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Speed ​​limits: can no sign mean no fine? 

A speeding radar was installed in 2018 in Boulevard Leopold III in Brussels. Credit: IRK WAEM/BELGA

The legality of some speeding fines has come into question following an incident in Brussels in early January. 

Despite reports of around 100 motorists being caught speeding on 9 January in Schaerbeek, it turns out that they will probably not have to pay their ticket or will be able to ask for a refund if they have already paid it. This was reported by RTBF.

The reason? The lack of signs indicating the entrance to the 30 km/h zone. 

“Situations like this do occur sometimes, but it’s clear that if it’s not indicated correctly, and people are not aware, it makes sense that they don’t receive a fine,” a spokesperson from Vias (Belgian Institute for Road Safety) told The Brussels Times. 

Currently, drivers coming from Reyers Boulevard only have a sign on the ground indicating that Colonel-Bourg Street is in zone 30. Legally speaking, this is not enough, as signs on the ground are considered to be only a visual reminder for motorists.

“The Brussels government is working towards 30 km/h across Brussels. That’s a very good measure for road safety, for livability, but it needs to be done correctly,” added the spokesperson.

“Infrastructure has to be developed so that all the people who enter a 30 km/h zone clearly know it is 30 km/h. We understand that big changes are hard, especially on the current timeframe, but it should be possible to make it very clear to everybody when you enter a 30 km/h. Creating entry gates, narrowing the road when entering into a 30 zone could be a way to do this,”  he added. 

The municipality of Schaerbeek has acknowledged the oversight and promises to install the missing sign soon after verification.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times