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Zurich opens its first prostitution drive-in 'sex boxes'

The Swiss city unveils the sex drive-ins on Monday — nine wooden booths outside of the downtown area.

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A traffic sign is seen next to 'waiting benches' on August 24, 2013 at a sex drive-in recently unveiled by the city of Zurich. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Zurich's first red-light drive-ins are open for business Monday.

The so-called “sex boxes” work in a similar way to fast-food service: Drivers place their orders for one of 40 prostitutes and then proceed to one of nine wooden booths.

The Swiss city unveiled the plan last Thursday, a year after voters passed the initiative in March 2012 by 52.6 percent. Authorities said it would help them monitor local prostitution.

"Safety for the prostitutes. At least it's a certain kind of a shelter for them. They can do their business, and I respect them," said Daniel Hartmann, a Zurich lawyer, according to the Associated Press.

Zurich already has a thriving red-light district, and the "sex boxes" are located on the western outskirts of the city's downtown in a former industrial zone.

However, many locals remain divided over the issue.

The drive-in, available only to those with cars, will be open from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. For safety purposes, each box has an alarm connected directly to the police.

"Prostitution is a business basically. We cannot prohibit it, so we want to control it in favor of the sex workers and the population," Michael Herzig, director of social services for sex workers in Zurich, told Agence France-Presse.

"Because if we do not control it, organized crime is taking over, and the pimps are taking over," Herzig added.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/130825/zurich-prostitute-sex-boxes-drive-ins-sex