Your car tattles where you are driving too fast
Ben Weyts, Flemish Minister of Mobility (N-VA), is fighting against speeding. His administration uses data from mobile phone operators and vehicle tracking systems to see where drivers usually drive too fast. Precisely on these roads Weyts is rolling out average speed checks.
Average speed checks
In an attempt to reduce the number of road casualties, Mobility Minister Ben Weyts introduces more average speed checks, among other things. A study by NGO Transport & Mobility from Louvain and the Hasselt University shows that these speed controls are very effective.
As a result, the number of speeding offenders decreases, and the number of heavy speeding offenders even drops significantly. That’s why 49 new average speed checks are coming in the Province of Limburg alone.
In many municipalities and police zones the criticism grows because some route controls are located in places where, according to the local authorities, few accidents occur. Weyts says that the locations are based on floating car data.
“These data are collected by black boxes in cars. Coming from anonymous users, we compare the data with accident statistics. In other words, it is about places where driving is too fast and accidents do happen.’
“Of course, these data are never used to fine drivers and we do not know which number plate is behind the driver, because the data are anonymous”, says Michaël Devoldere, spokesman for Ben Weyts.
Be-Mobile is a Belgian company that supplies the data. The company does not know where the smartphone users drive, nor how fast they drive. “We collect data of 40 million vehicles in Europe”, says Steven Logghe, spokesman for Be-Mobile.
“It concerns location data of cars and trucks with a vehicle tracking system to prevent car theft. Drivers know that their data are used anonymously and resold by the manufacturer of these systems.
Based on the data, we can map out places where the average speed is far too high”, Logghe concludes. In the city of Hasselt these floating car data are also used for the dynamic parking signs and to spot the most important traffic jam areas.