Foreigners ‘dodge speed fines’
21 March 2005
BRUSSELS – Over 125,000 foreign drivers are speeding annually on Belgian roads, and getting away with it, new figures have revealed.
According to police statistics, the number of foreign cars caught speeding by Belgian radars was 125,394 in 2003, just down from 131,043 in 2002.
But few of these drivers were fined due to the complications of issuing speeding tickets in other countries.
While it is relatively easy to catch drivers returning to France, it is almost impossible to follow up speeding fines in Luxembourg or the Netherlands.
The best method, say police officers, is to issue on-the-spot fines but this is often difficult to do.
Less than half a percent of foreign motorists are forced to pay up straight away.
In 2002, Belgian public prosecutors managed to track down 43 953 offending drivers abroad, but only 27 155 paid up.
Half of the drivers caught by radars in 2002, 62 036, got away with their offence scot-free.
The Belgian police have complained that coordination with other European forces simply is not working.
Some Belgian forces now have a policy to fine only foreign drivers on the spot, leaving themselves open to charges of racism.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news