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Old 27.01.2021, 14:54
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Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

Hi,



last autumn I had a misfortunate bicycle crash on Klausenpass. The road was closed until the morning due to the snowfall, however it was opened afterwards from the Glarus side. Since there were no more warnings about the road being closed and some cars drived towards the summit of the pass, I biked my way to the top and descended to Uri. There, the barrier was still in place, and since it's position was just after a tunnel, I didn't see it and crashed to it with a severe velocity (approx. 40-50 km/h). Since I required medical assistance (luckily just some bruises and slight concussion), I also got a visit from the police.

The epilogue of my accident was a fine of 150 CHF (or two days prison) plus all the costs of investigation, trial and police work, which summed up to 760 CHF. 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.



This just seems insane to me. My velocity was well below the limit and I wasn't a threat to anyone. Just a regular cyclist as you see them every day. However, a misfortunate error, not only from my side, caused me hitting a barrier.



Besides the fact, that the total fine is absurd and that the "investigation" costs of such an accident should stay well below the potential fine, I'm also thinking of filing a legal action against whoever was responsible for the road being opened from one side, and physically closed from the other. There were no additional signs, no warnings, nothing. If a car or another cyclist was there, going through Klausenpass from Glarus to Uri, the same would have happened. I didn't even think of legal actions, since I was very gratious of the outcome for me, health-wise. It could have ended much worse. But with such a non realistic approach from Uri canthonal authorities, I might think again.



So my question is - do you believe, there is anything I could do to reduce the fine or even get away with it? I could send a protest, but I doubt this will change things much, if I'm still found "guilty".
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Old 27.01.2021, 17:56
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

Glad you got away without hurting yourself too much!

This has been discussed before. The police considers that if you loose control of whatever vehicle it means that your speed, no matter how low, was not appropriate to the conditions.

If you crash into something, it is considered REALLY bad. Next time could have been a child....

Chalk it up to learning and move on. Anything you do from now on is bound to increase your costs.



K
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Old 27.01.2021, 18:01
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

Sorry my friend, you can do nothing about the fine and will have to cough up. 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.

Probably unavoidable in your instance, however one should do everything possible to avoid involving the police after a bike accident where no one else is involved.
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Old 27.01.2021, 18:23
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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My velocity was well below the limit and I wasn't a threat to anyone.
You hit a stationary barrier (that's painted red and white), at a speed high enough to seriously hurt a pedestrian, in potentially winter conditions.

Suggest you reflect on your definition of not being a threat to other road users, I think the penalty is quite lenient.
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Old 27.01.2021, 18:25
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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This just seems insane to me. My velocity was well below the limit and I wasn't a threat to anyone.....this time.
FTFY...this time.

I' not a law expert at all, but some traffic fines are admonished for risky actions not necessarily bad accident outcomes.

For example, driving at 140 km/h in the Swiss autobahn lands me a fine no matter if I cause an accident or not. The reason behind the fine is that I may harm others if I keep driving like that any other day. Same for the bike, this time the barrier paint was chipped, but next time it can be a person.

Not sure is it's the right approach to the issue, but to my understanding that's how traffic laws work.

PS. I guess you don't drive a car, otherwise you'd also be writing about having the permit frozen for weeks/months.

Last edited by Axa; 27.01.2021 at 18:42.
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Old 27.01.2021, 18:35
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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".
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Old 27.01.2021, 18:37
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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But be surer that the pass was not just open "Bis zur Passhöhe".
THIS. There's practically no unpopulated area in Switzerland. The cars OP saw may have been going to the next village or farms,not necessarily across the pass.
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Old 27.01.2021, 18:51
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

Clearly, you should have received a two-year driving ban.

Tom
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Old 27.01.2021, 18:56
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

I did cycle Klausenpass on couple occasions and it wasn't pleasant (both from Altdorf side) as it's very narrow and tunnel atop is dark with no lights and anything so I do understand where you have been - especially going from very sunny place before eyes adjust to darkness takes a while.

That being said - still if you hit something that wasn't moving - no matter what it was - it be your fault (hard to blame a wall or stone for being in place etc) so that's what it is.

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) but still got 350CHF fine for ... causing collision.

He was facing 7k costs (bike + car + medical) ..

Just saying you got away with still 'acceptable' expense way I see it/
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Old 27.01.2021, 19:42
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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.



If you drive 140 km/h on the autobahn, you get your flat rate ticket, pay it, and you are done with it. Here, I have to pay additional 110 CHF for "police work", 400 CHF (!) for investigation and 100 CHF for the trial. Sorry, but this is borderline stupid, since my "offence" is nowhere near the severity of speeding, running a red light, etc. And all those come with a lower price.



For all those, who say my driver's license should be taken - I drive a car, and luckily I didn't get fined in any way regarding this. However, you are being more pope-ish than a pope. I am among slower cyclists on descends, but those of you who know the Klausenpass road should remember, that a barrier comes right after a left turn and of course the switch of brightness reduces visibility exactly on the wrong spot. "By the book", one should always slow down to 5 km/h before every turn, because there could always be a child standing right in your way afterwards. In wonder how many of you do it. By car or by bike.



