Road system in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
In Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein , roads can be classified according to the Road Traffic Act, according to their owners or according to their standard of construction. This article deals with the road system in Switzerland and Liechtenstein , as both countries generally have the same provisions.
Roads according to the Road Traffic Act
In addition to the Road Traffic Act, the Traffic Rules Ordinance ( VRV , introduced in 1962) and the Signaling Ordinance (SSV, introduced in 1930) are particularly relevant for differentiating between road types and their provisions .
In Liechtenstein, the Road Traffic Act (SVG) is the legal basis, based on Art. 20, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of the Principality of Liechtenstein ; the Traffic Regulations Ordinance (VRV) and the Road Signalization Ordinance (SSV) are also relevant there. Liechtenstein took over most of the articles of the corresponding Swiss regulations verbatim; the main difference, apart from details, lies in the lack of provisions for road and motorway traffic as well as in criminal law provisions; the Liechtenstein penal code follows the Austrian model.
Motorways and motorways
Motorways and motorways are reserved for motor vehicles that can and may reach a speed of 80 km / h; This excludes maintenance vehicles and exceptional vehicles and transports . Turning, reversing or turning in unmarked areas are not permitted. Motorway and road sections are signaled accordingly.
The general maximum speed on motorways is 120 km / h and on motorways 100 km / h, it starts with the signal “Motorway” or “Motorway” and ends with the signal “End of motorway” or “End of motorway”.
Lower speeds in steps of at least 10 km / h (20 km / h steps are common), but no lower than 60 km / h, may be specified on both motorways and motorways. For company cars and buses with standing room and approved for heavy trailers , the maximum speed is 100 km / h. For trucks and trailers , the maximum speed is 80 km / h, also for vehicles with studded tires ; With the exception of the Gotthard road tunnel and the San Bernardino tunnel , the latter are not permitted on the entire motorway network. The speed is limited to 100 km / h in tunnels and to 80 km / h in those with two-way traffic.
Motorways and motorways can, but do not have to, have a parking lane .
The signaling on motorways and motorways differs from that on main and secondary roads.
The basic color of the motorway and road signage is green with white lettering. Signposts with white letters on a green background on main and secondary roads show the way to highways or motorways. The boards are in large format (example: speed sign diameter: 120 cm), a smaller intermediate format (speed sign diameter: 90 cm) may also be used on motorways (for comparison: normal format on main roads is 60 cm).
In contrast to motorways, the maximum speed is usually signaled on motorways even if there are no speed restrictions (signal “maximum speed 100 km / h”).
The motorway numbering is done with a white number on a red background. Connections or branches are indicated with a black symbol and a black number on a white background. Mileage and hectometer boards may be set up. Street advertisements are prohibited with certain exceptions. Furthermore, the name of the tunnel must always be given at tunnel entrances.
Differences between motorways and motorways
Motorways have a separate lane for each of the two directions and are free from intersections at the same level . There are no such regulations for motorways, but they are usually free of crossings.
- The list of motorways in the national road network and the cantonal motorways can be found in Annex 1, letter A of the thoroughfare ordinance.
- The list of motorways in the national road network and the cantonal motorways can be found in Appendix 1, letter B of the thoroughfare ordinance.
Situation in the Principality of Liechtenstein
The Principality of Liechtenstein does not have its own motorways or motorways. This is why there are no provisions on this, with the exception of the provisions on the motorway and road symbols and the signs that show the way to a motorway or a road, and that they must be written in white on a green background.
Mixed traffic streets
Main and secondary roads serve to develop regions and localities; the use of these roads is open to everyone with certain restrictions.
Pedestrians, bicycles, agricultural traffic or vehicles that cannot reach a certain minimum speed, indicated accordingly, can be prohibited on main roads. With the exception of feeder services, motorized traffic can be banned on secondary roads. Further provisions can be found below.
