Tough new road safety rules in force

1st March 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 March 2004, BRUSSELS – A series of tough new road safety rules came into force in Belgium on Monday, which will see fines increase significantly for many previously 'minor' offences.

1 March 2004

BRUSSELS – A series of tough new road safety rules came into force in Belgium on Monday, which will see fines increase significantly for many previously 'minor' offences.

The Belgian government says the new rules are necessary to reduce the alarmingly high number of road deaths Belgium suffers every year.

Monday's measures form the latest offensive in a battle against dangerous driving that Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt's team is convinced has already started bearing fruit.

Citing statistics form Belgium's road safety institute, the government says the number of people killed in 2002 was 1350 compared to 1,500 the previous year.

The drop corresponds to the introduction of a first phase of road safety measures including an increased number of radar speeding traps across Belgium.

Under Monday's new rules motoring offences will be divided into three
categories.

First category offences include driving at between 10 and 20 kilometres an hour over the speed limit on open roads, driving too close to a vehicle in front of you or stopping on pedestrian crossing. These offences will generally carry a fine of between EUR 275 and EUR 1,375.

Second category offences include speeding at between 20 and 40 kilometres an hour over the limit, crossing a solid white line in the middle of a road, not respecting rules that give priority to other drivers – including the controversial priority to the right system – and jumping red lights. Category two fines range from EUR 275 to EUR 2,750

The most serious third category offences all carry a driving ban plus a
fine. These include driving at over 40 kilometres an hour above the speed limit, overtaking on the inside lane on a major road, making a U-turn on a motorway or other major road or refusing to cooperate with traffic police. Fines in this category range between EUR 550 and EUR 2,750. Bans can vary between eight days and five years.

In all of the categories, the fines cited refer to cases where motorists agree to pay up without disputing their offences in court.

Magistrates can impose higher fines if they find in the police's favour at the end of a court case.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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