21 new locations for average speed checks in Flanders
Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), announces 21 new average speed checks along regional roads in Flanders. The average speed checks, representing an investment of 3 million euros for about 55 km of regional roads, are being ordered now and will be installed by autumn 2020.
In addition to the cameras of local authorities, there are now a total of 65 locations in Flanders where an average speed check has been installed.
Minister Peeters also wants to continue answering the many questions from local authorities regarding the enforcement of speed limits. The Minister will, therefore, work out an application procedure together with the Agency for Roads and Traffic (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV).
In this procedure, municipalities and cities can put forward locations they have selected for red lights, speed cameras, and average speed checks on regional roads. There was also close consultation with the cities and municipalities before the new average speed checks were planned.
Critical points first
“The involvement of local authorities is crucial when determining the location of an average speed check. They know traffic situations on their territory through and through,” says the Minister. Her predecessor, Ben Weyts (N-VA), was criticized during his term of office because the local authorities had too little say.
The province of Limburg will have the controls at seven new locations, West and East Flanders at six, and Antwerp at two. “The exact location of an average speed check will be determined on the basis of the most recent accident data and the driven speeds. In this way, road sections where excessive speed is a problem are tackled first,” says Peeters.
Up to some 150 checkpoints
The Flemish regional roads and highways already have 65 locations where average speed checks are active, together accounting for 160 kilometers of checks. “The installation is currently in progress at 63 other locations,” says spokesperson Veva Daniels of the Agency for Roads and Traffic in Het Nieuwsblad.
“This can range from the first pole that has just been installed, to places where everything seems to be in order but needs to have a final check,” she adds.
According to traffic institute, Vias, those checks for longer distances are more efficient than speed cameras to make people respect the speed over a longer distance. “That’s where drivers slow down for a while and then accelerate again.”
The most recent figures reported by Vias show that these checks also provide a higher level of road safety than speed cameras. Fixed speed cameras reduce the total number of injury accidents by 20%, while average speed checks show a decrease of 30%. The number of serious accidents even drops by 56%.
“We are sticking to vision zero: zero traffic deaths by 2050, says Minister Peeters. “Traffic enforcement and control play an essential role in preventing accidents. The more than 3 million identified traffic violations per year show that enforcement remains necessary.
Communication and raising awareness remain crucial but are not always convincing enough for stubborn offenders. Average speed checks need to get those speeding offenders on the right track.”
Minister Peeters also states that the traffic fines from average speed checks on regional roads are returned to the Flemish Road Safety Fund. “These funds will be used to finance initiatives that increase road safety.”