I'm sorry, but that kind of penalty just seems ridiculous to me. Even the police officer who investigated me, told me, that usually cyclists don't even get fined for such cases, and was really nice and relaxed. Or maybe he was just trolling me.
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Old 27.01.2021, 20:09
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

If you challenge your speeding ticket you would also get to have an investigation, trial and equivalent costs.

You committed an offense (not "offense") - to me it seems eminently fair that you pay for the costs associated with this; the alternative is for the rest of us tax payers to pick up the tab, when we were clearly not involved in your situation.

If you want to argue we should pay, then democratically you should also accept the majority view and hand in your licence for a couple of years.
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Old 27.01.2021, 20:44
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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If you challenge your speeding ticket you would also get to have an investigation, trial and equivalent costs.

You committed an offense (not "offense") - to me it seems eminently fair that you pay for the costs associated with this; the alternative is for the rest of us tax payers to pick up the tab, when we were clearly not involved in your situation.

If you want to argue we should pay, then democratically you should also accept the majority view and hand in your licence for a couple of years.

I wonder what benefits come from investigating such cases where no other party is involved. A guy lying in the hospital and a broken bike. Geez, why not call forensics team and bump the cost up a magnitude of order higher. The total price to pay then comes down not to the severity of the issue, but to the complexity of the issue. Which has no logic at all.
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Old 27.01.2021, 20:50
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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Here, I have to pay additional 110 CHF for "police work", 400 CHF (!) for investigation and 100 CHF for the trial. Sorry, but this is borderline stupid, since my "offence" is nowhere near the severity of speeding, running a red light, etc. And all those come with a lower price.

I understand your point, but they probably couldn't fit what happened into a standard offense and had to write it up. If you needed or it was thought you needed medical attention this could also trigger a report to be filed.
Seems harsh. Don't do it again.
Edit: I see you ended up in hospital. They would have needed to do an investigation to see who was to blame. The investigation revealed it was you therefore you have to pay for all the costs, whether they're relevant to the severity of the offence or not.
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Old 27.01.2021, 20:51
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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That being said - still if you hit something that wasn't moving - no matter what it was - it be your fault (hard to blame a wall or stone for being in place etc) so that's what it is.
Hypothetically, if someone put a thin wire across the road, and it didn't chop your head off but did injure you - would you be to blame?

In other words, there must be exceptions to what you are saying but I'm not sure who makes the judgement on this - the Policeman at the scene, I suppose.
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Old 27.01.2021, 20:52
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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You committed an offense (not "offense")

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Old 27.01.2021, 21:09
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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If you drive 140 km/h on the autobahn, you get your flat rate ticket, pay it, and you are done with it. Here, I have to pay additional 110 CHF for "police work", 400 CHF (!) for investigation and 100 CHF for the trial. Sorry, but this is borderline stupid, since my "offence" is nowhere near the severity of speeding, running a red light, etc. And all those come with a lower price.
I guess the problem is crashing in a public road where the law considers cars and cyclists as the same. I also think it's a bit ridiculous, but it is what it is.

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Old 27.01.2021, 21:16
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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I wonder what benefits come from investigating such cases where no other party is involved. A guy lying in the hospital and a broken bike. Geez, why not call forensics team and bump the cost up a magnitude of order higher. The total price to pay then comes down not to the severity of the issue, but to the complexity of the issue. Which has no logic at all.
You become a point on this map:
https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=en&to...3133.80&zoom=6

(Might be updated with the 2020 accidents end of next month.)

And might get mentioned in either of these reports:
https://www.bfu.ch/api/publications/...ehr%202019.pdf
https://www.bfu.ch/api/publications/...radverkehr.pdf
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Old 27.01.2021, 21:35
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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I see you ended up in hospital. They would have needed to do an investigation to see who was to blame. The investigation revealed it was you therefore you have to pay for all the costs, whether they're relevant to the severity of the offence or not.

Thanks for that info. I suspected something like that, but it still seems harsh.



I would gladly pay the costs, if I really felt guilty legitimately not just legally. There was a barrier after a tunnel. No signs (besides the common one, which can easily be overlooked and definetly doesn't draw enough attention when the barrier is closed). If there is a lane closure on a highway or on a regional road, there is a sign 2000m before, 1000m before, flashing lights and so on. Here, it was nothing, nowhere. The pass was open and on the top there was nothing indicating its closure on the other side. Nothing.



For all the judges here, I hope a deer never crosses your way when you drive on some country road. You just can't do anything in this situation, however legally it is probably also your fault. There was a sign for deers right? I see my case very similar, the only thing being, that my accident was also a consequence of someone elses actions. But I am the sole criminal here.



At the end, the only difference will probably be, that I will pay my fine non-gladly. However, the obscurity of such cases is beyond me.
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Old 27.01.2021, 21:47
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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You become a point on this map:
https://map.geo.admin.ch/?lang=en&to...3133.80&zoom=6

(Might be updated with the 2020 accidents end of next month.)

Nice, at least I got this
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Old 27.01.2021, 21:48
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Re: Ridiculous fine of 760 CHF for a bike crash

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.
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