Inspections of heavy goods vehicles along the country's main transit routes ensure a higher degree of compliance with the applicable legal provisions, as well as smoother traffic flows and a higher level of road safety, which in turn promotes fair competition between the various forms of transport. Switzerland's first HGV inspection centre was opened on 26 November 2004 on the A13.The concept of HGV inspection centres resulted from the need to more efficiently enforce the legal provisions governing drivers, vehicles and loads in keeping with the principle, "if it doesn't meet the specified requirements, it shouldn't be allowed on the road". It was therefore decided to set up two "maxi" HGV inspection centres and 12 "midi" centres at which standardised inspections could be carried out on all four transalpine routes in order to more effectively enforce this principle. The first midi centre was put into operation on the A13 a year ago, and there are plans to set up other inspection centres as follows: two maxi centres near Ripshausen (canton of Uri) and Bodio (canton of Ticino), and midi centres near St. Maurice (canton of Valais), and Schaffhausen. Other midi centres will follow later: Reiden (Lucerne), Uhwiesen (Zurich), Chavornay (Vaud), Oensingen (Solothurn), Frick (Aargau), Schafisheim (Aargau), and at two other locations yet to be selected. With this step-by-step procedure it will be possible to constantly incorporate findings from the operation of the first centres into the planning of future ones.
Unterrealta inspection centre
During its first year of operation, a total of 3,892 heavy motor vehicles (1,296 from Switzerland, 2,547 from EU countries, 49 from other countries) were inspected at the Unterrealta midi centre, which is located on the A13 near the Rothenbrunnen junction (San Bernardino route). These inspections uncovered 1,488 violations: 442 resulted in fines, while charges were preferred in 1,046 cases.