A sign marking the start of an average speed check zone. Credit: Belga
Flanders will add 19 average speed check zones in 2021, Flemish mobility minister Lydia Peeters announced on Tuesday.
Six of these speed checks zones will be in the province of West Flanders, two in East Flanders, two in Flemish Brabant, three in the province of Antwerp and six in Limburg.
These check zones are used “to increase road safety on roads where many speeding violations are committed,” Peeters said in a press release, calling the average speed checks “an efficient tool to avoid traffic accidents based on speeding” as the measurements are taken over a longer distance.
“The number of accidents decreases considerably” in average speed check zones, “and research shows that people also keep to the speed limit much better before and after the controlled route,” Peeters said.
In addition to the average speed check zones, Flanders will get more red light cameras and speed traps across the region.
While 76 average speed check zones are currently operational in Flanders, Wallonia only has two such zones at the moment.
A third check zone is awaiting signs indicating its start and finish, and 22 others are in the process of being installed, at various stages of completion.
Part of the delay is due to public prosecutors’ fear that they will be overwhelmed with files, according to Belga News Agency, causing reluctance to sign the necessary protocols.
In addition, only two companies in Belgium are approved to certify the radars installed. “One of the two companies has seen its qualified staff resign,” said Valérie De Bue, the Walloon minister in charge of road safety. “The other company is located in the Antwerp area.”
“It is understandable that this company, overloaded with all kinds of work, does not want to travel to Arlon, 400 kilometres round trip, for one or two radar certifications,” she said, adding that “it demands to group the certifications together, hence an additional delay.”