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Belgian drivers rate poorly in new European study on road behaviour
More than eight out of 10 Belgian drivers admit to intentionally breaking traffic rules, making Belgium the worst of the 11 European countries in a new study released by the Vinci Highways Foundation, the Vias Institute revealed on Wednesday. One-sixth of the drivers surveyed also said they "are no longer the same person" when they are driving.
Every year, the Vinci Highways Foundation conducts the survey in which drivers from several European countries are asked about their behaviour behind the wheel.
The results of the latest survey show that more than six out of 10 Belgians ignore stop signs or forget to slow down in a restricted area, which is significantly more than the European average.
"60% of them justify this non-compliance by the fact that these rules are not consistent,” according to the statement from Vias, the Belgian road safety think tank. “30% of drivers even think that certain rules are only there to generate fines."
Conversely, when they follow the rules, Belgians do not necessarily do so to protect themselves or others, but rather to avoid penalties. "Nowhere else but in Belgium is money such a source of motivation to comply with the road code," Vias noted.
The Belgians are also the most impatient in Europe. Every second Belgian canvassed admitted to ignoring the right of way in favour of their own route, mainly due to a lack of patience.
"Belgian drivers too often interpret these rules in their own way,” added Vias. “For one in five drivers, the main reason for complying with the traffic code seems to be financial. To improve road safety in our country, we need to look for other intrinsic motivators and inform users about the possible consequences of improper driving behaviour. We don't own the road, we share it."