Record number of speeding fines in 2022
6.2 million speeding fines were issued in Belgium last year. Never before were so many fines issued to motorists that had driven (slightly) over the speed limit. The daily ‘De Standaard reports that the police and the judicial authorities have taken various measures to increase the chance of motorists being caught if they exceed the speed limit.
Belgium is not doing well when it comes to road traffic deaths and many fatalities on our roads are caused by excessive speed. By increasing the chance of a motorist being caught (and fined) if they exceed the speed limit it is hoped that number of fatalities on Belgium’s roads will fall.
With the rollout of SPECS (Speed Check Services) speed camera systems on the motorway network, a tightening of tolerance margins, additional staff to process speeding fines and a the setting up of Public Prosecutor's Office for Road Safety with 45 staff, the government has made extra efforts to tackle the issue of excessive speed on our roads.
Last year the number of road traffic deaths in Belgium rose 8%. Fatal accidents are often the result of excessive speed. Edward Landtsheere of the Federal Justice Department says that "We know that the number of deaths on our roads is increasing year after year. That is why we have taken a number of measures together with the judicial authorities and the police to increase the chance of speeding motorists being caught."
This has resulted in a record number of speeding fines (6.2 million) being issued last year. This is 27% on the 4.9 million speeding fines that were issued in 2021. 94% of the fines issued were paid on the spot. If drivers are unable or refuse to pay the fine straight away they are issued with an out of court settlement notice from the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Here the level of the fine payable is 33% higher than an on-the-spot fine. In 2022 480,848 speeding fines were settled in this way.
More SPECS camera systems
During the past year more and more sections of motorways and trunk roads have become covered by SPECS speed camera systems. This is reflected in the figures. In 2021 427,689 speeds fines were issues to motorists after they had been found to have been speeding by a SPECS camera system. Last year this number rose to 1,475,584.
Last year the so-called “tolerance margin” whereby motorists that were driving at only slightly over the speed limit were not fined, was also scrapped. Currently only a so-called “technical” margin of error of 6 km/h for speeds of under 100 km/h and 7.5% for speeds above 100km/h is used.
This means that anyone travelled at a recorded speed of more than 129 km/h on a motorway, 56km in an urban area or 76km/h on a trunk road outside an urban area is issued with a speeding fine.