Smart cameras to be used to catch HGV drivers that overtake when it’s raining

Soon smart cameras will be used to catch lorry drivers that overtake while it’s raining. The installation of the cameras had been promised for some time and now the Highways and Traffic Agency says that they should be up and running from later this year.    

It has been illegal for lorries to overtake on the motorway while it is raining since 2004. However, those of us that drive when it is raining will know that the rule is not always respected by truckers. A survey carried out by the motoring association Touring a few years ago found that one in three HGV drivers flouts the ban.

In 2015 the Flemish Transport Department said that it intended to use the intelligent cameras that are installed above the region’s motorways to catch speeding motorists to also catch HGV drivers that don’t respect the overtaking ban. However, this would require modifications to the intelligent cameras. Early last year, the then Flemish Transport Minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) insisted that the necessary work would be done. Then it all went quiet.

Veva Daniëls of the Highways and Traffic Agency told VRT News that "We have taken the opportunity while purchasing the rain sensors to also renew the camera apparatus. We have put a number of things into one order. Drafting such a tender takes time. However, the first cameras will be ordered this year and the roll out can start”.

For a long time there was a lack of clarity about what exactly would be defined as rain. However, this has now been cleared up. “From the first drop we will say that it is rain. When using the cameras the police will employ a margin of tolerance as they do with speeding. If for example a pigeon poops on the camera the sensor could think that it is raining. This is why a margin of tolerance will be used”, Ms Daniëls explained.

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