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Police to carry out nationwide operation against distracted driving

Illustration picture shows a driver writing a text message on his cell phone while driving a car (BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ)
05:51 16/05/2022

The Belgian police will carry out its first nationwide operation against distracted driving this week, Bruzz reports. For 48 hours, on Tuesday and Wednesday, checks will take place throughout the country for offences including the use of mobile phones behind the wheel. The full-scale operation comes after a successful trial in the autumn of last year.

"The statistics don't lie: up to 25% of accidents are caused by distraction behind the wheel," the federal police said in a press release over the weekend. The federal road police will be working together with 110 local police zones during the nationwide operation.

"It’s not only mobile phone use which distracts our attention," the police statement continued. "Other actions, such as applying make-up, cutting nails or looking for a lunchbox, also cause drivers to lose concentration while driving. A regrettable consequence of this is that there are still many accidents that can be avoided."

The federal police also point out that placing the mobile phone in a designated holder while driving is the only acceptable way to use the device as a GPS.

Unauthorised use of mobile equipment while driving is now a third-degree offense. This means that violators risk an immediate fine of €174, or even higher in cases where drivers are summoned to the police court.

Written by Nick Amies