The Federal Government will allow speeds of up to 130 kilometres per hour on some roads under a new traffic code scheduled to take effect in the first half of 2018, La Dernière Heure daily and La Libre Belgique reported on Friday. Minister of Mobility François Bellot (Reformist Movement) has included a provision raising the speed limit to 130 km/hour on sections of some highways in the new code. “It will be up to the managers of the roads, namely the regions, to determine” the sections concerned, Melisa Blot, spokesperson of Minister Bellot, explained.
Under the incoming traffic code, sections of highways that are least prone to accidents and located in low-traffic zones (e.g. E411 in the province of Luxembourg) will probably be given priority.
The new Traffic Code has been sent to the King and will soon be transmitted to the regions for their opinion. The regions can therefore still block the text, “but these provisions were already negotiated with them, so we do not expect, a priori, any bad surprises,” Bellot’s cabinet said.
However, Wallonia’s Minister of Mobility, Carlo Di Antonio (Humanist Democratic Centre), on Friday ruled out raising the speed limit to 130 km/hr. in his region.
“That would send a very bad signal on road safety when studies show that speed is a factor that encourages accidents and, especially, an aggravating factor in the event of accidents,” Di Antonio said in a reaction to the Belga news agency.
“Moreover, we have a network of many entrances and exits on the highways and it’s in the middle of being renovated. That may also mean reducing traffic to 10 km/hr. generally, including in areas close to schools and in zones where the limit is 50 km/hr.,” he said.