Belgium: Federal police plans to introduce crackdown against distracted driving

Belgium Federal police officials are going to introduce a crackdown against distracted driving from 18 to 19 May.

The incidents related to distracted driving in Belgium have been reported as about 25 percent of road accidents on every year.

The partnership between the Federal police and the 110 police zones will carry out increased checks targeting the usage of mobile phones while driving and other forms of distracted driving.

According to a recent survey by the Walloon Agency for Road Safety (AWSR) shared the information that disturbing statistics on the habits of road users in Belgium.

25 percent of Walloons occasionally sent texts or emails while driving, with almost half of young men admitting to doing so.

Along with this, even at low speeds (50kmph), taking your eyes off the road for even one second means travelling 14 metres blind. This increases to 33 metres at high speeds (120kmph).

Meanwhile, Federal Police assert that mobile phone use is not the only major source of distraction while driving. Police have witnessed Belgians put on make-up at the wheel, cut their nails, or attempt to find items in the car, such as food, leading drivers not to pay attention to the road.

According to studies, between 5-25% of all road accidents are caused by distracted driving. Some solutions, such as hands-free car sets, improve driver concentration.

However, they can still cause distraction. Mobile phones alone cause around 50 deaths and 4,500 injuries on Belgian roads each year.

Furthermore, Belgian police have become increasingly strict about the use of mobile phones while driving. In March, the police increased the penalties for their use, with fines rising from €116 to €174.

Last year, changes to the highway code have ensured a legal obligation to use hands-free kits for phones. If you use your cellphone as a GPS without a holder, you may be pulled over by the police.

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