Young men found to be biggest traffic offenders

Stricter penalties are no deterrent to traffic offenders Keystone

Men under the age of 30 have the least respect for the rules of the road, according to a study by Federal Statistics Office. The figures show that young men are five times more likely to violate traffic regulations than are women.

This content was published on August 3, 2000

The study suggests that safety on Switzerland's roads is being threatened by a relatively small number of repeat offenders. There is also evidence that tougher punishments are no deterrent to bad drivers.

The Federal Statistics Office found that a quarter of people caught breaking the rules of the road re-offend, usually within two years of their original offence.

Men were found to be the worst offenders, with those under 30 making up the biggest group. Women over 30 accounted for just 19 per cent of offences.

The study also found that the more previous convictions drivers had, the more likely they were to re-offend. In the case of drunk drivers, around 26 per cent are typically hauled before the courts for repeat offences.

A significant finding concerned punishments for traffic offences. Although these vary widely from canton to canton, tougher measures do not seem to act as a greater deterrent.

From this, the statistics office concludes that it is the likelihood of being caught rather than the punishment that deters drivers from breaking the rules.

In 1998, the year on which the study is based, 37,091 traffic offences were recorded in Switzerland, 16,225 of them for driving under the influence of alcohol.

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