“Beware: Immediate License Withdrawal for Using Mobile Phones While Driving in Hal-Vilvoorde”

2023-05-24 15:43:00

Anyone caught using their mobile phone while driving their vehicle during the national action against distracted driving risks, in the judicial district of Hal-Vilvoorde, an immediate withdrawal of license for a period of eight days. . She will also have to answer for her actions before the police court, the Hal-Vilvoorde prosecutor’s office announced on Wednesday.

“Motorists caught in the act of using their phone while driving and/or engaging in dangerous behavior on the road risk immediate withdrawal of their license for a period of eight days”, explained the spokesperson for the Hal-Vilvoorde prosecutor’s office, Carol Vercarre. “This does not only concern motorists, but also cyclists, users of scooters – electric or not – of single-wheelers, etc.

Offenders who have had their license withdrawn will also have to answer for their actions before the police courts of Halle and Vilvoorde from September. “They risk a fine of 240 to 4,000 euros and a license withdrawal from eight days to five years”, said the public prosecutor. Last year, the Hal-Vilvoorde prosecutor’s office had already carried out a similar action for two months.

“From May 1 to June 30, 2022, all the police areas of the district received authorization from the King’s prosecutor to immediately withdraw the driving license for eight days in the event of flagrante delicto of using a telephone or of any other electronic device while driving. This action has been very well received and has produced good results”, rejoiced the spokesperson for the prosecution.

If he calls, we intercept him

At the same time, these Wednesdays and Thursdays, the police are organizing their third national action of the year against distracted driving. The traffic police and local areas are in charge of these checks, in particular concerning mobile phones handled while driving. “We patrol with discreet anonymous vehicles. We observe the behavior of users. When we see behavior that is not adequate, we look at what he is doing. If he calls, we intercept him“, explique Francis Van de Kerckhoven, chef du poste de circulation de Daussoulx.

Answer the phone or simply type on its on-board screen. Be careful, these small everyday actions can be very dangerous when driving. In 2022, nearly 110,000 offenses related to mobile phones while driving were recorded in Belgium. The fine amounts to a minimum of €174. But this action is above all to raise awareness because even those that do not constitute an offense can be very expensive. “If you take your eyes off the road, that’s really where it’s most dangerous. For example, at 120 km/h, when you read even a short text message, you’ve already traveled more than 100m without seeing the road” , explains Belinda Demattia, the Walloon agency for road safety.

The rules of the road stipulate that you must be able to do all the necessary maneuvers while driving. Any distraction may therefore constitute an offence.

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