Empty streets, lots of free time and hardly any employment opportunities: the corona pandemic has enticed many young men to race around in their cars. The number of speeding offenses has increased significantly in the canton of Zurich since the first lockdown.
In 2020, the public prosecutor’s office registered 96 crimes. In 2021 there were already 136. This corresponds to an increase of 42 percent. The increase is worrying, prosecutor Michael Huwiler told the media on Wednesday.
Five accidents in three weeks
And although the time of the Corona lockdown is long gone, the numbers are no longer going down. The “hobby” has obviously established itself. In October 2021, for example, there were five speeding accidents within just 20 days.
Before Corona, speeders mostly drove at night, but today they also like to drive during the day and in heavy traffic. According to the public prosecutor’s office, most of them are driving high-powered cars with up to 750 hp. The security assistants are mostly switched off.
Foreigners and secondos race
It is especially dangerous for other road users if the cars involved are constructed differently. A Ford Focus has little to do against a 2-ton BMW with 600 hp, as happened in an accident in which a mother and her four-year-old daughter were critically injured.
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As far as the profile of the perpetrators is concerned, the findings are not surprising: most speeders are between 18 and 30 years old because, according to Huwiler, “reasonability generally increases with age”, and they are male. Women account for only two to three percent of cases. A large proportion of speeders do not have a Swiss passport or are naturalized.
Many rent a car
The cars usually do not belong to the speeders themselves, but are leased or rented. “18-year-olds can borrow a car that has 600 hp for the weekend. You can ask yourself whether that makes sense, »Huwiler continued. However, it is up to politicians to take any measures here.
In other countries there are already horsepower restrictions for young drivers. So they first have to drive weaker cars for a while before they are allowed to switch to a stronger one.
Another way to get speeders off the streets would be poster campaigns. It is unclear to the public prosecutor’s office whether these warnings about excessive speeds are of much use. You can probably reach those people who are already sensitized anyway, says Huwiler. (SDA)