Cyclists can jump red lights in Brussels

The 19 municipalities in the Brussels Region will be installing traffic signs indicating that cyclists are allowed to jump a red light, if they turn right or if they continue straight on, and of course after they checked oncoming traffic from the left or the right.

The decision to allow this exception was made by the Brussels State Secretary for Traffic Safety Bianca Debaets (Christian democrat) and Mobility Minister Pascal Smet (socialist).

You may see the odd cyclist ignoring a red light now, in empty streets or when there is no danger from other cars. However, according to the book this is only allowed when there is a special traffic sign B22 and B23.

This sign is now only to be seen in some places, but will be generalised on most crossroads. Burgomasters still have the right to refuse a sign on certain places, if they think the danger is too big.

"A test phase in Brussels has turned out positive. The system is already in force abroad, like in France or the Netherlands where it did not trigger more road accidents", argues Debaets.

The new rule should allow cyclists to gain time. Research has shown that they are stuck at the traffic lights one fifth of their journey time on average.