Vehicle Lights in Switzerland


Daytime Running Lights Mandatory in Switzerland

Under the Via Sicura federal program initiated by the Touring Club Switzerland (TCS), all motor vehicles and motorcycles must travel during the day with the daytime running lights (DRL) on, except for mopeds, e-bikes, bicycles and vehicles registered before 1970.

Infringing this traffic regulation could fire you a CHF 40 fine.

The list of DRL comprises the low-beam headlamps, the dipped-beam and the dim-dip devices.

Swiss Flag from Geneva
Cars with headlights on
Cars checked by the Swiss officials
The Via Sicura federal program initiated by the TCS

The scientific studies carried worldwide since the 1970s have tended to conclude that the DRLs improve safety. The effect of DRLs on frontal and side-on crashes between two vehicles and on vehicle collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists includes led so far to a reduction of 5.7% on the total number of accidents.

Starting from 1 Jan 2014, driving with the DRLs on becomes a must in Switzerland. Non-compliance could result in a CHF 40 fine.

Tips to prevent getting fined:

Check your vehicle's on-board computer

The older models also offer the possibility to program the on-board computer, making the headlights to be automatically coupled with the engine ignition.

Connect the headlights and the engine

If your vehicle has more than 3 years, you can ask a specialist to connect the headlights with the engine operating on the internal computer of the vehicle. The headlights will illuminate from the start of the car.

Cons: this will cost you 2% more fuel and the light bulbs will have to be changed more often.

Auxiliary daytime LED lights

Also known as running lights or sidelights, they are the most expensive option is the most energy efficient: daytime LED running lights.

The advantages are numerous:

  • spare bulbs for headlights
  • last longer
  • energy efficient (diminish the gasoline consumption)

Daytime running lights do not replace the headlights!

The daytime running lights, provided by the manufacturer or additionally installed, make the car more visible, including for the elders and the children who can better assess the speed of vehicles and the danger they represent. However, they do not provide a better illumination of the roads! Do not forget to turn on your low beams in case of bad weather conditions such as fog, rain, snow or when passing through a tunnel!

Motorcycle and scooter

Motorcycles and scooters will be less visible on the road. They were already forced to keep their headlights on during the day. This new traffic regulation makes them almost invisible. The riders will have to make themselves more visible by wearing helmets equipped with fluorescent strips, clear coats and vests or bright armbands.

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