Brussels wants to remind you: no spitting on the street

Brussels wants to remind you: no spitting on the street
From Liste du Bourgmestre de Jette/Lijst van de Burgemeester van Jette

In response to complaints from Brussels residents, signs went up in the Jette neighborhood reminding people that spitting on the street is an offence punishable by a €350 fine.

The signs, which say “You’re not a llama, don’t spit on the street!” in both French and Dutch, are meant to promote awareness among people who might not have realised that it’s forbidden by law.

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Spitting on public streets is actually prohibited throughout the entire Brussels-Capital Region, but in Jette specifically residents have listed this as one of the most common – and annoying – offences.

“Based on complaints from residents and the number of violations, we have put up posters in various neighborhoods in our municipality,” a spokesperson for the city’s Department of Public Cleanliness told VRT.


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Did you know? The ban on spitting on the ground does not come out of nowhere. Originally, public authorities had to formally ban spitting on the streets to eradicate diseases such as tuberculosis. With the covid-19 crisis, this ban is still relevant today. Viruses are transmitted mainly through secretions from the mouth and nose and can remain present on certain surfaces for several days.

“In certain neighborhoods, these are posters urging people to take out their garbage on time or to not participate in illegal dumping. In the vicinity of the Place Reine Astrid, most of the complaints were about people spitting on the ground. That’s why we’ve launched the llama campaign there.”

The main goal is to raise awareness. The spokesperson said that the €350 fine would only be handed out to people caught repeatedly violating the measure, and that first offences would be given warnings or smaller fines.

Other signs posted in the region include reminders about the illegality of public urination, graffiti, and tossing used cigarettes or gum onto the streets.

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times

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