In our view, there is no minimum age. However, experience shows that after 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years of driving experience, many seemingly little insecurities have crept in, which can easily end up obstructing or endangering someone in traffic.
If one compares passing in professional life with passing in road traffic, the following is striking:
Anyone who wants to get ahead in their professional life and always be up to date knows that they have to keep learning, even though in the vast majority of professions it is never a matter of life and death. However, those who take part in road traffic know that they put themselves in danger, even in mortal danger, as soon as they leave their safe home. But in road traffic, unfortunately, we are usually satisfied with the absolute minimum of driving training and feel supposedly safe. But this supposed safety is deceptive. Every year, people are injured or even killed on our roads. That is why we believe that regular refresher training is a must.
Anyone who attracts negative attention in road traffic risks having to appear for an official control drive if he or she wants to keep his or her driving licence. We know from experience that an official control drive is a hurdle for senior citizens in particular, which they often no longer manage. The consequence is a definitive withdrawal of the driving licence, which in turn means a massive restriction of personal freedom and mobility for many people. Therefore, take a refresher course in time before it is too late!
If you are 75 years old or older, you must have a medical check-up with a level 1 doctor every two years. If any of the circumstances listed here apply to you, you must also have a traffic medical check-up with a level 2 doctor. Your medical check-up will then take place every five years and every three years from the age of 50.
You have either:
> a category C, C1, D, D1 driving licence
> a permit for the professional transport of passengers
> a higher navigation licence
> or apply for one of these passes.
An official control drive is basically possible in three situations:
1. if there are doubts about the driving competence of a driver, the cantonal authority may order a check drive with a traffic expert(Art. 29 of the Traffic Licensing Ordinance VZV).
2. if, during the medical examination, there are doubts about a person's fitness to drive. In this situation, a traffic physician may request a medically accompanied control drive from the cantonal authority.
3. holders of a valid foreign driver's licence who are not exempt from driving under control.
Exempt are holders of driving licences from an EU/EFTA state: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, as well as Andorra, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Korea (Republic of), Croatia, Morocco, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Singapore, Tunisia and USA.
Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) only for cat. A1 and B.
No control drive, but a theory test for professional driving of motor vehicles must be taken by persons with driving licences from: Andorra, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Monaco, Morocco, New Zealand, San Marino, Singapore, Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), Tunisia and USA.
The following documents must be carried:
> A vehicle that is safe to operate
> The vehicle registration document of the test vehicle
> Original identification documents (passport / identity card / alien's identity card)
> The written invitation to the control drive
A postponement is only possible for valid reasons (e.g. illness or accident, certified by a doctor's certificate).
The control drive allows a judgement to be made as to whether the driver has the necessary driving competence, i.e. whether he or she has the necessary knowledge, skills and dexterity to drive a vehicle safely. This includes vehicle operation and other aspects, such as behaviour towards other road users, how the driver adapts to traffic conditions, how he recognises and reacts to possible dangers or whether he can enter and exit a motorway correctly. The driving competence test is conducted and assessed by traffic experts, from the responsible road traffic office.
If the vehicle driver shows dangerous behaviour during the check drive (e.g. by hitting the car parked behind him immediately after putting the vehicle in reverse gear), the traffic expert can stop the check drive and declare it failed(Federal Court ruling 6A.44/2006 of 4.9.2006). Compare also the Guidelines No. 19a of the Association of Road Traffic Offices on the control drive for senior citizens or control drive ordered for medical reasons. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure uniform implementation and assessment of check rides.
You will complete the control drive with your own vehicle (alternatively with the instructor's vehicle). The traffic expert(s) (there are cantons where you are accompanied by two experts e.g. BS/BL) will accompany you as a passenger. The second expert or the doctor, as mentioned above, will ride in the back seat. No other persons (third persons) are allowed to ride along.
Different routes (urban, extra-urban and expressways) will be driven. In addition, skills such as parking, turning, emergency braking, etc. will be tested. Your driving competence will then be discussed with you. Both experts record their findings in writing.
Your fitness to drive could not be definitively clarified in the course of the previous medical examination. Findings have been made, the effects of which on your fitness to drive must be checked within the framework of the practical test drive. The legal basis for this is(Art. 29 of the Traffic Licensing Ordinance VZV).
The control drive is carried out by a traffic expert from the Road Traffic Office together with a doctor. Both experts have many years of experience and specialised training. The traffic expert is responsible for the control drive and observes your technical skills, the doctor records the medically relevant behaviour.
The exam ride lasts approx. 50 - 60 minutes.
The decision is made jointly by the expert(s) and you will be informed of the result immediately after the control drive. The completed test drive cannot be repeated.
