Police judge: "Lower traffic fines, few people are paying them anyway"

It is no use increasing traffic fines time and again. On the contrary: it's better to lower them. That's the message sent out by the Limburg police judges Paul Geukens and Theo Wilsens. In Het Belang van Limburg, there are suggesting to lower traffic fines, which could then be collected more successfully. "Now, we are seeing that many people are not paying them in the end."

Traffic offenders get a normal ticket first, in their letter box. But when you are not footing the bill, you may end up in court. 

The police judges argue that the fines imposed in court are much higher, totalling hundreds or thousands of euros. "Many of these offenders are out of work, are facing debts or have to subsist on a living wage, and they are not paying anyway. If we increase fines, only those who are paying will suffer." 

They say it's better to lower the fines, which would result in more offenders actually paying. "Do it consequently, and do it fast. Then it will have an impact. If offenders are only convicted months later, it has no impact."

In a reaction, Justice Minister Koen Geens says that 90 percent of the people immediately pay their fines, avoiding a court case.