10.000 cars flashed speeding at road works in one week
In one week, 9.976 road users drove too fast at the level of the road works on the E17 in Kalken (East Flanders). As far as we know, this is the first time that the mobile ‘super-speed camera’ of the federal police has caught so many road users in such a short time. “This is very worrying because on the narrow lanes the slightest distraction can lead to an accident,” says the Road and Traffic Agency.
Faster than 50 km/hour
Between 21 and 28 August, just under 10.000 drivers thus got caught, according to the figures from the federal police. The super-speed camera LIDAR, a gaudy square box that is difficult to hide, caught 8.903 passenger vehicles and 1.073 trucks that drove faster than the permitted 50 km/hour.
Hundreds of them even drove far too fast. “607 drivers (6%) are allowed to expect an official report instead of the normal immediate collection due to a serious speed violation,” says Jonathan Pfund of the federal police.
Since last month, large signs along the highways have been calling for extra caution in the vicinity of road works. But despite all the campaigns, many drivers continue to forget how dangerous it can be to drive too fast past road works. Last year, three people were injured every day at the level of road works. The final balance was sad: 884 injury accidents and 16 deaths.
Also striking: in half of the accidents trucks were involved. That is why, according to Veva Daniels of the Agency for Roads and Traffic, it is so worrying that more than 1.000 trucks have been flashed on the E17. “These trucks have a greater braking distance and a higher weight so that an accident can quickly have dramatic consequences.”
The fact that Belgian drivers are unteachable was also shown in earlier research by the traffic safety institute, Vias: almost seven out of ten Belgians forget to slow down when there are road works. This makes Belgians the worst pupils in the European classroom. That is also why intensive speed control recently has been opted.
At the level of the works in Kalken, the maximum speed was 50 km/hour, while 70 km/hour is the norm for many other road works. “But we don’t do that for the sake of bullying: we have fixed guidelines and 70 km/hour would be too fast there,” says Daniels. “The lanes are very narrow, so the slightest distraction can lead to an accident, especially so close to the crash barrier. The slower you drive, the lower the toll of an accident.”