If you do not pass the test drive, you may no longer drive a vehicle and therefore may not drive your vehicle home independently. It is therefore advisable to be accompanied by a person authorised to drive (e.g. your driving instructor).
It is strongly recommended that you complete a few driving lessons with a federally recognised driving instructor prior to the check driving to address any deficiencies in your driving skills. However, taking driving lessons is not compulsory and is at your own discretion. Contact us for a non-binding consultation.
If you decide to voluntarily waive your driving licence before the check-drive, the corresponding deregistration including the declaration of waiver must be submitted to the Road Traffic Office at the latest 4 working days before the check-drive appointment.
A control drive is ordered in the interest of road safety, as can be read in the judgement of: 23 January 2001 of the official collection: BGE127 II 129.
"The control drive is ordered in the interest of road safety; it is about the protection of possible victims in road traffic. This interest is of high value. The control drive is not a punishment. It is about clarifying suitability and determining what measures may be necessary. In a case like this, it is also in the driver's interest. If he is not fit to drive a vehicle, it is better for him to stop driving before another and possibly more serious accident occurs. If, on the other hand, the driver's suitability is to be affirmed in the future as well, the control drive can, if necessary, provide him with knowledge that can be helpful for his further participation in road traffic."
Below you will find some judgements on the subject:
> You can also read the original text of all the judgments on the Federal Supreme Court 's website.
> Decisions from the official collection can be found here: Search for the number of the decision, which you will find at our
summary under "AmtlicheSammlung" - e.g. 129 II 82.
> Further decisions can be found here: Search for the process number - e.g. 2A.249/2000.
> The full text search of cantonal decisions can be found on the cantonal websites.
If the person concerned does not pass the test drive, the driving licence is withdrawn or the foreign driving licence is revoked and confiscated (Art. 14 para. 3 Road Traffic Act, Art. 29 para. 1 and 2 lit. a of the Traffic Licensing Ordinance VZV). The result of the roadside check cannot be challenged (Federal Court decision 136 II 61) and the roadside check cannot be repeated(Art. 29 of the Traffic Licensing Ordinance). If the person concerned fails to attend the roadside check without an excuse, the check is deemed to have been failed. The authority must draw attention to this consequence when ordering the roadside inspection.
After failing the control drive, the person concerned can apply for a learner's licence if he or she wants to be admitted to traffic again as a driver. However, if medical reasons have led to the control drive being ordered, it must be clarified whether the minimum medical requirements for driving a motor vehicle are met.
The following steps are necessary:
> Completion of an emergency aid course
> Submitting the form "Application for a learner's permit or driver's licence".
> Passing the theory test
> Issuing of the learner's licence by the Road Traffic Office
> Completion of the basic traffic instruction and practical training (Cat. A1 & A)
> Passing the practical driving test
Yes, this is quite possible. Such a procedure is even regulated by law, more precisely in the Traffic Licensing Ordinance (VZV) in Art. 30a: Reports from private individuals about driving fitness deficiencies
There is no such thing as a regular check drive for senior citizens, as the Federal Supreme Court ruling of 15 March 2007 (case number 6A_3/2007) shows.
The facts of the case:
X, born on 1 May 1920, has held a category B driver's licence (motor vehicle) since 6 July 1956. On 16 March 2005, his family doctor informed the Road Traffic Office that he had been repeatedly asked by his patient's circle about his fitness to drive.Although he had not found any compelling indications of a significant decline in fitness to drive since he began treatment with him at
11 September 2003, he considered an examination of this fitness with a practical test to be sensible. He was unable to assess the fitness to drive with certainty on the basis of the clinical examination alone.
The history of the case:
The Road Traffic Office then ordered a check drive, which X passed on 18 April2005. However, the traffic expert stated in his examination report that the age check driving test was barely passed. Due to physical age-related complaints, a further check drive was to be carried out in a year's time.
By order of 2 June 2006, the Road Traffic Office ordered a new test drive to be carried out by 30 June 2006 at the latest.X appealed against this order. The cantonal authorities dismissed his appeal.
He then appealed to the Federal Supreme Court.
The Federal Supreme Court partially upheld this appeal, overturned the ruling of the lower court and referred the case back to the Road Traffic Authority to order a traffic medical examination at a special examination centre.
Considerations of the Federal Supreme Court that are decisive for prevention Article 29, paragraph 1 of the Traffic Licensing Ordinance (VZV) makes "concerns about fitness" the reason for ordering a test drive. However, this must not be misunderstood to mean that a check drive can be used to exhaustively clarify fitness to drive. Rather, the purpose of the check drive is to clarify whether the person concerned has the necessary knowledge of the traffic regulations and knows how to drive a motor vehicle safely.
