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    Brussels cycle police handed out 84,000 fines in 2019

    Uniformed police on bicycle patrol in Brussels © Belga

    The cycle patrol of the police zone Brussels-Ixelles last year handed out 84,767 fines, almost half of which were related to the protection of vulnerable road users like pedestrians and other cyclists.

    The brigade has been so successful it is now to be extended, with a new, entirely female, branch covering more outlying parts of the zone like Haren and Neder-Over-Heembeek.

    In all, 42,101 of the fines were involved with vulnerable road users: 24,544 for motorists failing to observe cycle paths and 6,511 for parking on the pavement. The pedestrian zone in the centre of Brussels was involved in 5,991 of the cases.

    Another 21,359 fines were related to public transport: 13,409 for motorists driving in bus lanes. The remaining cases were for a variety of offences such as using a mobile phone while driving, failing to fasten a seatbelt or running a red light.

    The cycle brigade, now numbering 53 officers in all, divided between traffic duties and local area patrols, have impressed with their flexibility of response and availability. In addition, many motorists are caught in the act, suggesting the cycle patrols are less obviously visible that patrol cars.

    Their numbers will now be extended with the new outpost patrols in Haren and Neder-Over-Heembeek to the north of the city centre. In 2018, Brussels mayor Philippe Close expressed the wish to grow the brigade to 100 officers. Separate cycle brigades are also active in police zones Brussels-West, Montgomery and Brussels-North, with special details for the Brussels inner pentagon and the European quarter.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times