Radars-sections managed by the private sector: fears of commercial drift in Flanders

Flemish Minister of Home Administration Bart Somers on Friday annulled a decision by the municipality of Bonheiden (province of Antwerp) to collaborate with a private company for the management of a section radar, due to certain clauses aimed at to maximize profits. Since February 1, 2021, the municipalities of Flanders can, under certain conditions, impose municipal administrative penalties (SAC) for minor traffic violations, and collect the proceeds.

To avoid costly investments, some team up with private firms, awarding them installation, management and maintenance against a share of the revenue from traffic fines.

The TaaS (Trajectcontrole-as-a-Service) consortium has thus concluded agreements with several municipalities, including Bonheiden, and is negotiating with others. In passing, he seeks to impose contractual conditions on the Municipalities to avoid too much roadwork or speed bumps.

For Minister Somers, these conditions are not acceptable because they reduce municipal autonomy. Regarding Bonheiden, “the decision is illegal and the terms of the contract are contrary to the public interest,” he ruled.

‚ÄúCollaboration with private partners must remain possible, but a local authority must be able to decide at any time to carry out road works. Local authorities must be able to decide independently to install speed bumps. profit risk endangering road safety “, explained the Flemish liberal.

The minister will send a communication to all the municipalities in Flanders, including those already engaged with TaaS, such as Bilzen (Limburg) and Glabbeek (Flemish Brabant).

The mayor of Bonheiden, Lode Van Looy (BR30), for his part clarified that the contract with TaaS was not yet finalized, and that he would examine the minister’s decision to adjust this contract.

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