’30 kph speed limit in entire Brussels’ region’
According to a drastic road safety plan 30 kilometer per hour should be the speed limit in the entire Brussels’ region. The only exception should be the larger through roads.
The plan by Brussels Minister for Road Safety Bianca Debaets (CD&V) and Minister for Mobility Pascal Smet (PS), joins the similar proposal by parliament member Bruno De Lille (Groen), and will be discussed in the Brussels’ government next week.
The plan carries on with an existing trend. In 2010 the Brussels city council introduced a limit of 30 kph in the so called Pentagon, the zone within the small ring road.
In the road safety plan of the Brussels government in 2014 the 19 municipalities were called to implement the ‘Zone 30’ on a larger scale. Now the ‘Zone 30’ will be the standard. “Every exception will be decided by us in consultation with the local authorities”, Debaets says.
At the end of the eighties the Austrian city of Graz was the first to implement a ‘Zone 30’ within the city limits. München shows the feasibility in large cities. In Ghent an expanded ‘Zone 30’ made the accidents with severe injuries decrease by 27 %, with a decrease of 16 % more the next year.
Enforcement is a problem
The major problem is enforcement. Debaets points out that a large number of camera’s will be installed for the low emission zone and that the money earned through fines will be invested in campaigns and extra control.
To improve the collection of fines they will be handled by an external service instead of the office of the public prosecutor.
Matter for local authorities?
Remains the problem that speed checks are the jurisdiction of local police and mayors, who are not only in line with the regional authority. Prove are the camera’s in the Leopold II-tunnel installed by the region, where the mayor of Koekelberg Philippe Pivin (MR) refuses to sign to use them.
Pivin, who’s party is in the opposition in Brussels, is not in favor of the plan of Smet and Debaets. “The local authorities should decide themselves”, he says. His colleague Bernard Clerfayt (Défi) from Schaarbeek is in favor as the major part of his municipality already is a ‘Zone 30’. But he also point out that enforcement remains a problem.