5 2 mins 14 yrs

Did you see that those skiers who exceed 19 mph may be fined?

Switzerland – where else? – is introducing speed cameras on the slopes to try to reduce the increasing number of accidents. The first such nationwide controls will treat skiers like cars on the motorway. Speeders will be caught with hand-held radar devices carried by hidden personnel. Persistent offenders could be fined or have ski passes confiscated.

The scheme is being introduced after figures revealed a drastic increase in serious ski-related accidents in Switzerland. The booming winter tourism trade has led to overcrowding (Surely with all the global warming this is a bit of a shocker?) at the most popular resorts and a sharp rise in accidents. Impeccable pistes and new skiing equipment also encourages skiers and snowboarders of all levels to go ever faster.

I’ve never been skiing but would quite like it. It’s unlikely I would ever reach 19mph but I would imagine that those who can may well be piste off with this latest bit of interference from  busy bodies. Look, skiing is by definition a risky sport but people should be allowed to make their own mistakes rather than exposed to radar gun detection. This is the slippery slope to more State Nannyism!

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5 thoughts on “PISTE OFF!

  1. <I>t’s unlikely I would ever reach 19mph

    Don’t be so sure! When I was learning to ski I remember accidentally going extremely fast! Well, bans like this will just mean that people will go elsewhere. It’s up to them I suppose. The Olympic skiing teams won’t be going there!!

    First comment on the Times site, "19 mph! U can go down on your bum faster than that! "

    Hahaha indeed. The silly Swiss. I thought they were meant to stay neutral on controversial issues…

  2. David Vance –

    Get out there, its the most fun anyone can have with clothes on.

    Speaking as someone who does know what he’s doing on ski, accidents are rarely down to speed, but stupidity. An expert skier can travel perfectly safely at speed, but an inexperienced skier is a menace to all if they’re travelling slowly but still out of control.

    But of course this never matters to those whose instinct is to control, order and boss others around. It truly is a mental illness.

    As with a car, the point isn’t the speed but the degree of control. But this is far too subtle a point for these dunderheads to ever grasp.

  3. I can’t think of anything more exhilarating than skiing down a mountain at high speed. Though, high sped for me means I am normally overtaken by Germans. They seem to have it in for me on the slopes…

  4. OK. everybody sit down, the Judge is about to make his decision.

    (mumbling noises)

    After review of the evidence presented, the Court hereby rules that:
    1) speed cameras are banned on ski slopes
    2) but their use shall be encouraged on major roadways in the UK and in America.

    Court adjourned!

  5. "Did you see that those skiers who exceed 19 mph may be fined?"

    No David, I didn’t see that at all. What I saw was an article in which the Swiss Accident Insurance (Suva) announced that speed controls would be introduced. In the same article a number of unrelated studies were cited in which it was suggested "that going faster than 30km/h (19mph) is not safe".

    Suva haven’t announced any details, so it seems a tad premature to be suggesting a blanket speed limit of 19 km/h. I expect they’ll do the sensible thing and impose different speed limits on different slopes. Frankly I think it makes sense to try and clamp down on dangerous behaviour on some the blue and red slopes where somewhat less thrill-seeking skiers would quite like to enjoy an afternoon on the slopes without some idiot banging into them from behind at excessive speed.

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