Two months after its introduction, the new system for automatic processing of traffic fines is suffering, as a result of initial “teething” troubles. During the last few weeks, thousands of Belgians have received a fine for which the payment deadline was too close to realistically happen on time or had already expired. The facts are reported by Het Belang van Limburg on Friday.
Since March 28th, the processing of traffic fines has been completely automated. As soon as the police prepare a ticket, this is immediately processed by computer, before being sent by bpost to the relevant offenders. Under the previous system, police officers first had to print the fine, then send it by registered mail to its recipient.
The daily newspaper underlines that although the new system aims to ensure faster processing of traffic offences, the objective does not appear to have been achieved yet.
The FPS Justice says, in defence of the new system, that the software “is not yet completely fine-tuned.” Edward Landtsheere, its spokesman, states, “During the first few weeks, a number of technical flaws have appeared.” He says that measures have been taken to remedy this.
In the meantime, the bpost call centre has received hundreds of telephone calls from citizens worried about having to pay an increased fine.
Offenders have a period of two weeks to pay the amount owing. Edward Landtsheere concludes, “In the absence of payment within the time limit set, an initial remainder will be sent to the offender. This is at no cost to them, and does not entail an increase in the fine payable.”