Fines for failing to use zipper method as from 1 March

Merging motorists that fail to use the zipper method, risk fines as from 1 March. The Royal Decree that obliges motorists to do so, will come into force in two weeks' time. Those flouting the rules risk fines of up to 55 euros.

The measure is intended to reduce traffic jams. For the moment, drivers sometimes merge too early when the number of lanes is being reduced. This means that one lane is nog being used at its full length, and that the jam caused by the bottleneck, is longer than it should be. The new Royal Decree obliges drivers to merge as late as possible. They also have to do this using the zipper method, meaning one car from the left lane, followed by a car from the right lane, etc.

When there is no traffic jam as a result of the bottleneck and speed is not reduced, drivers can merge earlier.

Under the same Royal Decree, a larger number of vehicles will be allowed to use the hard shoulder, like towing vehicles, undertakers, experts or magistrates. This is on the condition that they use their orange-yellow blinking lights, and that they were called by police.