25% of young Belgian drivers received traffic fines in the past year
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    25% of young Belgian drivers received traffic fines in the past year

    Drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 are fined twice as much for illegal parking than those between the ages of 25 and 30. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    More than 1 in 4 young drivers (27%) in Belgium between the ages of 18 and 30 received a traffic fine in the past year, the traffic safety institute Vias reports.

    Among these young drivers, 37% were fined in Brussels, 34% in Wallonia and 21% in Flanders.

    In most cases, 61% of drivers were fined due to speeding offences, 32% due to illegal parking and 10% due to the use of a mobile phone whilst driving.

    Drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 (41%) were fined twice as much for illegal parking than those between the ages of 25 and 30 (22%). This is the same for the use of a mobile phone behind the wheel.

    Less than 1 in 3 young people (32%) reported that they read or sent a text message or email while driving in the past month. Almost 1 in 5 young drivers (18%) also made a phone call whilst behind the wheel.

    In Flanders, 35% of young drivers are more likely to send a text message than 29% of the Walloon and 24% of young people in Brussels.

    1 in 10 young drivers also reported driving under the influence of alcohol. This is almost twice as common in Wallonia (15%) as in Flanders (8%) and Brussels (5%).

    However, driving under the influence of drugs was reported at a higher rate in Brussels (7%) compared to 4% in Flanders and 2% in Wallonia.

    “The driver training reform can certainly help to improve the road safety of young drivers in the coming years, but we ask that additional efforts be made to further increase the chance of getting caught for drugs and alcohol to increase,” said Karin Genoe, CEO of the Vias institute. “We also hope that the new government will finally introduce zero tolerance for starting drivers.”

    Sheila Uría Veliz
    The Brussels Times