Do cars sometimes speed dangerously on your street or neighborhood? Then you probably already have the idea of doing something about it yourself. By personally putting up a traffic light, for example. But is this allowed? If not, how severe are the penalties?
Our northern neighbors like to take matters into their own hands. This was also evident last summer when signs in a Utrecht neighborhood read: “Be careful, children are playing!” and “15 is enough!” She appeared in a street scene. It was put in place with the best of intentions, if we are to believe Dutch newspaper AD, because residents were fed up with too much speed. Apparently the signs really helped, until Utrecht law enforcement officers intervened. Two residents were fined €150, plus an additional €9 in administrative costs.
What about our country?
We asked Werner De Dobbelaer, spokesman for the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Engineering: “The short answer? Not allowed according to traffic regulations. This explicitly states that – normally – only legally authorized authorities may install traffic lights on public roads. Read: Only municipalities are allowed and regions by installing traffic signals, traffic signals and road markings, unless, for example, in the case of road works.
What if I did it anyway, as a citizen? What penalty do you risk? “Well, this answer is surprising,” continues Werner de Dubilier. “This is a less serious first degree crime. You will either receive a fine of €58 gas, or be charged the same amount on the spot.
The stickers you often see on traffic lights shouldn’t stick to them either.
“There is an additional 8 euros in administrative costs,” traffic expert Eric Kaelen points out. Don’t you pay? You can then obtain an amicable settlement from the Attorney General’s Office. Are you not ok with that either and are ignoring the payment order? Then you may eventually be taken to court. In this case, the judge can impose a fine ranging from 80 to 2,000 euros. “In addition, the court can impose other penalties,” Eric Kaelen adds.
Why is this not allowed?
In other words: the law does not allow citizens to take the law into their own hands. Furthermore, such self-placed signs or other signals can be confusing to road users and even cause accidents. For example, if you change the priority tags yourself. For this reason, you may not place advertising signs on public roads that (partially) represent or imitate traffic signals. This can also lead to confusion.
And the stickers you often see on traffic lights shouldn’t actually stick to them. It is also not permissible to appear or make any statements that are not related to their purpose.
Did the matter end up in court? Not that now either. “I regularly read judgments,” says Eric Kaelen. “I’m not aware of any judge who would have convicted someone over a self-imposed traffic light.”
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.
“Total coffee specialist. Hardcore reader. Incurable music scholar. Web guru. Freelance troublemaker. Problem solver. Travel trailblazer.”