"Nobody pays smoking fines on the trains"

It's emerged that few people caught smoking on a train ever pay their fine.

A smoking ban was introduced on all Belgian rail services in 2004. Smoking on platforms and in stations was already banned as these are public spaces.

In 2012 train conductors registered 358 infringements. 260 fines - some 70% of the total - were never paid. Figures for the Liège area are the worst. Here 87.5% of fines are never paid, but in Brussels and Hainaut Province the figures are little better.

The size of the penalty fines has hardly risen since 2004. If you are caught smoking on a train, you can pay a 12.5 euro on-the-sport-fine. Payment within a fortnight sets you back 50 euros, while if you wait too long, the fine rises to 190 euros. There are now calls from lawmakers to ensure that all fines are paid.