side, and its position and signaling was adjusted for this. I wasn't just riding my bike completely unaware of the surroundings you know. I had to be quite careful with the slippery road and the obstacles (rocks, etc.) on it, yet is still wasn't enough. Surely I could have gone slower and surely I could have thought of the possibility of a barrier on a way. But usually the road signilisation is provided in a way, that it really makes 100% clear to anybody of any possible danger. Here, this most certainly was not the case.
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  #33  
Old 28.01.2021, 10:52
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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OP didn't actually say what they were charged with, but presumably it was careless driving. In practice I think very few people are actively dangerous, there's always going to be an element of (bad) luck.



Bear in mind the fine is actually very small, the equivalent of a fine for doing 91 on an 80 road. The police and court costs are probably less than the cost of replacing OPs bike, and certainly less than the medical fees, so in context it was actually quite good value for the legal service OP received.

Not that it matters, but my bike actually only got minor damage, since it mostly slipped under the barrier, I took the first hit. And yes, it was careless driving (or this Art. 31 Abs 1 SVG).
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  #34  
Old 28.01.2021, 10:58
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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S I had to be quite careful with the slippery road and the obstacles (rocks, etc.) on it, yet is still wasn't enough. Surely I could have gone slower and surely I could have thought of the possibility of a barrier on a way. But usually the road signilisation is provided in a way, that it really makes 100% clear to anybody of any possible danger. Here, this most certainly was not the case.
That is was one clear hint that road might not have been fully open.

I just checked some videos. The barrier warning sign before the tunnel is turned away if the road is fully open.
https://youtu.be/qdfXvmCF_hQ?t=1125
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  #35  
Old 28.01.2021, 11:10
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

I think the issue here is that you see the break-down of the fine, and then you try to find what is too much and what is ok.

In US for example the actual traffic fine is relatively small, but then you get all the bits and pieces added which blows the final cost significantly.

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Surely I realize, that if I hit something, or crash in some other way with my bike, it is ultimately my fault in almost any case. As it was this time. I am totaly fine with my fine ( ). Which is 150 CHF. But this is only 20% of the amount I have to pay.
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  #36  
Old 28.01.2021, 11:14
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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I think the issue here is that you see the break-down of the fine, and then you try to find what is too much and what is ok.

In US for example the actual traffic fine is relatively small, but then you get all the bits and pieces added which blows the final cost significantly.
The actual fine is also just CHF 150. Pretty small for Swiss standards when no simple fine is possible.

PS: With traffic legal insurance (Verkehrsrechtsschutz) the other expenses such as court fees etc. will be paid. However, and logically, not the fine itself.
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Old 28.01.2021, 11:31
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

Finally someone on a bicycle getting fined for violating traffic laws
More of that in Zurich please!
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  #38  
Old 28.01.2021, 11:32
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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So why don't maintanence workers just park their car on a highway/canthonal road/wherever, and start their work. There is a sign for construction work somewhere along the way. Maybe. The will be no danger, right? It is reasonable, because it takes an unreasonable driver to hit someone.
They often do if that's where the work is required. The sight of the sign followed by the actual construction work itself normally clues a reasonable person in as to what's going on.



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Sorry, but in your simplistic description you forgot to mention a tunnel, a deceptively bad lightning (I could have seen anythining after the exit of a tunnel) and the fact, that the barrier was primarily meant to stop the vehicles coming from the other side, and its position and signaling was adjusted for this. I wasn't just riding my bike completely unaware of the surroundings you know. I had to be quite careful with the slippery road and the obstacles (rocks, etc.) on it, yet is still wasn't enough. Surely I could have gone slower and surely I could have thought of the possibility of a barrier on a way. But usually the road signilisation is provided in a way, that it really makes 100% clear to anybody of any possible danger. Here, this most certainly was not the case.
Deceptively bad lighting? Who was trying to deceive you? This is like the SMIDSY ('sorry mate, I didn't see you') excuse where a driver might claim to be 'blinded by the sun'. If you can't see where you're going, what on earth are you doing tearing along at high speed? A reasonable person would slow down or stop in that situation.
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Old 28.01.2021, 11:45
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

You can read below about a number of cases where a driver was found guilty of running over someone who was trying to commit suicide by lying on the motorway late at night. The Buenzli judges ruled that the driver should have anticipated that someone might have been lying on the highway late at night. Of course, when the same incident happened to a Swiss police officer, she was acquitted and there was no wrong doing. Surprise surprise.

https://www.thelocal.ch/20170622/swi...ay-on-motorway
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Old 28.01.2021, 11:54
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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Bluntly said you were going faster than you could stop within the visible distance. A violation of Art. 32 SVG and Art. 4 VRV
Most of us do many, many times and luckily most of those times nothing happens at all. If you drive on the autobahn 120 km/h with dipped beam and you hit an object on the road it is your fault. Federal court ruling BGE 100 IV 279 from 1979, and reaffirmed in BGer 6B_673/2011.

Nevertheless, one cannot just put a barrier on the road. If you think the signage was not good enough you have to contest the verdict and bring it to the next level all the way up to the federal court. But be sure that the pass was not just open "Bis zur Passhöhe".
OP wrote <<All that for me being found guilty of overseeing the barrier sign at the entrance of the tunnel. The sign, which is there 24/7, no matter if the barrier is actually blocking the road or not.>>

If OP's case will not simply be dismissed, it will cost him more as he will lose it.
There is a clear indication of a possible barrier (as OP knows it's there all year round, it is also clearly visible ). This is like the all year signs re possible traffic jam. Just because all the times one passed there before and the road was clear you can't hit standing traffic and claim you're not at fault or worse you've not been warned. In fact you have to expect obstacles on the road at any time so being warned about the specific possibility is actually rather luxurious.

Funny thread though.
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