The primary reason for ordering a check drive is incidents that raise doubts about the driver's ability (cf. BGE 127 II 129). In the case of an older, conspicuous driver, the check drive can be used to clarify whether his or her driving technique (still) meets the requirements of today's traffic.
X passed the test drive, which establishes that neither insufficient driving technique nor lack of knowledge of traffic rules require that his driver's licence be revoked. The fact that the traffic expert considers a further test drive after one year to be reasonable cannot be sufficient, because neither the law nor the ordinance provide for a test drive to be ordered regularly for older persons without reason, nor is the traffic expert in a position to make a prognosis about the development of driving skills.
At the most, it is true that indications of driving aptitude deficiencies can occur during a control drive - even if it is passed - which must then, however, be clarified by a traffic medical assessment.
The family doctor was not in a position to give a conclusive assessment. It was therefore necessary, in the interests of the safety of X himself and other road users, to order a traffic medical examination at a special examination centre in accordance with the request of the Federal Roads Office.
The appeal by the Administrative Court must therefore be partially upheld, the contested judgment of the Administrative Court must be set aside and the case must be referred back to the Road Traffic Authority in the aforementioned sense.
If you have to surrender your driving licence, it will be deposited with the competent authority in your canton of residence.A few days before the period of licence withdrawal expires, you will be sent your driving licence by A Mail. However, you will not be allowed to drive again until the last day of the withdrawal has expired.
There are generally different ways in which your driving licence can be revoked:
> The police will take your driver's licence. If you are stopped by the police, the police officer can take your driving licence. Reasons for this are, for example, drunkenness, other driving incapacity or a gross violation of the traffic regulations. The period of withdrawal begins when you hand over your licence to the police. From this point on, you are no longer allowed to drive a vehicle.
As soon as the competent authorities are in possession of the police files, they examine the facts and decide on the further procedure. You will be informed in writing as soon as all documents have been received.
> You deposit your driving licence with the competent road traffic office. If your licence has not been withdrawn during a police check, you will receive an order from the competent authority with the decision to withdraw your licence. In the order you will find the deadline by which you can hand in your driving licence to the competent authority. The time limit is usually three months; you can hand over your licence at any time during this period.
The withdrawal of the licence begins on the date of the postmark or when the licence is handed over at the counter. From this point on, you are not allowed to drive a vehicle for the entire period of the card withdrawal.
> Withdrawal of driving licence for an indefinite period. If you have to surrender your driving licence for an indefinite period, the withdrawal begins when you receive the order from the competent authority. From this point on, you are no longer allowed to drive a vehicle until further notice.
Basically, this overview helps:
A warning is issued for a first-time, minor violation of the traffic regulations. It is a kind of "yellow card" and does not include the withdrawal of your driving licence. However, if you violate the traffic regulations again in the following two years, you will have to expect more severe consequences. Violations of 25 km/h or more in built-up areas, 30 km/h or more outside built-up areas and 35 km/h or more on the motorway are entered in the criminal record and are recorded in the criminal record extract for a certain period of time. In the event of a reprimand, the driving licence is withdrawn for at least one month. In the event of a repeat offence, the duration of the driving licence withdrawal is significantly increased.
A speeding offense is defined as an offense where a so-called "qualified gross violation of traffic rules" has been committed due to severe exceeding of the speed limit. The penalty in this case is at least
1 year imprisonment.
Thus, anyone who exceeds the speed limit as follows is considered a speeder:
By at least 40 km/h where the maximum speed is not more than 30 km/h (i.e. from 70km/h in the 30km/h zone), by at least 50 km/h where the maximum speed is not more than 50 km/h (i.e. from 100 km/h in the city), by at least 60 km/h where the maximum speed is not more than 80 km/h (i.e. from 140 km/h outside the city) and by at least 80 km/h where the maximum speed is more than 80 km/h (i.e. from 200 km/h on the highway).
The rationale for the speeding offense can be derived quite clearly from physics:
A driving behavior is called speeding if someone drives so much too fast that he does not even stand on the brakes in case of a suddenly appearing danger, where the one who was driving with the allowed maximum speed is already standing still.
The following overview should provide clarity:
Those who would like to have it a little more detailed can find additional information here:
In addition to inattention, too short a distance is one of the most common reasons for causing collisions, sometimes with serious consequences for all parties involved. According to federal court rulings, a distance of 2 seconds on the freeway is considered sufficient to be able to react safely to the driving maneuvers of the person in front.
After first-time violations, the following measures are generally ordered based on the established case law of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court:
In the surveillance by the police, it is always taken into consideration, for the benefit of those concerned, that situations with temporary underruns of the recommended distances can always occur during lane changes and heavy traffic.
