A Conversation for Driving Etiquette - Switzerland

Pedestrians be aware!

Post 1

Feffi (Keeper of playground sunbaths on even days)

Just wanted to mention a thing about Swiss drivers. Somehow they just don't get the idea of those pedestrian crossings on the road, I don't really know what you call them in English. (The German term is zebra stripes.) However Swiss drivers still seem to believe that those stripes on the road mean speed up especially if somebody's crossing!
So beware!

P.S.: I really like Swiss people but some things... smiley - winkeye

Pedestrians be aware!

Post 2


Fair point, but just a word of explanation.

Until recently, drivers were not obliged to stop for pedestrians at Zebra crossings. The law was changed about six years ago, and a lot of drivers haven't got used to it yet. Also, pedestrians don't make it easy for themselves, as a lot of people like to hang around aimlessly at the ends of Zebra crossings, chatting with friends, etc, and it's very difficult for the approaching driver to determine what their intentions actually are.

My advice to pedestrians is to make the first move. Take a step onto the crossing and MAKE the oncoming driver stop. Show them who owns the road. If you do this, all but the most ignorant or careless drivers will stop for you (except perhaps in Zurich and Aargau!!) But do NOT take your second step onto the crossing until you are sure the driver has seen you and is braking. If he plainly has no intention of stopping, jump back onto the pavement, gesticulate angrily at him and pretend to memorise his number plate. The driver behind him will then be sure to stop for you.

To be fair, I would say that most Swiss drivers are actually pretty competent and considerate. It's just that they're a bit set in their ways and slow to learn.

Pedestrians be aware!

Post 3


Brilliant! "Set in their ways and slow to learn" just about sums it up.
This applies to drivers, and as most Swiss are drivers...
But I am pretty confident it will only take a decade or two more and the Swiss will begin to consider the concept that a) drivers do not own the road simply because we are sitting in a car and b) we are not alone...

Pedestrians be aware!

Post 4

Monkey's Uncle

I'd just like to say that, as a committed pedestrian, I was constantly impressed by the way cars stopped at zebra crossings in Switzerland. There's one around the corner from where I live now (in England) and the only purpose it seems to serve is to give drivers something to aim at.

So, 1-0 to the Swiss, in my book.

Pedestrians be aware!

Post 5


I am really surprised with your messages.
I live in Zurich, but I am a foreigner and i came here few month ago.First thing that I have noticed is that people are stoping on every zebra crossings.
I was travelling all over the Europe and i have never seen something like this.

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