Belgium not eager yet to ban Coyote radar detector
It was Flemish Minister for Mobility Ben Weyts (N-VA) who belled the cat with his federal and two regional colleagues in the executive committee to propose a ban on radar detectors like the popular Coyote. But his French speaking colleagues have not really warmed to that plan.
Weyts was willing to compromise and suggested to leave it authorized, but to forbid the company to give the exact location of the radar trap and indicate a ‘radar zone’ of several kilometres instead, like in France, where Coyote originated.
“Fighting against radar detectors is absolutely no priority for the federal Minister of Mobility”, the spokesman of François Bellot (MR) declared afterwards. Although each region in Belgium (Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia) has its own Minister of Mobility, a ban on radar detectors would be the sole responsibility of the federal minister.
“Banning Coyote would be counterproductive. If it is banned, tomorrow people will turn to other platforms like Waze for instance. If you want to limit Coyote, you’ll have to make a rule for all similar platforms”.
“Everybody around the table has expressed his point of view, but there was no consensus”, Walloon Minister for Mobility Carlo Di Antonio (cdH) said. He himself pointed out the polyvalency of tools like Coyote that also can serve road safety. People at least tend to lift their foot of the throttle when a radar is announced. “Maybe not the right motivation, but at least they slow down”.
Expand the service
“Rather than ban it, we could work with the company to expand the service with other information than radar trap detection, like traffic works in progress or let more people know immediately when a ghost-driver is spotted for instance.” The Walloon region already has an agreement with Coyote to to relay certain information like ‘smog alerts’ among others.
According to Brussels’ Minister of Mobility Pascal Smet (sp.a) “the matter is worth questioning” and he follows Weyts to some extend. But he emphases that it’s not his responsibility as regional minister. “The minister is opposed to a total ban of systems of the Coyote type”, his spokesman Marc Debont said.
“But the French system of indicating zones where traps are located seems more appropriate to us. People will slow down for a longer distance, being afraid to be flashed. But we need to dig deeper into the practical issues of this”.