Belgium cracks down on traffic offences by foreign drivers
Monday, 17 August 2020
Belgium has already sent out nearly 250,000 fines to foreign drivers for a driving offence committed on Belgian roads so far this year.
Increased exchange of information between EU member states has allowed Belgium to boost controls and fines for foreign traffic violators, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
In December of last year, Belgium began issuing fines to foreign drivers in their national languages, in an effort to ensure more people understood they had a fine to pay and boost the collection of the financial penalties.
Since the changes were implemented, Belgian police can now send fines abroad in 23 out of the EU’s 24 official languages, up from the previous three (French, Dutch and German), a move deemed a success by the ministry.
“In the first seven months of 2020, 247,800 fines have been issued and sent abroad,” a ministry spokesperson told RTBF.
A majority of fines issued have been destined to drivers from the Netherlands (87,129), France (76,311) and Luxembourg (31,186).
After that, vehicles registered in Germany (24,837), Poland (16,880) and Romania (5,988( are the most targetted by Belgian fines.
A definitive list of most common offenders per nation or language spoken is not yet available, the ministry said, since the sending-out of fines in different languages was done progressively.
“Everyone must respect the rules, regardless of nationality. By increasing the exchange of identity data between European nations, we can now more rapidly figure out who to send a fine to,” Justice Minister Koen Geens said.
“Whether you are Italian, Romanian or Slovak, from now own, every offender will receive a fine in their own national language,” he added.