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Road safety with Nez Rouge Zurich and Mobility

For over 30 years, the Nez Rouge association has been helping to make driving safer during the Christmas/New Year period. Mobility shares and supports this aim – and does so in a way we know best as a car sharing provider. We make our vehicles available to Nez Rouge in Canton Zurich.

  • Sustainability

  • Mobility

If you drive, don't drink. If you drink, don't drive. The rule may be obvious and simple, but it’s not universally adhered to – especially in December, when Christmas markets, Advent celebrations, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve offer numerous alcohol-related temptations.

Does the following ring a bell? You just want to pop in and say hello; there’s a glass of mulled wine for you. Then an old friend turns up, so you stick around: that one mulled wine becomes three – and three hours later, you’re faced with a tricky situation: do you leave the car where it is, risk a parking fine, and waste two hours collecting the car the next day? Or do you get in, drive off – and ultimately take a much greater risk?

The accident statistics suggest that more drivers in December opt for the latter: while the proportion of accidents attributable to alcohol averages at 10% over the year, it rises to 20% at Christmas and 35% on New Year’s Eve. Put another way, one in five accidents during the Christmas period – one in three on New Year’s Eve – is avoidable.

Half a million journeys

The Nez Rouge association was founded in 1990 to improve road safety over the Christmas/New Year period. Founder Jean-Luc Baierlé, then a doctor in Canton Jura, took the idea from Quebec, where a similar driving service was launched in 1984. Following a successful premiere in the Jura, new regional sections serving other regions came into being over the ensuing years; Nez Rouge started making inroads into German-speaking Switzerland in 1994. Keeping the association’s French name didn’t harm its success: Nez Rouge today enjoys a brand awareness level of 93%. We bet you a mulled wine – three if you’re going out without your car! – that you’ve heard of Red Nose, too.


Switzerland now boasts 23 regional sections, all autonomous in terms of communication and organisation. Their communication activities include accident prevention in the form of marketing campaigns highlighting the consequences of drink-driving. Nez Rouge also promotes the “designated driver” principle, where one member of a group going out drinking is designated to bring the others home safely. This is also known as the “Who’s doing the Nez Rouge [Red Nose] today?” question.

That said, as we’ve already outlined, not every evening goes as planned. That’s when Nez Rouge’s driving service comes into play; it’s offered every December – especially around Christmas and New Year. All it takes is one phone call for a Nez Rouge team to pick the driver up and drive him or her home in their car. More than 35,000 people made use of this service in 2019 alone. Altogether, Nez Rouge has carried out almost half a million call-outs since 1990.

The Nez Rouge service is also available throughout the rest of the year: its availability for corporate, wedding and other festive occasions helps to make the streets safer. Visit the relevant websites for details.


The staff of Nez Rouge Zurich tell us all about it

The obvious solution

As a car sharing company, road safety is something that’s close to our hearts, too. We thought about how we could support Nez Rouge – and decided on the obvious solution: we provide Nez Rouge’s drivers with access to 780 vehicles in Canton Zurich, which they can use as they wish. If they’re not Mobility members, they’re provided with a free trial subscription.

If you, as a Mobility member, have concerns about not finding a vehicle over Christmas/New Year, don’t worry: Nez Rouge starts operating at 10 pm, so there should be no shortages. And you needn’t fear having to contend with unpleasant smells or stains due to mishaps, since Nez Rouge customers travel in their own cars.

Support Nez Rouge: with a donation or as a driver

The Nez Rouge service has been free of charge since the first pick-up somewhere in the (presumably snowy) Jura back in 1990. This is possible because the drivers and everyone else who works for Nez Rouge are unpaid volunteers. The remaining costs are financed through donations that come, amongst others, from the people using the service. Some are particularly generous and donate three-figure amounts – for example, if they’ve encountered a police checkpoint and avoided having their driving licence confiscated by calling Nez Rouge – while others are creative: the organisation has, in the past, received 40 kilograms of potatoes, twelve bottles of wine, four sausages – even a wedding ring that was surplus to requirements after a divorce! This year, Nez Rouge Zurich is donating what it receives to the street magazine Surprise .

If you’d like to support Nez Rouge Zurich financially, you can do so at www.nezrougezuerich.ch/spenden. And if you’d like to help out as a driver or in some other way, all Nez Rouge sections welcome volunteers.

We at Mobility are delighted to be able to support Nez Rouge in Zurich this year for the first time. We wish the volunteer drivers – and of course everyone else on the roads this festive period – safe motoring!

Nez Rouge campaign 2021

After Nez Rouge’s 2020 campaign was cancelled due to the pandemic, the four-wheeled guardian angels are back on the road this year. Not everywhere, though, and with a reduced service in places. As a result, the 2021 Nez Rouge campaign is based on the philosophy “small, regional and symbolic”.

Find out which seven Nez Rouge sections are available in 2021 (details of availability and telephone numbers can be found on the websites):

Zurich: https://www.nezrougezuerich.ch
Ticino: https://www.nezrougeticino.ch/
Fribourg: https://www.nezrouge-fr.ch/
Lausanne: https://nezrouge-lausanne.ch/
Valais: https://www.nezrouge-valais.ch/
Nord vaudois: https://www.nezrouge-les-bains.ch/ 
Est vaudois: https://www.nrev.ch/

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