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These traffic rules apply from January 2023

New bike path law, carpooling, and other important changes to the Road Traffic Act that you should know.

The answer in detail

Bike path law

With the new federal law on bike paths (Bike Path Act), the bike path network in Switzerland is to be expanded. The aim is to achieve a continuous and connected bike path network that ensures greater safety. The law not only obligates the cantons to plan and create bike paths, but also the federal government. Cyclists can thus look forward to better and safer paths.


Introduction of 30 zones

An assessment will no longer be necessary to create 30 zones for streets that are not traffic-oriented (i.e. streets in residential areas) from 2023. In addition, the responsible authorities will have have greater scope for discretion. Now, 30 zones can also be created to increase quality of life and not only where the traffic situation is particularly precarious or certain traffic participants need special protection as before.  
However, the authorities are still obligated to mandate the zones and publish these accordingly. In the future, traffic-oriented streets in urban areas will generally have a speed limit of 50 km/h. 


New traffic signs for carpooling

This measure is designed to promote carpooling and, at the same time, reduce the amount of traffic and impact on the environment. The new traffic sign shows a vehicle with several passengers and a minimum number of persons that must be in the vehicle. The new symbol indicates that certain lanes can only be used by carpooling vehicles or that such vehicles can use the bus lane. However, public transportation cannot be hindered as a result. The symbol can also be used to reserve parking spaces for carpooling vehicles. 


Driving ban for semi trucks is amended

Heavy motor vehicles (in other words, vehicles with a blue license plate, like for the fire department) are now excluded from the sign “Driving ban for semi-trucks” (Fahrverbot für Lastwagen). This measure makes it easier for firefighters or sewer system cleaners to do their work.


Change of measurement method for emission checks

To reduce hazardous particulate matter, there are emission rules in place. According to the federal government, the measurement processes in place until now have not been sensitive enough to record all defect diesel particle filters.  That’s why a new, more precise process has been introduced, which has been designed by the federal government to reduce the amount of hazardous fine dust particles. 


Valid from April 1, 2023

Process for license revocation

The process for license revocation will be accelerated. From April 1, 2023, police must forward any license taken away to the cantonal authorities within three working days. The authorities then have ten days to return the license to the driver – unless there is sufficient doubt that they are fit to drive.  


License revocation for professional drivers

To reduce the risk of job loss for professional drivers, the federal government has decided to approve exceptions under certain conditions. If the driver’s license was revoked because of a minor offense, then from April 1, 2023, the responsible authority can allow driving necessary for the performance of work. As before, no exceptions will be granted in the case of moderate or serious offenses. In addition, this approval will also not be granted if the license has been revoked for an indefinite period of time or permanently.