Company cars: identity of traffic offenders to be ascertained
Vincent Van Quickenborne, the new Belgian Minister of Justice, wants to tackle unpaid traffic fines by company cars. All in all, 500 000 files are slipping through the fingers of Belgian justice.
The Minister now wants to strengthen the system for combating road traffic offenses through a system for computerizing data relating to drivers who have behaved in an uncivil manner.
Thanks to this system, called Crossborder, Belgian justice knows that in 2019 almost 93% of people paid their fines. According to the newspaper La Libre Belgique, Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne wants to extend the Crossborder system even further.
“Although 93% of the fines have been paid, there are still 7% to be paid and uncivilized drivers to be challenged. These offenses left unprosecuted reinforce the feeling of impunity among some motorists. I want to tackle this, especially concerning repeat offenders.”
According to Van Quickenborne, among the repeat offenders in the sights are drivers whose identity is not known for the simple reason that they drive company cars. He now wants to end impunity for them by applying article 67 b of the law on road traffic police.
The identity of the driver must be communicated
This article says that when an offense is committed with a vehicle registered in the name of a legal person (a company) and the driver has not been identified at the time of the offense, this legal person of the natural person representing, is obliged to communicate the identity of the driver who is indisputable at the time of the offense.
This obligation is not always respected since 500 000 infringement files remain today without a named driver. “In the past, it was the company that paid for a driver who did not respect the Highway Code,” says Vincent Van Quickenborne. “If the fine is actually paid, we don’t know the identity of the driver who can continue to drive without respecting the rules.”
“But that’s all over now because, via the Crossborder, we’re going to make sure that the identity is communicated automatically. If a company refuses to cooperate, it will be prosecuted”, explains the minister.
Fully digital management
With Crossborder, the government is aiming for fully digital and efficient management of traffic fines. Crossborder, a collaboration between FPS Justice, FPS Finance, FPS Mobility, FPS BOSA, the regions, and the integrated police, wants to tackle impunity by making it easier for European countries to exchange identity data and to follow up the execution of financial penalties more closely.
Thanks to better data exchange with the EU Member States, the control of foreign traffic offenders, and the payment of their fines have also been strengthened.