Speed regulations and signals
The general maximum speed on main and secondary roads is 80 km / h outside of built-up areas and 50 km / h in built-up areas. The speed may be set lower outside of town and increased to a maximum of 80 km / h in town.
In contrast to Germany and Austria, place-name signs do not have a speed-determining character; the beginning of the local speed is signaled with the signal «maximum speed 50 km / h in general». This speed generally applies on all roads up to the signal “End of maximum speed 50 km / h in general”, from which the general speed of 80 km / h applies again. Liechtenstein followed suit in 2012, before that - although its signaling ordinance knows the signal “maximum speed 50 km / h in general” - the signal “maximum speed 50 km / h” was set up at the beginning of a town and repeated in town. At the end of the town, if the general speed was applicable outside the town, the signal “maximum speed 80 km / h” was set up and B. repeated after crossings.
In Switzerland, the “maximum speed 80 km / h” signal is usually only set up outside of motorways and motorways at the end of them, on urban sections or at unguarded national borders.
Main streets are streets with right of way unless otherwise regulated by signs.
The beginning of the main street is marked with the signal "main street", the town signs there are written in white on a blue background. The sign “End of town on main roads” lists the next town at the top and the next larger town below with the distance to it. In Liechtenstein, on the other hand, the name of the next place and the name of the place just left are on the board. The end of a main street is marked with the "End of main street" signal.
Parking on main roads out of town is prohibited, the same applies in town if there is no longer enough space for two vehicles to cross. Companions from herds of animals must ensure that the left side of the main road remains free. Trams coming from side streets are not allowed to enter.
Main roads may only be included in a Tempo 30 zone in exceptional cases; there is no corresponding regulation in Liechtenstein. This is to be distinguished from a speed reduction to 30 km / h - not to be equated with a 30 km / h zone -, for example to reduce road traffic noise .
In Switzerland, the Federal Council determines the main roads after hearing the cantons; in Liechtenstein, the government defines the main roads.
The most important main roads in Switzerland are marked with number boards. These have a white number on a blue background. The corresponding provision also exists in Liechtenstein, but it is not applied there.
- Main streets numbered with numbering boards
- Main roads marked with the “number plate for main roads” (4.57) (main roads No. 1–30) are specified in Appendix 2, letter A of the Through Road Ordinance
- Main streets not numbered with numbering boards
- Main streets that are not marked with the “number plate for main streets” (4.57) (main streets No. 100–474) are specified in Appendix 2, letter B of the thoroughfare ordinance
- Main roads for vehicles with a maximum width of 2.30 m
- Main roads that are only open to vehicles up to 2.30 m wide (main roads No. 505-567) are specified in Appendix 2, letter C of the thoroughfare ordinance. These streets are marked with the sign «maximum width 2.30 m».
The general traffic rules such as right of way apply on side streets.
The town signs on side streets have black letters on a white background. The sign "Junction with street without right of way" indicates that the driver is authorized to enter the next junction. It may also be missing if the driver can recognize in good time that he is authorized to enter (through lane markings or corresponding signals from streets coming from the right).
Encounter zones, pedestrian zones or Tempo 30 zones are only permitted on side streets. In Liechtenstein it is defined that vehicles must drive particularly carefully on side streets in residential areas. On side streets with little traffic, such as in residential areas, the entire driving area may be used for games in a limited area, provided that traffic is not obstructed. The use of vehicle-like devices (such as scooters, inline skates) is permitted on side streets if there are no sidewalks or cycle paths and there is little traffic at the time of use.
On signposted cycle paths on side streets, riders of bicycles or motorbikes are allowed to ride side by side in pairs, provided that this does not hinder the rest of the traffic.
The routing of the European roads in Switzerland is determined by the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communication DETEC . The list of European roads in Switzerland is set out in Appendix 3 of the Through Road Ordinance. The numbering was prescribed for the end of 1996. The number plates have a white "E" and a white number on a green background.
