Home » More traffic fines on the way: “Speed ​​cameras along regional roads will also flash continuously”

More traffic fines on the way: “Speed ​​cameras along regional roads will also flash continuously”

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At the end of last year, the De Croo government provided more money for the federal police to enable additional investments in better road safety. In the House, Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) made these investments concrete. The extra budget will be used to recruit dozens of extra people in the Regional Processing Centers of the federal police, among other things. They also process the majority of traffic fines.

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When the workforce is complete, it will employ 187 people. According to Verlinden, “the processing capacity will then increase to almost 9 million violations.” On average, that is no less than 1,000 fines per hour. “Today the processing capacity of those centers is limited to 5 million violations per year,” Verlinden said in response to questions from Vlaams Belang MP Ortwin Depoortere.

In addition to the processing centers, some local police forces also process their own traffic fines. In 2022, all Belgian police forces together issued 6.2 million speeding violations. Complete figures are not yet known for 2023.

Zero tolerance

Verlinden says that a significant increase in the capacity of the Regional Processing Center will also ensure that many local section controls can finally be activated, especially in Flanders. “And this will also allow more zero tolerance to be applied on local roads.”

Today there is already a so-called zero tolerance for speed on motorways. This means that fixed speed cameras along highways always flash and without a large margin. In the past, a speed camera only operated every few hours for a certain period of time. And what’s more, it only flashed at speeds above 140 km per hour. This way, the police and the judiciary could stay on top of the pile of traffic fines.

“Especially in Flanders, we can finally activate many local section controls. And more zero tolerance will also be applied on local roads.”

Annelies Verlinden (CD&V)

Minister of Internal Affairs

But that system has been a thing of the past along motorways for some time now, and the intention is to introduce the same zero tolerance along regional roads this year. According to Verlinden, the additional processing capacity will also make it possible to set the mobile speed camera equipment of the federal police (mainly used for speed checks along motorways, ed.) to the same zero tolerance in 2024.

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13 billion euros

According to experts, stricter speed controls are urgently needed. In 2022, 540 people lost their lives on Belgian roads. 54,000 were seriously injured. We are doing a lot worse than our neighboring countries.

To criticism that the government uses speeding fines as an easy source of income, Verlinden previously responded “that at least 150 deaths and 550 serious injuries could be avoided every year if everyone respected the speed limits.”

Moreover, the proceeds from traffic fines do not outweigh the social costs of the many traffic accidents. The Vias safety institute estimates this to be a total of around 13 billion euros per year for our country, with the cost of a traffic fatality being estimated at 7 million euros.

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