The Swiss National Council continues its initiative against loud motorcycles, although the focus is officially not on motorcyclists in general, but on anyone making a lot of noise. The initiative for the latest proposal comes again from the Green Party, with the Environment Committee now sending a proposal to the Bundesrat, which it will discuss in the summer.
The environment committee’s proposal, which was passed last week by 119 to 65 votes, initially provides for more extensive checks and higher fines, with driver’s licenses withdrawn and vehicles confiscated as other measures. So-called Lärmblitzers, a type of flash mount for vehicles with noisy engines, are also being considered. It is clear that motorcyclists with (very) noisy engines can anticipate the necessary problems in Switzerland in the near future.
Switzerland may not be a member of the European Union, but it has entered into treaties with the European Union to harmonize traffic rules. Due to the recent road closures trial in Tirol, Austria, Switzerland now sees an opportunity to impose a ban as well; After all, if it is allowed in an EU member state, it should also be possible in Switzerland, according to the Swiss Greens.
In June 2020, former Swiss Member of Parliament Gabriela Sutter called for a general ban on driving so-called “noisy motorcycles” in Switzerland. Sutter started a parliamentary initiative to allow a ban on driving motorcycles over 95 decibels. Then Swiss motorcyclists on 250 motorbikes came to Gotthard Pass to protest this discrimination against motorcyclists and the announced measures. Alternatively, it was then decided to officially consider all motor vehicles, and thus not specifically for motorcyclists.
Sutter was also opposed last week by National Chancellor Walter Wahbmann, who is also president of the FMS (Föderation der Motorradfahrer der Schweiz, Switzerland’s Motorcycle Federation). He pointed out in the discussion that the current legislation already provides sufficient capabilities to address the perpetrators of the harassment, as the government has to deal with these violators.
Wobmann also said that “acoustic flashes” cannot make fair measurements, because ambient noise and weather conditions play a major role in making a good measurement. So Minister Sommaruga emphasized that the Lärmblitzers technology is not yet sufficiently functional, but that its development is proceeding rapidly. Additionally, Wobmann explained that the latest engines are already quieter and that this will be implemented more with the introduction of EURO6.