Flemish Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), has announced the arrival of 43 new average speed checks along the regional roads in Flanders. Local authorities submitted a request for them. “They are best qualified to judge local traffic situations,” explains Minister Peeters.
Flanders already has 251 average speeds checks, bringing the total number to 294. The new installations are mainly planned for East and West Flanders and Limburg.
The minister plans to install additionally eight new red-light cameras, and six new speed control cameras along the Flemish regional roads to tackle ‘black spots’. The installation will start this year and needs to be finalized by 2030 at the latest. The project represents a 6,7-million-euros investment.
Average speed checks are considered to be more effective than speed control cameras because the former doesn’t provide a ‘snapshot’ but actually checks the average speed of a driver over a longer distance.
“Average speed checks have proven to be successful,” says Minister Peeters. Research has indicated that the number of speeding incidents decreases by 78%, and the number of accidents by between 15 and 30%. The number of accidents in which seriously wounded people are involved even is more than halved.”
ANPR Management System
The installation of average speed checks initially suffered from growing pains. The problem was that most of them were not operational due to some long-lasting problems with the data processing.
The federal government preferred one common national system to centralize all national data: the so-called ANPR Management System (a license plate recognition system), but several technical problems caused a delay. In the meantime, the federal police have activated the system. Now, the regional data processing centers can automatically process traffic infringements and transform them into offenses.
Minister of Justice, Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open Vld), recently announced that all average speed checks on Belgian highways will be permanently operational before the summer. Drivers exceeding a speed of 129 km/hour will be fined automatically.
Last year, 484 people were killed on Belgian roads. In 2019, before the corona pandemic broke out, 644 people died in traffic.