Forschung & Statistik

Speed on Swiss Roads

Speed on Swiss Roads
The BFU launched a comprehensive pilot project to establish a system of monitoring speed behaviour. The findings show that a significant number of vehicles travel faster than the speed limit allows.

Abstract keyboard_arrow_down

New speed monitoring system  

The speed behaviour of motor vehicle drivers is a key indicator of safety on Swiss roads. The BFU pilot project provides a starting point for establishing a system to monitor speed behaviour in different speed regimes (30 kph, 50 kph, 80 kph and 120 kph).

Speed and accident occurrence

Studies confirm the correlation between speed and both accident risk and accident severity: rising average motor vehicle speeds are accompanied by rising accident risk and accident severity. Every year, 154 people are seriously injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents on Swiss roads in speed regimes up to 30 kph. With 1614 and 1289 serious casualties and fatalities respectively, the accident occurrence in regimes up to 50 kph and regimes up to 80 kph is significantly higher. The accident rate at 120 kph, on the other hand, is relatively low and comparable to that at 30 kph.

Many vehicles exceed the limit

The project used speed measurements from different locations with automatic traffic counting systems (both federal and cantonal). Supplemented with manual measurements and specially installed measuring systems, data was gathered and evaluated from a total of 211 locations spread throughout Switzerland.

The findings show that one in six vehicles fail to comply with the speed limit at 80 kph, one in three at 120 kph and 50 kph, and one in two at 30 kph.

Speed limit compliance can prevent serious accidents  

Estimates suggest that more than 300 serious casualties and over 20 fatalities per year could be prevented if all drivers of light motor vehicles (passenger cars and delivery vans) and motorcycles complied with the legal speed limit.

Steffen Niemann



Niemann S. Geschwindigkeit auf Schweizer Strassen: Pilotprojekt zur Erhebung des Geschwindigkeitsverhaltens von Motorfahrzeuglenkenden. Bern: BFU; Beratungsstelle für Unfallverhütung; 2020. DOI:10.13100/BFU.2.378.01.2020

Zur Publikation

  • Speed on Swiss Roads

    Forschung & Statistik, Report A4, 68 Seiten, 2.378, DOI-Nr. 10.13100/BFU.2.378.08.2020, auch erhältlich auf Deutsch, Französisch, Italienisch
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