Dutch escape speeding fines

The Belgian authorities are experiencing difficulties collecting speeding fines from Dutch drivers. Until recently police forces close to the Dutch border were able to request information about Dutch number plates directly from the Dutch authorities, but this co-operation has now been ended.

The Dutch authorities are now only providing information to the Belgian Vehicle Licensing Authority DIV, but at the Belgian end the contact point is not yet up and running.

In this way Dutch drivers caught speeding only have to pay their fine if it is collected on the spot. The situation is leading to great frustration among Belgian police in border areas.

"Six months after the changes the Vehicle Licensing Authority's contact service is not operational. As a result I have to stop Dutch drivers and collect fines on the spot. Otherwise we will never see our money" says Rudy Verbeeck, the head of Kalmthout and Essen police.

Belgian federal police that are responsible for patrolling the motorways confirm that since 1 January thousands of police reports have ended up in the dustbin. Parking firms too are unable to get hold of any data from the Netherlands either and are failing to collect parking fines.

The Vehicle Licensing Authority insists that it's working on the matter, but the Belgian Transport Ministry concedes it could take several months before the issues are sorted.