Monday, June 06, 2005

I'm a lead foot...

...because I was caught speeding THREE times in two days by speeding cameras. These are obviously new cameras because I was caught on roads that I drive on all the time while never paying attention to the posted speed limit. As a matter of fact, I wasn't even sure what the speed limit was on these streets. But, now I know.
I was caught on May 30th at 16:23 going 39 km/h in a 30 km/h zone and on May 31st at 10:35 going 36 km/h in a 30 km/h zone on Bodenackerstrasse in Bottmingen. The "competent Swiss authorities" take off 5 km/h as a margin of error, so I received two tickets of 40 CHF, the second one for going 1 km/h over the limit (that's about .62 mph...just over one-half of one mile per hour!!!). Also on May 31st, I received a ticket at 11:20 on Reinacherstrasse in Muenchenstein for going 59 km/h in a 50 km/h zone. That amounted to another 40 CHF (about $32 U.S.).
The thing I really hate about these speeding cameras is that you get caught speeding if you just accidentally go over the speed limit. In both of these cases, I was probably driving on roads with very little traffic just minding my own business. I wasn't in any hurry, just enjoying the scenery, and then...FLASH! It's all totally cut and dry. They have a picture of you speeding, and that's it - you pay the fine. I guess there's a way to contest it, but if they have the picture I don't think there's too much you can do about it.
So, needless to say, we took the train to Lausanne this past weekend where we had a really nice time. Our hotel -which we arrived at at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening - was really nice. We enjoyed a nice dinner at the hotel on Friday night and slept-in until about 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. After grabbing a quick bite to eat at a little sandwich shop by our hotel, we took the bus to the Musee de l'Art Brut where we checked out art that was produced by schizophrenics and other people with some serious "issues." After the art museum, we had a nice al fresco lunch, went back to the hotel to freshen up, and then met our friends James and Lenka at the Lausanne Beer Festival.
This is the fourth year in a row that I've attended the festival. It's right on the shores of Lake Geneva and it's just a great annual event packed with great beers from around the world, excellent festival food, terrific scenery, live music, and French-Swiss people who definitely enjoy life more than the German-Swiss people of Basel.
Every time we go to the French-speaking part of Switzerland, we marvel at how different it is from the German-speaking part. Let me tell you right now...if we ever had the chance to live in the Lake Geneva area of Switzerland, we'd do it in a second!!! And, we'd probably live there for the rest of our lives - it's that good! Plus, I've heard that they don't really have many speeding cameras in the French part of Switzerland. That's just icing on the gateau.


The DP said...

how did you get off with only 40 chf a ticket? my friends have gotten their drivers licences revoked for one speeding ticket, and one friend had to pay 3000 francs. yeah, three zeros.
i wanna speed where you're speeding

Gretchen said...

Bodenackerstrasse is where I got one too! Except I was going 45 in a 30, so my ticket was 120 CHF. Ouch. I still can't figure out where they hide the camera.

Kirk said...

After Gretchen got her (expensive) ticket in Bottmingen and I got my (inexpensive) ticket in Basel, a colleague told me that Basel is known for being relatively lenient in that regard. He also said Zurich is notorious for speed traps and outrageously expensive tickets.

The Big Finn said...

I drove (very slowly) down Bodenackerstrasse today, and I think the camera is disguised as an overhead street lamp as you approach one of the speed bumps. The 30 km/h portion in Bottmingen is very short, so it's probably best to just drive really slowly through this part. Let me tell you, it's pretty hard keeping a Jeep with TBF in it at under 30 km/h when going downhill. I also saw the other camera that nailed me in Muenchenstein. It's mounted on top of a traffic light. Those police are getting pretty tricky.