The following extract from the register of administrative fines shows a few examples:
All punishable offences and misdemeanours are regulated in the Ordinance on Administrative Fines (OBV) .
There is a simple rule of thumb: fit winter tyres from O (October) to O (Easter).
In Switzerland, there is no legal basis that prescribes the fitting of winter tyres.
However, the following should be noted:
You must be able to control your vehicle in any situation. In concrete terms, this means that if you are driving on snowy roads with summer tires, for example, you are also liable to a considerable extent in the event of an accident. If you obstruct traffic on snowy roads because you are driving with summer tires, you can be fined. The minimum tread depth required by law is 1.6 mm, but at least 4 mm is recommended.
Most neighbouring countries have their own legal provisions.
> Germany: According to the law, a motor vehicle must be driven with winter tyres in wintry conditions, i.e. black ice, slippery snow, slush, ice or frost. This is also called "situational winter tyre obligation".
Anyone who can avoid driving in winter conditions does not have to fit winter tyres.
Changes to the Winter Tyre Ordinance since 2017:
Previously, tyres were recognised as winter tyres for the purposes of the winter tyre obligation if they had an M+S marking. With the changes in 2017, winter tyres must have a so-called snowflake symbol ("Three-Peak-Mountain-Snowflake") in order to comply with the winter tyre obligation. Tyres with the M+S marking and a date of manufacture up to the end of 2017 will continue to be recognised as winter tyres within the framework of a transitional period until 30.9.2024. After this transitional period, winter tyres must always bear the "snowflake symbol". The same applies to winter tyres that are or were manufactured from the beginning of 2018. Unlike the designation "M+S", the snowflake symbol stands for the compliance with standardised minimum qualities of a tyre on snow.
> Austria: Between 1 November and 15 April, winter tyres must be fitted on all wheels in case of snow on the road, slush and ice. It is recommended to follow the weather forecast, because simple road wetness can quickly turn into black ice. Alternatively, you can drive with a combination of summer tyres and snow chains. However, this is only permitted if the road is continuously covered with snow or ice. The legal minimum tread depth for winter tyres (M+S marking) is 4mm.
> France: In France, winter tyres will be compulsory in some mountainous regions from November 2021. All vehicles with four or more wheels are affected by this change. From 1 November to 31 March each year, vehicles in certain municipalities in mountainous regions must in future be equipped with winter tyres (minimum tread depth 3.5 mm), snow chains or textile traction aids. New road signs show when the equipment obligation applies. If there is no snow or ice, snow chains or textile traction aids must be carried. In the first year, no fines will be issued for non-compliance. A map of the Department of Traffic Safety shows which municipalities are affected: Map of compulsory winter tyres (in French)
Depending on the weather and road conditions, the use of winter tyres may also be compulsory. This is indicated by appropriate traffic signs. In this case, all four wheels must be equipped with winter tyres. It is also recommended to drive with winter tyres between mid-October and mid-March or when the average temperature is below 7°C. The maximum permissible speed with snow chains is 50 km/h. When using snow chains, they must be mounted on the wheels of the drive axle.
> Italy: In Italy, winter tyres are compulsory on many routes. However, there are no uniform regulations. The respective provinces can make their own regulations regarding the obligation to use winter tyres by means of a legal ordinance. These are then announced by means of appropriate signposting. Thus, the use of winter tyres or snow chains can be prescribed for individual routes in appropriate weather conditions. For example, in mountain areas such as the Aosta Valley, winter tyres are compulsory from 15 October to 15 April (alternatively, snow chains can be fitted on summer tyres).
How to recognise a winter tyre:
- M+S marking on the tyre sidewall
- Alpine symbol, a three-pointed mountain with a snowflake.
The symbol indicates that the tyre has passed a snow homologation test and is therefore the most suitable for winter use. The regulations of the individual regions can be found on the page of "Pneumatici sotto controllo": Compulsory winter tyres (in Italian)
> Scandinavia: In Scandinavia there are different strict regulations. In Finland, winter tyres are mandatory from 1 December to 28 February. Passenger cars must have tyres with a minimum tread of 3 millimetres. Penalties for not using winter tyres are relatively high in Finland and are calculated according to net income, starting at around 75 euros. In Sweden, winter tyres are compulsory from 1 December to 31 March, but only for vehicles registered there. The neighbouring countries of Denmark and Norway are less strict: winter tyres for cars are not mandatory.
> Slovenia: In Slovenia, winter tires are mandatory between November 15 and March 15 and in winter road conditions. The tread of the tires must be at least 3 millimeters deep.
The Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) provides information on the new rules that currently apply on our Swiss roads.
We expressly draw your attention to the fact that our information is without guarantee. Please enquire directly at the responsible road traffic office in your canton of residence. canton of residence.