Swiss policeman fined for speeding during high-speed chase

A policeman in Geneva has lost his appeal against a 600-franc (€528) fine he picked up for speeding while chasing suspected criminals.

Swiss policeman fined for speeding during high-speed chase
File photo: Depositphotos

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland upheld the fine given to the officer for driving 92 kilometres an hour in a 50 km/h zone during a high-speed pursuit of suspects alleged to have robbed an automatic teller machine.

The policeman was actually caught speeding by radars twice during the pursuit. On the first occasion, he was travelling 30 km/h over the speed limit while the second time he was going 42 km/h over the legal limit.

Read also: Driver fined for failing to go on green light in Geneva

Prosecutors deemed the first incidence of speeding was in line with tactical requirements but the Geneva cantonal court ruled that the second occasion was a gross breach of traffic regulations and fined the driver 600 francs.

In a ruling published on Tuesday and cited by Swiss news agency SDA, the Federal Supreme Court upheld that decision.

The court said that speeds during a high-speed chase had to be proportionate.

Higher speeds were legitimate if lives were at risk, the court explained.

But the court said that in the current case, the police driver had known that the suspects would not injure anyone.

Although it was in the public interest to stop the criminals, the driver should have selected a speed that did not put the safety of others at risk, the court stated.

Read also: Sneak preview – Switzerland's new 'on-the-spot' fines for 2020


Norwegian prime minister fined for Covid-19 rules breach

Erna Solberg has been fined 20,000 kroner for her role in planning a dinner party at a restaurant in Geilo, southern Norway, in February.

Norwegian prime minister fined for Covid-19 rules breach
Instagram erna_solberg

The South East police district has finished its investigation into the episode and concluded that there was a breach of national infection control rules.

The Prime Minister broke infection control measures when 13 family members were gathered at the restaurant in Geilo, a popular skiing destination. At the time, only 10 people could gather in such settings.

“I take note of the police decision. I have previously said that if the restaurant visit is followed up with fines, then we will of course make up for it. I apologise for what happened and will pay the fine,” Solberg said in a statement .

Despite not being present at the meal, due to having an eye checkup in Oslo, Solberg is considered to be one of the event’s organisers as she participated in the decision to host the dinner and was involved in choosing a restaurant.

Despite police saying his role would also fall under that of an organiser, the prime minister’s husband, Sindre Finnes, will not be fined.

“The practical arrangements were made by Solberg’s husband, but Solberg was involved in the decision to eat out,” police chief Ole B. Sæverud said at a press conference.

The police said that such a case would not normally lead to punishment, unless special considerations dictate it.

They believe that this case meets the special considerations criteria as finding Solberg guilty without any punishment could have a negative impact on the population’s compliance with coronavirus restrictions.

“Even though the law is equal for everyone, not everyone is equal. Solberg is the country’s foremost elected official and has on a number of occasions fronted the government’s decisions on measures to counter the pandemic. It is therefore considered appropriate to react with punishment, in order to maintain the public’s trust in the infection control rules,” Sæverud said.


The restaurant Solberg’s family ate at, Hallingstuene, will not receive a fine.

“If we had come across the incident while it was taking place, we would have clarified the regulations and, if necessary, given orders to end the event. A punitive response would only be considered if the event was carried out in a clearly contagious manner, or there was a case of repeated violation,” said Sæverud.

The prime minister’s family met twice over a weekend in late February as part of her 60th birthday celebrations in Geilo. On the Saturday there were more than 10 people present at an apartment they had rented. However, as the regulations were unclear at the time police said that this was not a criminal violation.

Solberg apologised for the breach when it was first reported in March.

“I, who every single day stand and speak about infection control to the Norwegian people, should have known the rules better. But the truth is that I have not checked the rules well enough, and thus not realiisd that when a family goes out together and there are more than ten persons, it is actually an event,” she said at the time.