Sex drive-ins opened in Zurich ... A prostitute works in her room on a prostitution boat. AFP PHOTO / ANP / JEROEN JUMELET Source: AFP
DESCRIBED as similar to a car wash, a country has opened it's first sex drive-in to try to stop illegal trading in prostitution.
The government in Switzerland, where prostitution is legal, has opened its first sex drive-in in the capital Zurich, AFP reported.
The partially enclosed wooden booth, which is in an industrial part of the city, is the first of nine that will be opened during a civic ceremony on August 26.
The booths, similar to a shelter for hikers often seen in national parks, will be open daily from 7pm to 5am, only to drivers, who must be alone in their vehicle if they want to pass the check-in gate.
Drivers follow a marked route, with signposts sporting a red umbrella, along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed. Once they have negotiated a rate, they will drive to one of the nine boxes to have sex.
The boxes will be equipped with alarms, allowing the prostitutes to make rapid contact with police if they are in danger.
Men who solicit prostitutes outside three new approved zones, including the nine sex boxes, face fines of up to 450 francs ($528), Telegraph UK reported.
Zurich has long been home to a red-light district but local residents have become fed up of prostitutes and clients plying the streets, notably along the riverside Sihlquai.
In addition, officials have said that they want to ensure the safety of prostitutes, stem trafficking by crime networks and reduce the role of the underground sex trade.
The sex-box plan was approved by Zurich's voters in March 2012 - referendums from the local to the national level are the bedrock of Switzerland's system of direct democracy.
Work on the new site cost 2.1 million Swiss francs ($2.2 million), below the voter-approved budget, with running costs are expected to be around 700,000 Swiss francs a year.
"We want to regulate prostitution because until now it was the law of the jungle," said Michael Herzig, from Zurich's social welfare department, when the initiative was announced.
"It was the pimps who decided the prices, for instance. We are trying to reach a situation which is better for the prostitutes themselves, for their health and security and also for people who live in Zurich."