Swiss city does U-turn over 100-franc fine for 5-year-old girl without ticket

Public transport authorities in the northern Swiss city of Schaffhausen have decided not to push ahead with a controversial 100-franc fine for a five-year-old girl who was recently caught travelling on a bus without a valid ticket.

Swiss city does U-turn over 100-franc fine for 5-year-old girl without ticket
File photo: Depositphotos

The young girl was fined while travelling with her ten-year-old sister, as The Local reported last week.

Under Swiss rules, children under six travel free, but only if they are accompanied by someone aged 12 or older.


Was the ticket inspector right to fine the five year old for travelling without a ticket?



Speaking about the case, Switzerland’s public transport union CH-Direct said the ticket inspector had acted correctly, but added there was “scope for discretion”.

The union said it would now review the current rules to see if they were appropriate, according to regional daily Schaffhauser Nachrichten.
Meanwhile, the mother of the girl fined last week said she was happy that the “stupid rule” would now be reviewed.
In comments made to Swiss national broadcaster SRF, she said her ten-year-old was also delighted but that that the whole experience had been no big deal for her younger daughter.
“She is five. The whole thing passed her by,” she said.

The decision to fine the girl stirred plenty of debate among readers of The Local as can be see in the comments section of our Facebook post here.

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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.