The Walloon government approved Thursday following the first reading a decree authorizing municipalities to make use of wheel clamps for immobilizing bad debtor vehicles that are illegally parked. In order to do so, the vehicle must already be the object of an infraction (a parking infraction or a municipal administrative fine) in the past two years, and this fine not have been paid notwithstanding a reminder.
The placing of a wheel clamp shall not harm the parked vehicle. This measure essentially focuses on vehicles registered abroad, since for those registered in Belgium, measures against bad debtors already suffice (reminders at the residence, prosecution in court), according to a communiqué of the minister in charge of road security, Maxime Prévot. For vehicles registered abroad, “the means of execution are more limited, which generates discrimination between users,” according to the cdH minister.
Border municipalities or those visited by a great number of students coming from neighbouring countries are often more affected by this type of situation. “Sometimes with veritable abuse, with certain vehicles registered in a neighbouring country accumulating a great number of unpaid fees, without there being the necessary enforceable means available for collecting the amounts due.”
The fines in question are non-payment of taxes or fees related to parking in blue zones, at pay parking locations or parking in spots reserved for holders of municipal parking cards.