In Liechtenstein, due to the lack of European roads, there are no special provisions for them other than the definition of the number plates. Any installation is a matter for the government.
Unless indicated by a lower limit, there is a speed limit of 80 km / h on main and secondary roads, while in urban areas it is 50 km / h. This limit has been in force since 1984; for environmental reasons ( forest dieback ) , it was first introduced as a trial, and was finally introduced in 1990. A limit was introduced outside of the city in January 1973 for safety reasons, and in November 1973 on motorways as a result of the oil crisis. The previous limits were:
|Year of introduction||In town||Out of town||Highways||Highways|
|1904||10 km / h||30 km / h||-|
|1914||18 km / h||40 km / h|
|June 1, 1959||60 km / h||free
( recommended speed from spring 1965)
|1st January 1973||100 km / h (trial)
increase to 120 km / h
|free (recommended speed)|
|17th November 1973||100 km / h|
|March 14, 1974||130 km / h|
|January 1, 1977||100 km / h (definitely)
increase to 120 km / h
|January 1, 1984||50 km / h|
|January 1, 1985||80 km / h||80 km / h
increase to 100 km / h allowed
|120 km / h|
|December 20, 1989||100 km / h|
Lower limits apply to individual vehicle types (trucks, trailers, etc.).
In 2013, the Conference of Law Enforcement Authorities in Switzerland (KSBS) issued the following recommendations for penalties for speeding violations:
|Tempo 30||In urban areas 50/60 km / h||Out of town / car road||Highway||punishment|
|1-15||1-15||1-20||1-25||Administrative fine proceedings|
|16-17||16-20||21-25||26-30||CHF 400 fine|
|18-19||21-24||26-29||31-34||CHF 600 fine|
|25-29||30-34||35-39||20 daily rates fine|
|20-24||35-39||40-44||30 daily rates fine|
|25-29||30-34||45-49||50 daily rates fine|
|40-44||50-54||60 daily rates fine|
|35-39||55-59||70 daily rates fine|
|30-34||45-49||60-64||90 daily rates fine|
|35-39||40-49||50-59||65-79||from 120 daily rates a fine|
|from 40||from 50||from 60||from 80||«Razor offense»,
Para. 2 lit. a to SVG, paras. 3–4 SVG: |
from 1 year imprisonment
The numbers indicate the speed limit in km / h after deducting the technical safety margin.
In 1978 the maximum speed was 100 km / h outside the city and 60 km / h inside town. On September 23, 1981, 50 km / h was introduced in Triesenberg on a trial basis. Since December 15, 1984, a general speed limit of 80 km / h has been in effect on roads outside of built-up areas, in urban areas it is 50 km / h, provided no other limit is indicated. In 1989 it was stipulated that higher speeds up to a maximum of 100 km / h in urban areas and 80 km / h in urban areas are permitted, provided this is indicated accordingly. Previously there was no corresponding definition in this regard. In 2003 the highest limit was adjusted to 80 km / h outside the city and 60 km / h inside town.
Even before 1978, definitive adjustments in Switzerland were likely to have been incorporated into Liechtenstein law in a timely manner.
Penalties for exceeding the speed limit (as of 2017):
|In town||Out of town||Measure|
|1-20||1-25||Administrative fine proceedings|
|from 26||from 31||Mandatory withdrawal of ID|
Roads to construction load
- National highways are roads under the federal construction burden, more precisely the Federal Roads Office FEDRO . A vignette is required on motorways and motorways in the national road network, but not on main roads.
- Cantonal roads or state roads are roads under the construction load of the respective canton. These are mainly main and secondary roads, some cantons maintain or have also maintained motorways or motorways. These cantonal motorways and motorways, unlike those on the national road network, do not require a vignette.
- Municipal roads are roads under the building load of the respective municipality. These are mainly secondary roads.
The total length of all roads (national roads, cantonal roads and municipal roads) in Switzerland is 71,454 km.
