Expatica news

Two-hour time limit set to be imposed on all road closures

6 May 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s Mobility Minister has pledged action after a fatal accident left drivers between Brussels and Leuven locked in traffic jams for more than six hours.

Renaat Landuyt said roads should only be shut to traffic for a maximum of two hours.

“After a certain time, the general interest counts more than the need for an accident report,” he said.

He also promised to set up an institute for lorry safety, modelled on the Belgian road safety institute, to help reduce the number of lorries involved in accidents.

On Friday, the Flemish newspapers De Standaard, Het Volk and Het Nieuwsblad reported Renaat’s proposals to better integrate experts who conduct accident investigations with the police force.

He hopes this will speed up inquiries after crashes. At the moment, experts driving to accidents often themselves get stuck in the ensuing traffic jams.

For the minister, modern methods like photography also mean there is often no need to leave the scene of an accident as it is while waiting for experts to arrive.

Renaat was speaking after Wednesday’s accident on the E40 near Sterrebeek, in the Brussels direction.

A car with a caravan was in collision with a heavy goods lorry. The car driver and a passenger died instantly from the impact of the crash and the lorry driver was seriously injured. On Friday, his condition was described as stable.

The section of the road where the accident happened was closed from 3pm until 9pm, causing 55km traffic jams, starting from Gasthuisberg on the E314 and Heverlee on the E40.

There were also tailbacks in the opposite direction as drivers slowed down to look at the wreckage.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news