‘One police vehicle out of six exceeds LEZ standards’
Florent Platteeuw from the SLFP/VSOA Police union points out that 550 Brussels police vehicles and 250 Antwerp police vehicles are too old, pollute too much and exceed the two cities’ low emission zone standards. Unlike for citizens, the 350 euro (Brussels) and 150 euro (Antwerp) are ‘whitelisted’, so fines don’t apply to them.
“It’s a real disgrace”, declares Florent Platteeuw from the SLFP/VSOA Police union. The current fleet of police vehicles is getting too old and too polluting to respect the newly implemented low emission zones. In Brussels, 550 police vehicles exceed the LEZ standards and 250 in Antwerp.
Low Emission Zone
Since 2017, the city centre of Antwerp has become the first in Belgium to introduce a low emission zone. Euro 3 diesels and older have been banned from a defined area and face a 150 euro fine if they enter it. In Brussels, the Low Emission Zone has been active since 1st of January 2018 but a transition period was put up until last month. Euro 2 and older diesel cars now risk a 350 euro fine if they drive across the Region.
These fines are designed to push older and more polluting cars out of the city but don’t seem to apply to the police fleet of cars. Numerous police vans are exceeding the cities’ pollution standards but they are still in use and completely exempt from any fine.
“It’s completely unbelievable. The State forces citizens to pollute less but it doesn’t do anything with its own vehicles”, declares Platteeuw. “Old cars are costing more. No more warranty, frequent breakdowns and difficulty to find parts is what makes them costly.”
According to the union man who has alerted the Brussels Government, only the Ecolo party promised to look into it. The Federal Police justifies its aging fleet of vehicles by claiming difficult purchase policies and long delivery times.