Confederation: national roads
The federal government is obliged to operate and maintain a national road network. He has to assume all costs for construction and operation. This is determined by the federal constitution.
The federal government classifies the national highways as follows:
National roads that are structurally neither motorways nor motorways are marked as main roads.
The federal government is responsible for the management of the national roads, but it can also delegate this, for example to cantons or bodies. The cantons are to be heard in the event of adjustments. In the case of local roads, the municipalities are entitled to complain. Motorway construction sites may be a maximum of 15 km long and the minimum distance between two motorway construction sites must be 30 km, after which a construction site-free journey must be guaranteed for 15 years.
National roads are numbered internally with the prefix N.
The total length of the national roads is 1859 km (2018), the planned network after full expansion is 1893 km (2012). The 224 tunnels have a total length of 213 km (2009). The roads are divided according to FEDRO as follows:
|7-lane motorways (4 + 3)||1.2 km||1.2 km|
|Motorways 6 lanes (3 + 3)||83.5 km||88.1 km|
|4-lane motorways (2 + 2)||1330.1 km||1400.2 km|
|Motorway 3-lane (1 + 2)||1.9 km||1.9 km|
|Motorway 2-lane (1 + 1)||273.1 km||341.3 km|
|Mixed traffic roads||108.9 km||62.9 km|
|Total||1798.7 km||1892.5 km|
Cantons: cantonal roads or state roads
Streets owned by the cantons are referred to as cantonal roads (or route cantonale , strada cantonale ) or state roads , depending on the canton . These can be motorways, highways, main roads or secondary roads. The canton bears the costs of construction and maintenance.
The total length of all cantonal roads in Switzerland is 18,112 km (2010). Of these, around 2,300 kilometers are main roads (550 km valley roads, 1,500 km alpine roads and 250 km Jura roads). The cantons of Vaud, Bern (both over 2,100 km), Valais, Zurich and Graubünden alone account for over 50% of all cantonal roads. Cantonal roads can serve to develop national roads or important roads outside the canton, to develop regions or to connect localities.
The canton of Basel-Stadt has no municipal roads; there are only cantonal roads with a total length of 305 km. This is therefore the canton with the densest network of cantonal roads.
Motorways or motorways owned by the cantons are also known as cantonal motorways or cantonal motorways . In contrast to the national highways, they do not require a vignette.
Some cantons number their streets, some provide their streets with station signs .
Municipality: municipal roads
Roads under the administration of a political parish are commonly referred to as parish roads . The cost and implementation burden lies with the political communities, but neighboring communities are usually to be heard. These can be main roads or side roads of various stages of development. The total length of all municipal roads in Switzerland is 51,880 km.
Private roads are privately financed. These are mostly driveways. Municipalities can make a contribution if the road is of public interest.
Country roads and municipal roads
The country owns 105 km of paved and 25 km of unpaved roads. They are known as country roads .
Municipal roads are owned by the political communities, while private roads are owned and paid for by private individuals.
High-speed roads and main roads
Liechtenstein has a law on the construction of high-speed roads and main roads and thus has a legal basis similar to the Swiss National Roads Act; but it has not yet been used (2012). The law determines or defines:
High-speed roads and main thoroughfares are state-owned.
- High-performance roads
- Directional and cross-free roads, only for motor vehicles (similar to the national road class 1 in Switzerland).
- Main roads
- If possible, roads with separate directions and free of intersections, only for motor vehicles (similar to the national road class 2 in Switzerland).
