Wednesday, March 29, 2006
New traffic laws start Friday
Belgium's new traffic legislation becomes operational this Friday.
The new law replaces existing legislation that received a lot of criticism because of the "Giant Fines" it introduced.
The fines' system is now being changed. In future the risk created by an offence will be used to measure how high the fine should be.
The introduction of new federal traffic legislation coincides with a new campaign. The campaign is being launched under the slogan: "More dangerous, more expensive".
The so-called "Giant Fines" are being reduced and traffic offences will fall into one of four categories depending on the risk that the offence causes.
In future using the hand-set of your mobile phone at the wheel becomes more expensive, while failing to lock your car will not be fined so severely.
Federal Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt (Flemish socialist) says that in future people will appreciate why they are being fined: "the more risk drivers create, the higher the fine".
Changes to speed fines too
The size of traffic fines is changing too.
Speeding up to ten kilometres over the limit will set you back 50 euros.
Each kilometre you speed above this will cost you an extra five euros. Speeding in urban areas will even cost you ten euros per extra kilometre!
The new law also corrects a number of legal errors contained in the previous piece of legislation.
In future assistant police officers will also be able to issue parking tickets.