Belgium Government Scraps French-Style License with Points Project: What’s Next for Road Safety?

2023-06-02 09:10:00

The idea has been around for many years now. And it seemed to be able to materialize before the next elections, the file being included in the government agreement at the start of the legislature. But the points permit project as carried by ministers Georges Gilkinet (Mobility, Ecolo), Annelies Verlinden (Interior, CD&V) and Vincent Van Quickenborne (Justice, Open VLD) is on track to end up in the trash.

According to our sources, the project, which is yet to be discussed at the kern this Friday morning, is “dead and buried.” Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne also left little doubt on the issue this Friday morning. On the airwaves of Bel-Rtl, he indicated that he was “not at all convinced of the relevance of the points license, in particular of its too automatic nature.” A French-style license with points would notably have the consequence of driving thousands of additional motorists – there are already 100,000 in Belgium – on our roads. “The license with points is not the solution, indicates the minister. We must fight harder against traffic crime. And Belgium is not a good student in this area. But withdrawing his license from someone who commits 4 small offenses is not okay. Certainly it is necessary to sanction but not by an automatic withdrawal.

Within the Vivaldi, two of the seven parties would be opposed to it: the PS and the MR. “We don’t want the license with points, comments the firm of Dermagne. Not out of indulgence towards the speeders of the road who must be punished, but because we cannot put everyone in the same basket.

Clearly: a license with points would amount to judging in the same way a motorist who voluntarily makes other road users take risks, and another who commits an offense inadvertently. An example ? A motorist who voluntarily burns a Stop sign would have the same penalty as a person who slows down at the stop sign but “slips” it and restarts before coming to a complete stop if there are no other users on the road. “For faults sometimes not very serious, we would confiscate the license of a motorist, we are told at the firm Dermagne. Without distinguishing between a person who uses his vehicle to work as a home nurse and another who can do without. For some, being deprived of a license is also a kind of social death. We think in particular of people who live in remote areas. The PS cannot accept this.”

PS and MR will therefore not validate the Gilkinet text. A “definitive” blockage, we are told.

The points license is not an end in the evening, reacts Minister Gilkinet

Faced with the deadlock that could deal a fatal blow to the points permit project, the Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, indicates that “the Points Permit has never been an end in itself. It is one of the means that we could implement, as in practically all European countries, to better protect Belgians, who are too often victims of the road. There is a text on the table, balanced and targeted but which effectively requires an agreement from the whole of the Government If we don’t get it, we have other avenues to complement the measures we have already taken to improve our road safety by combating the recurrence of dangerous behavior. towards the too many families who have lost loved ones in road accidents. And I will stick to it!”

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