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Cloud Cuckoo Land ??

February 20, 2012


Kilmarnock, Scotland –  Switzerland not only famous for astounding natural beauty, astonishingly clean cities, wonderfully engineered roads, chocolate, cuckoo clocks, precision watches, Brown Swiss cows with very large bells, army knifes, alphorns and the Large Hadron Collider but also for…

Being more than 700 years old, having 4 national languages, being a federation of 26 independent cantons, all with their own constitution and government.

Ahh yes and being the only country in the world to practice direct democracy, a system giving citizens an incredible amount of participation in the legislation process and granting them a maximum of political self-determination. Swiss voters have the last word on everything, vote on laws, government spending and can launch popular initiatives that are binding on Government via referendums.

In the last few years Swiss voters have had the opportunity to express their views on such things as the banning of minarets on mosques, the deportation of foreigners criminals and an initiative on fair taxation.

Next year if the requirements of an Obligatory Referendum are met, 100,000 citizens (roughly 2.5% of the electorate) must sign a form demanding change, even motorcycling could make it into the Swiss constitution.

It may seem bizarre but Swiss riders rights groups CI Motards, and The Federation of Swiss Motorcyclists (FMS) together with a cohort of politicians are attempting to get biking recognised by the Swiss constitution as a “normal” form of transport.

Bizarre that is until you actually read what the campaigners are proposing is placed into the Swiss constitution:-

That the free choice of transportation is guaranteed.

That fluid, free moving, traffic is legislated. Red lights to be synchronized in all cities to make traffic fluid (green wave principle).

That motorcycle riding is encouraged as an efficient form of transportation.

That Powered Two Wheelers (PTW) – motorcycles, scooters and mopeds are allowed to use bus lanes.

That PTW’s be allowed to filter between lanes of stationary traffic.

That the Swiss Federal Government provides for the creation of urban scooter and motorcycle parking zones.

Cloud Cuckoo Land – meaning a fanciful or ideal realm. Perhaps some may think that the Swiss campaigners attempt at constitutional  amendment is fanciful. However if they succeed Switzerland will indeed be an ideal realm in which to ride.

Meanwhile in the rest of Europe………

© Back Roads Rider 2012

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dave permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:53 am

    Switzerland where the speed limits are generally lower and far more rigidly enforced, with on the spot fines initially. Where the cost of driving / riding and parking is higher because of the road tax, fuel and parking prices as the govt wants to discourage the use of fossil fuels and where hooning about is generally seen as socially unacceptable. Oh and they have toll roads as standard. The ideal place to ride? Depends on what your motivations are I guess.

    Be interesting to see how this works out though. Are UK motorcyclists ready to sit at the big table and have motorcycling ‘officially recognised’? With recognition usually comes regulation and conformity and we all know how many bikers feel about that. Do UK bikers want to keep their ‘freedom’ and be legistlated from the roads or are they ready to give a little of that freedom up and have motorcycling made acceptable to the masses? Perhaps only time will tell.

    • Back Roads Rider permalink*
      February 20, 2012 8:08 pm

      Ok perhaps I’m perverse but I enjoy riding in Switzerland. Maybe its because the parameters of behaviour are well set out.

      Mind you that does not seem to inhibit German bikers from indulging in time trialling up certain mountain passes that I won’t name. But then perhaps Switzerland is their idea of uninhibited riding!


  1. El Camino – The Road

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