PM’s car has speed camera alert system
Photographs taken at the weekend and published today reveal that the Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo’s (Francophone socialist) official car is equipped with a Coyote speed camera alert system.
Road safety organisations have expressed their distain and the Flemish Christian democrats' transport expert Jef Van den Bergh called the situation "problematic".
For several years now, the Federal Government has worked in collaboration with the Belgian Institute for Road Safety (BIVV) on the "Go for zero" campaign . The campaign's aim is to drastically reduce the number of road traffic deaths by (amongst other things) encouraging motorists to drive slower.
This makes it all the more surprising that Mr Di Rupo would have a Coyote on board his vehicle. The Coyote works on data about the position of speed traps and speed cameras that is provided by motorists. The system is entirely legal, as the Prime Minister's office is keen to point out.
"It is indeed true that the Prime Minister has a Coyote. It is a device that is legally available. Of course the highway code is applies to the Prime Minister in the same way that it applies to anyone else."
Speaking in an interview with the daily ‘Het Laatste Nieuws , a spokeswoman for the company that makes the Coyote says that the system is perfectly legal.
"It's no different to the speed cameras warnings given on the radio. What's more the system also gives warnings of traffic jams and other incidents which promotes road safety"
Nevertheless, the system is band or a least its use heavly regulated in other European countries such as France and Germany.
"At the very least Coyote gives a wrong impression"
Road safety organisations have responded with distain to the fact that the Prime Minister's official car is fitted with a Coyote. The Belgian Institute for Road Safety (BIVV) Spokeswoman Sofie Van Damme told the daily ‘Het Nieuwsblad' that "To our mind the Coyote is of absolutely no added value when it comes to road safety. Everyone should simply abide by the speed limit, everywhere and all the time."
Meanwhile, the Flemish Christain Democrats' Transport Spokesman Jef Van den Bergh told the paper that "Let's not be silly, people buy that device to dodge speed cameras and speed guns. In other words to be able to speed without running the risk of being caught. I think that it's a shame that a Prime Minister would do this. "
[Flandersnews.be / Expatica]