Tuesday’s editions of the dailies ‘Het Laatste Nieuws’ and ‘De Morgen’ report that the police issued more than 3.3 million speeding fines last year.
More than 830,000 of these were issued for speeding offences committed by the drivers of company cars. This is around one quarter of the fines issued, while company cars make up just 15% of all cars registered in Belgium.
This relatively high percentage can in part be explained by the fact that on average company cars are used more than privately-owned cars. However, in some cases drivers of company cars believe that their employers will pay their speeding fines.
Fines to go straight to the driver
Due to a legal loophole, drivers of leased cars can be acquitted if they don’t pay traffic fines. This serves to create a state of impunity for the drivers of leased cars when it comes to speeding and other traffic offences.
The situation has come about as many fines are sent to the leasing company rather than directly to the driver.
In order to address the issue, the Federal Transport Minister Jacqueline Galant (Francophone liberal, photo) is to launch a pilot project with the leasing companies.
A new database will enable police officers issuing traffic fines to find out which company is leasing the car and who its designated driver is. As under the new system the fine will be issued to the speeding driver directly, it will no longer lose its evidential value in the eyes of the court.