The federal traffic police will carry out fewer alcohol tests and speed checks in Summer, according to a report published in Monday’s edition of Het Laatste Nieuws and confirmed to Belga News Agency by Joery Dehaes, police delegate for the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions, ACV/CSC.
Dehaes said this was a “very bad signal,” that affected “the basic tasks of the federal police.”
The reduction in checks on the road is the result of cost-cutting at the federal police, which has a fixed budget component for staff costs as well as a flexible one for promotions and weekend work, among other things.
During the year, the flexible component of the budget was adjusted, so the traffic police are now obliged to cut back drastically on their activities, Dehaes explained.
“This means cuts will be made to the number of weekend and nighttime hours and only the absolute minimum will remain,” Dehaes added.
“This is a very bad signal for the police officers themselves, who cannot earn anything on top of their salary, and for society as a whole. Everyone knows that on weekends the most drunken drivers drive around and speed increases at night.”
According to the police union delegate, it is inconceivable to call on the local police to intervene. “In practice, highways are for the federal police,” he said.