Brussels set to collect over €2 million in fines from polluting car ban
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    Brussels set to collect over €2 million in fines from polluting car ban

    Foreign drivers make up over half of offenders of Ghent's low emissions zone, since the ban on polluting vehicles was implemented at the start of the year. © Belga

    Over 7,000 fines have been issued to drivers for entering Brussels Low Emissions Zones (LEZ) with an unauthorised polluting vehicle, raking in €2.5 million in fines to the regional coffers.

    Since the LEZ was introduced in 2018, 7,379 fines have been issued, each amounting to €350, according to statements given by Regional Mobility Minister Elke Van Den Brandt to the Brussels parliament.

    Breaches to the LEZ, which regulates which vehicles can be driven inside the capital region’s territory, could see some €2.5 million flow into the regional coffers, but some fines could be challenged.

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    “The Brussels LEZ is not optimally indicated on various access roads, so some people unwittingly break the rules,” Brussels MP Bianca Debaets said, Bruzz reports.

    But out of the thousands of fines issued, only 27 appeals have been lodged with authorities by residents who said the LEZ’s restrictions were not properly indicated by road signs.

    Practical problems, such as the placement of the LEZ road signs in some parts of Brussels, also mean some motorists cannot avoid getting a fine, Debaets argued.

    “I am thinking, for example, of the Avenue de l’Arbre Ballon, between Wemmel and Jette near UZ Brussels [university hospital],” she said. “When you see the road sign, it’s too late to turn back.”

    Difference between different cities’ LEZ regulations, decentralised management of the country’s roads and the high rate of motorists from Flanders and Wallonia driving daily to or through Brussels could also explain the high number of fines.

    Debaets said that clear road signs should be placed outside of Brussels’ regional territory to make motorists aware of the regulations in the capital region.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times