Fare-dodging kids to be fined, parents to pay

The Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts has unveiled plans to fine all children who fare doge on Flemish buses and trams.

At present a police report is drawn up when children are found to be travelling without a valid ticket, but in the rule these are later subpoenaed.  Mr Weyts wants to clamp down hard on the young travelling public that doesn't bother or can't afford to buy a ticket.  He plans fines of 53 euros for children aged 6 to 12.  Children aged 12 to 14 would risk 300 euros fines, if these draconian measures are implemented.

"We put our proposals to the children's rights commissioner and the fines are varied depending on the age, but the top fine only kicks in for repeat offenders" says Ben Weyts.

The mobility minister motivates the measure as a move towards a more just society: "It's wrong to send children the signal that they won't be punished for fare dodging.  It's not fair towards the people who are paying their fare.  Inspectors will still be able to cancel fines."

As minors are the subject of fines, their parents will be obliged to pay.