The federal traffic police are organizing the first “Weekend of attention at the wheel” on Saturday and Sunday. This national control action seeks to combat all types of distracted driving, including the use of the telephone. The police want to “highlight this worrying phenomenon, at the origin of many fatal accidents”.
According to figures cited by the federal police, between 5 and 25% of road accidents are due to distracted driving. In addition, 5% of fatal accidents are linked to the use of the telephone while driving. According to estimates, this would represent around 30 deaths and some 2,500 injuries each year.
“The objective is above all to raise awareness”, said the federal police in a press release. Concretely, actions are being carried out this weekend in all the provinces of the country, by means of regular patrols but also of unmarked vehicles. This will be the case in particular in East Flanders, where the police have already decided to use an unmarked truck to better control the behavior of truck drivers.
Main objective: awareness
“In the future, the Attention Driving Weekend should become a recurring action, like the Speed Control Marathon and the Drunk Driving Weekend”, can we read.
With this in mind, a collaboration between the federal police and the local police zones is announced from 2022 and will aim to set up twice a year a national weekend of action. Although the main objective is awareness, the traffic police also stress that offenders will indeed be fined.
“When the use of a mobile phone or smartphone while driving has been observed by the police, in principle it gives rise to a fine (immediate collection) of 116 euros”, she concludes. “If the case is brought before a police court, the offender is however liable to a fine of up to 2,000 euros, as well as a driving ban.”