Since January 10th this year, it has become illegal to use a PND in Switzerland, to warn of safety cameras and mobile speed surveillance locations.
The Swiss police are currently actively searching for navigational systems with any type of camera pre-warning that are being used while driving. When such a device is found, the device is confiscated and destroyed and the motorist can also expect a fine. Not only has the use of these warning devices been banned, but their production, import or sale has also become illegal. Swiss road authority ASTRA announced these measures on January 8th.
This legislation has led to a lot of commotion and questions in both Switzerland and abroad. Owners of PNDís want to know exactly which units are now outlawed, and under what conditions the new measures can be enforced.
In short: the regulations apply to all systems, of all types which can enable speed camera warnings.
ASTRA has released a document with answers to frequently asked questions.
As if things werenít bad enough, the Swiss government have already ordered shopkeepers to stop selling the navigational systems that now appear to be illegal. Retailers have received a list of banned systems, which includes devices by TomTom, Garmin, Mio, Navman, Medion, Route66, Packard Bell, Sony and ViaMichelin where the camera positions are included. Investigations are currently underway to determine whether these new rules are actually legal under the Swiss justice system.
TomTom sent us the following reaction:
ďWe are aware that the Federal Highways Department (ASTRA) has issued a statement related to GPS navigation and safety camera alerts.
However, TomTom develops all of its products and services with ease of use and safety as a priority and we believe that our safety camera solution enhances road safety and security in Switzerland. We believe our safety camera services are fully legal to use and to sell. As a matter of course however, we are working with ASTRA to fully understand their view on the current legal situation.Ē
Foreigners on holiday in Switzerland, or who are merely passing through the country, will now have to be very careful. The use of navigational devices itself has not been made illegal, nor have systems which can determine the position of speed cameras. Itís just that this data cannot be used when on Swiss soil, and the navigational system may not contain data on cameras.
Word is that the Swiss government are unlikely to stop at just this. Publishing camera locations via other methods such as the internet, radio and text-services will also be outlawed soon.