Speed Controls

Due to several complaints regarding speed controls carried out through a handheld radar speed gun, the IGP decided to analyse the methods used by the Police in this domain. Among the questions that complainants had, were the following:

  • When is a speed control preventive and when is it repressive?

  • Do I have the right to obtain proof of my misconduct?

  • How are control locations determined?

As laid out in title IV of the law of May 31st, 1999 about the Police and the IGP speed controls are part of the ordinary Police missions. According to the intended purpose and the system set up during such controls, they can be repressive or preventive.

In the course of conducted investigations, the IGP found out that the concept, elaborated by the General Police Direction, that aiming awareness and education concerning the road traffic specifically foresees the combination of both types of controls. Police presence and the clear visibility of control posts indicate a preventive character. If during a preventive speed control a violation of the law took place, Police agents intercept the citizen immediately to confront him with his misconduct, the aim is still to educate and inform.

Regarding the issue of transparency of the proof, declarations of Police officers count, as the current legal framework does not require presenting nor issuing proof of his misconduct. It is however common that the Police agents show the measurement displayed on the speed gun, upon request of the driver and if it is technically possible.

The locations where speed controls take place are determined according to the criteria specified in the Police concept about the supervision and control of road traffic. Among these criteria are the risks related to a certain spot such as the proximity to a bus stop or to a zebra crossing, the number of accidents or the amount of reports about dangerous behaviour at these spots. Finally, Police agents also rely on their professional experience to determine the locations for speed controls. Concerning a question of a complainant about the rightfulness of a speed control close to the end of a village, the IGP shares the same position as the Police, which emphasizes that a control must be able to take place wherever a road safety risk comes into play.

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