Car retailer cards: banned by law but still on windscreens
While a Walloon Region decree from February bans them under the act of waste prevention, car retailer cards still find their way on windscreens. An increasing number of municipalities have started a crusade against the small plastic-covered paper cards. Offenders risk a 350-euro fine if caught in the act.
Every Belgian who owns a car has, at least once, seen one of those little cards poking out of their window seal or laying behind a windscreen wiper. Useless at most and sometimes annoying, they often find their way onto the road. Governments have decided to stop that littering by simply banning car retailer cards.
Banned by law
On February 23rd, the Walloon Region adopted a decree prohibiting the placement of printed advertising material on vehicles stopped or parked on any road open to the public. It describes it as a tool for boosting littering.
While this decree came into force four months ago, many don’t know about it. Even police forces are unaware of it. “I’ve heard about the project some time ago, but I don’t know where it’s at now,” explains a police officer.
New police regulation
“This comes in support of what has been done by the Walloon Region. There is a draft of new police regulation that includes a new provision to ban this soliciting. Administrative penalties will follow,” declared Charleroi’s Alderman of Public Cleanliness, Mahmut Dogru (PS).
In Tournai/Doornik, the fight against car retailer cards started two years ago. “I’ve adapted the municipal regulation. The administrative fine stands at 350 euro. There needs to be a preventive aspect but also a repressive one,” explains Mayor Olivier Delannois (PS).
4.000 cars in 15 days
Two weeks ago, Uccle sent its Cleanliness agents around the municipality to collect all the cards they could find. In total, they found 4.000 of them. “Legally, it’s forbidden, but the phenomenon is still present. I wonder if this technique of posing cards works,” says Public Cleanliness Alderman, Carine Gol Lescort.
The hard part in this fight against littering doesn’t stand in getting rid of said cards, but in arresting and fining the offender. Indeed, that person must be caught in the act. “It happens in waves. Citizens call us when they see people putting up cards, but we don’t always get them. Plus, those offenders are often illegal, undocumented workers,” adds the Alderman.