Traffic offenders will now receive a semi-personalised road-safety message along with their fines, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday in a press release. The message will be related to the offence and will be sent to the offender in his/her national language.
“Using mobile phones at the wheel multiply the risk of an accident by four; speed plays a role in 30% of accidents in Belgium; 38% of seriously injured drivers have blood-alcohol levels above the legal limit of 0.5/1000,” the Justice Department stressed. “These are alarming figures that require the offenders to be made more aware of the risks of the most problematic violations.”
The awareness messages are aimed at increasing the offenders’ awareness of the fatal consequences of various violations, beginning with over-speeding on the highway, driving while drunk, using mobile phones while driving, not wearing seatbelts and failure to use child seats. In autumn, over-speeding on roads other than highways, which is a regionalised offence, will be added to the list.
This initiative is the fruit of collaboration between the federal and regional authorities. These include the federal Mobility and Transport, Justice, and Finance departments, the police, VIAS road safety institute, the road safety institutes of Wallonia (AWSR) and Flanders (VSV), Flanders’ Mobility and Public Works Ministry and the Brussels Mobility Department.
The initiative has been welcomed by the relevant ministers: Koen Geens and François Bellot (Federal), Ben Weyts (Flanders), Carlo Di Antonio (Wallonia) and Bianca Debaets (Brussels).