As more and more speed cameras become operational across the country, Belgian police expect to double the number of speeding fines issued and predict a total of around 5 million per year.
Almost 2.2 million fines were issued in 2020 by the processing centres of the Federal Police in Antwerp, Ghent, Namur and Brussels, according to De Standaard. These centres handle the tickets issued automatically by speed cameras or section controls.
In anticipation of the fines brought in by the new cameras and controls, 35 staff members are being added to the processing centres.
“With these extra recruits, we estimate we will be able to reach a maximum of 5 million fines, which means an increase of 127% compared to 2020,” Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) told N-VA MP Wouter Raskin.
In recent years, 238 speed cameras have been placed at 135 locations in Flanders, according to Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open VLD). Although many weren’t operational at first, the federal police are now turning them on one by one.
A battle to bring down road fatalities
The crackdown on speeding is part of a broader plan to lower traffic-related deaths across the country, spearheaded by Belgium’s Minister of Justice Vincent van Quickenborne (Open VLD).
In addition to the extra cameras, the plan will abolish the wide tolerance margin that meant a ticket would only be issued when a driver went substantially over the limit, rather than as soon as they passed it.
The tolerance margin was only really implemented in order to keep the amount of paperwork for traffic courts down. But the addition of processing staff should make it possible to handle the influx of tickets that will come with its removal.