Parliament approves proposals avoiding disqualification of cyclists’ right to drive
Friday, 07 July 2017
On Thursday, the Federal Parliament unanimously approved a bill, which would relax the rules on the Highway Code regarding driving under the influence. It aims to avoid categories such as cyclists or those using wheelchairs, roller skates or scooters losing their driving licence, if they are checked and found to be in this state.
Per the highway code, anyone driving a vehicle or a conveyance with a frame (such as a cycle or scooter), “whilst being found drunk or in a similar state, resulting from the use of drugs or medicines, is punished with a fine of 200 to 2,000 euros, and disqualification from driving a motor vehicle, generally for a period of between one month to five years at the most, or in some cases in indefinitely.”
The provision makes no distinction between vehicles which do or do not require a licence. A cyclist, the driver of a non-motorised wheelchair or a scooter is thus punished just the same as a normal driver would be. They can incur disqualification from driving, and have to successfully pass medical and psychological tests to be eligible for a driving licence again.
Sabien Lahaye-Batteu’s (Open Vld) proposal aims to soften the extent of the law. The removal of a driving licence will not now be effected when an offence was committed using a vehicle for which a driving licence is not required.