Roads according to standard
The Federal Office of Topography (swisstopo) classifies the roads according to their expansion in its map series, the national map of Switzerland ; On these topographic maps of Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein, the roads are shown as described below. The maps thus give a clue to the expansion of a road, but without finally specifying the type of road according to the Road Traffic Act SVG or according to ownership.
|Motorway, separated in direction||An intersection-free road for high-speed traffic with a median , on which slow traffic is not permitted. It is marked with the green motorway symbol.|
|Autostrasse, not directionally separated||An intersection-free road for high-speed traffic with two or more lanes without a median, on which slow traffic is not permitted. It is marked with the green road symbol.|
|1st class street||1st class roads are mostly main roads marked in blue. They are at least six meters wide so that two trucks can cross each other unhindered and are permitted for mixed traffic (bicycles, tractors). They have a hard surface and gradients are not higher than 10%. These streets often have a bicycle lane and sidewalks . They are mainly used for through traffic.|
|2nd class street||Second class streets are mostly side streets marked in white. They are at least four meters wide so that two cars can cross each other without hindrance. They have a hard surface and gradients are not higher than 15%. They are local connecting roads or important roads in urban areas. To increase the safety of such roads, they can be designed as a core carriageway .|
|Quartierstrasse||Neighborhood streets are also provided at least four meters wide and with hard surface. They can be traffic-calmed and are irrelevant for through traffic. Roads of this class serve as access to important facilities or objects.|
|3rd class street||3rd class streets are at least 2.80 meters wide. They do not necessarily have a hard surface. Usually they can be driven over by trucks, but crossings are made at passing points. These streets serve to develop settlements or important individual buildings as well as agriculture and forestry.|
|4th class driveway||4th class driveways are at least 1.80 meters wide. These dirt roads can have grass in the middle. Under normal conditions, they can be driven over by cars . You can be banned from driving.|
|5th grade path, field, forest or bike path||5th grade paths are field and forest paths without adequate substructure and often only accessible with off-road vehicles or tractors. Cycle paths, on the other hand, can be equipped with hard surfaces . They are often run parallel to higher-ranking streets, but laid out separately.|
|6th class footpath||6th grade paths are reserved for pedestrians . It can be anything from a mountain path to a wide promenade . They are often part of a network of hiking trails (marked yellow, white-red-white or white-blue-white).|
Some cantons have their own nomenclatures for roads according to their construction standards; these are used, for example, for structure plans .
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- The former autostrasse and today's A13 motorway on the opposite Swiss side of the Rhine is also used for regional traffic between Liechtenstein villages.
- For example, the Rickenbach TG bypass or the bypass between Landquart GR and Klosters GR along Hauptstrasse 28 .
- For example, the main road Hemishofen SH to Bargen SH is signposted with a "minimum speed of 40 km / h".
- For example, the route des convers between Renan BE and the Les Convers motorway junction at Hauptstrasse 20 .
- For example, the Rickenbach TG bypass road .
- For example on the border between Germany and Switzerland, provided that the general speed of 100 km / h applied on the German section (e.g. near Gailingen on the Upper Rhine ).
- Main roads 16 and 28 leading through Liechtenstein are not marked accordingly in Liechtenstein.
- In practice, this is not strictly adhered to, for example Hauptstrasse 3 in Silvaplana is partially declared as a 30 km / h zone.
- As before, on January 1, 1985, no distinction was made between extra-urban roads and motorways, but in contrast to main roads, 90 km / h and 100 km / h were allowed ( Art. 108 SSV, as of 1985 ). Signals of 120 km / h and 110 km / h had to be covered, removed or replaced on this date.
- Some streets that the federal government defines as 2nd class are signposted as motorways.
- The former section of the A4 / N4 between Schaffhausen and Bargen SH was an exception to the vignette requirement, and in 2010 it was removed from the national road network.
- The provisions or terms relating to the roads owned by the cantons may differ from canton to canton.
- In the canton of St. Gallen the term state road was replaced by canton road , but the term state road is still common there.
- OpenStreetMap marks such canton roads in some cantons.
- All canton roads in the canton of Thurgau are kilometers by road posts or lamps with station signs (every 200 m).
- The provisions or terms relating to roads in communal ownership can differ from canton to canton.
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