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Traffic offenders could see fines deducted from their wages
People who do not pay their fines for traffic violations could soon have the money taken directly from their wages, the Belgian justice ministry has announced.
From now on, FPS Finances will receive a list of people who have failed to pay their traffic fines. If they ignore repeated reminders to pay the fine, the money could instead be paid directly by their employer into the public treasury.
The unpaid amount could also be claimed through the direct seizure of offenders’ bank accounts or even confiscation of their vehicle during a roadside stop, the justice ministry said.
As of March 2020, people who have not paid their fine despite multiple written reminders receive a payment order from the public prosecutor. Payment orders serve as the final reminder of the fine’s payment, and are increased by 35% up from the initial amount.
If the offender still refuses to pay the amount claimed from them, the payment order will be declared enforceable by the public prosecutor and then sent to FPS Finances for forced recovery.
About one million orders have been issued since their introduction, including 537,009 in 2022 alone. Last year, 94% of traffic offenders paid their fines without needing a reminder. Just 1.34% of offenders have appealed following receipt of their payment order.
For Belgian offenders who receive a payment order, the amount can be claimed by means of a seizure of wages, seizure through a bailiff, seizure on bank account and impoundment of the offender’s car during a joint inspection carried out by the FPS Finances and the police. For offenders from elsewhere in the European Union, the fine will instead be transferred to the member state.
Offenders who do not agree with the violation may lodge an appeal with the police court against the payment order and appear before a judge.