Brussels to consider confiscating cars of drivers who break the law

Brussels to consider confiscating cars of drivers who break the law
After a string of hit-and-run accidents, Brussels is considering confiscating cars from drivers who break the law. Credit: Belga

Brussels is considering confiscating the cars of drivers who repeatedly violate traffic rules, following the lead of cities like Antwerp and Mechelen, according to New Mobility.

There has been a string of accidents in Brussels involving pedestrians in recent weeks. Schaerbeek has seen several hit-and-runs, and just last weekend, a pedestrian was killed in an accident at Place Charles Rogier. Confiscating cars might be one way to prevent these accidents.

Over a one year period, Mechelen has taken four cars. The process is gradual; first drivers are told they are breaking the rules, then they get a visit from a police officer before having their cars confiscated.

In Antwerp, however, five cars have already been taken in the month and a half since the program started. Police intervene immediately when a motorist breaks the law.

“The advantage of the measure is that the sanction immediately follows the behavior,” Ricardo Nieuwkamp, a researcher at traffic safety institute Vias said.

However, Nieuwkamp cautioned that there should be other punishments for these drivers as well as confiscation to prevent overreach by the government.

“In criminal law, you already have a whole arsenal of measures in place to give an offender an appropriate punishment in the context of the facts," he said.

Sam Nelson

The Brussels Times

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