Smog Alarm: 90km/h speed limit on motorways also applies to electrically powered vehicles

For the first time in almost 8 years the Inter-Federal Environment Cell has declared a smog alarm that is applicable throughout Belgium. From 6am on Friday until at least midnight on Saturday a 90km/h speed limit is in force on many motorways. The speed limit is also applicable to electrically powered vehicles. 

Several days ago, high levels of particulate matter were detected at numerous locations in Belgium’s three regions. The accumulation of pollution in the air has come about due to the period of stable weather conditions (little or no rain or wind) during the past week or so. This has meant that there has been little movement in the lower layers of the atmosphere this in turn means that pollution diluted less effectively.

A decision on whether the smog alarm will be extended beyond midnight on Saturday will be announced tomorrow.

The map below shows which motorways and ring roads in Flanders are subject to the 90 km/h speed limit (in red). Road signs will make drivers aware of the reduced speed limit.

The speed limit on these sections of motorway and ring road has been reduced as they are in (relatively) densely populated areas.

The last smog alarm was in 2014. Between 2007 and 2014 a smog alarm with speed restrictions was declared on 9 occasions. Frans Fierens of the Inter-Federal Environment Cell told VRT News that the fact that the last smog alarm was 8 years ago shows that air quality levels have improved in recent years.

Meanwhile, the Flemish Environment Agency has called on people that use wood burned to use alternative forms of heating while the smog alarm is in force.


In Brussels a 30 km/h speed limit on all but a few dozen major roads was in force anyway. On major roads, where a 70, 90 or 120km/h speed limit was in force, the speed limit has been reduced to 50 km/h. Police in the capital will be carrying on more cheeks on motorists’ speed to ensure that the reduced speed limit is upheld. Public transport (MIVB) and the bike share network Villo! Will be free of charge today and tomorrow. The use of wood burners is also banned unless they are the only heat source in a person’s home. The heating in public buildings will be turned down to 20°C. 


In Wallonia a 90km/h speed limit is in force on the following motorways.

·        E42 Liège – Namur – Charleroi

·        E42 in urban centres

·        Charleroi Ring Road (R3)

·        E19 Nivelles – Brussels

·        E411 Rosières to Brussels

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