Driving in Belgium

The total length of the Belgian roads is 154,012 km. Length of the highways – 1,763 km. All roads in Belgium are paved.

Toll roads

Driving foreign vehicles on Belgian roads is free.

The fee is only charged for trips in certain sections.

Liefkenshoek tunnel

You have to pay to go through the Liefkenshoek tunnel, which is near Antwerp and runs under the Scheldt. The Liefkenshoek tunnel is 1.37 km long and part of the R2 ring road around Antwerp.

Tunnel location:  Google Maps  ,  Google Earth  .

The tariffs are divided into two categories. Unlike most European countries, when determining the category, only the height of the vehicle is taken into account – up to 3 m and more. The exact height is measured electronically.

Other criteria (number of axles, length, weight or their combination) are not used to determine the category!

Toll fee around 2021:

Liefkenshoek Tunnel toll in Belgium
VEHICLEcategoryCASHBOXCREDIT CARDSTELEPASS
 Category 1 (height <3 m)
(all day)
€ 6.004.95 €€ 3.56
 Category 2 (height ≥ 3 m)
(from 06:01 to 21:59)
€ 19.0017.60 €€ 14.16
Category 2 (height ≥ 3 m)
(from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) [  1  ]
€ 6.004.95 €€ 3.56

[1] From July 1, 2017.

The toll station has a total of 18 gates with 9 lanes in each direction (numbered from 1 to 9).

Lanes 1 to 3 apply to credit card payments (indicated by a blue arrow). These lanes can also be used by vehicles equipped with the Telepass system.

Lanes 4 to 5 are intended for cash payments (indicated by a green arrow).

Lanes 6 to 8 are intended for vehicles equipped with the Telepass system (indicated by a yellow arrow).

Payment Methods

CASHBOX

Payment is due upon entry. Euro cash and the following currencies are accepted: US dollars, Danish kroner, Swedish krona, Swiss francs and British pounds sterling. All currencies are converted into euros!

CREDIT CARDS

The following credit cards are accepted for payment:

  • Visa
  • Eurocard – Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Diners
TELEPASS (electronic payment)

Payment is made automatically when you drive through the gate.

Ecological Zones (LEZ) in Belgium

LEZ – «Low Emission Zone». This term refers to a situation where polluting vehicles are not allowed to drive in a certain city or in certain areas of that city. This is one of the measures that has been taken in many European cities to improve air quality.

From January 1, 2018, the use of the most polluting vehicles in the Brussels LEZ will be banned. This applies to passenger cars, minibuses ≤ 3.5 tons and buses that are registered both in Belgium and abroad.

So far, the ban only applies to very old cars that meet the requirements of EURO-1 and below. But every year the requirements get tougher.

To enter such a zone, you need to register using the electronic form  website   . Registration is free and valid for 3 years.

If a vehicle enters a low-emission area and has not been registered in advance, a fine of € 150 may be imposed (even if the vehicle meets the conditions for access to the low-emission area). A fine of € 25 will be imposed for inaccurate information during registration.

If the vehicle does not meet the environmental requirements, a day pass must be purchased to enter such an area. The cost of the pass is € 35 per day.

The controls are carried out on the basis of license plates with cameras. A network of 191 cameras was installed throughout the Brussels region (both on the border of the zone and within the zone).

In addition to Brussels, there is a similar ecological zone in Antwerp.

Parking in Belgium

Parking is paid for on most of the central streets in cities. After paying, you will need to put a receipt under the windshield so that it is clearly visible from the outside.

In some streets, parking may be free, but limited in time (  Blauwe zone  ). In this case, you need to put a blue cardboard clock under the windshield, on which the arrival time is set. Blue watches can be bought at gas stations, kiosks and police stations.

Be aware that there may be temporary signs on the left side of the street indicating that the street must be clear for road works. Drivers who ignore this requirement run the risk of their vehicle being towed into a nice parking lot.

Some busy roads may have a sign (  Ax Rouge  /  Ax Rode  ) which means that parking is not permitted from 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM and from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

Motorcycles can be parked on the sidewalk in the city center if there is at least five feet of free space for pedestrians.

Belgian roads map

Road traffic regulations in Belgium

Speed ​​limits

Standard speed limits in Belgium (unless otherwise stated on the signs).

Cars (up to 3.5 tons) and motorcycles:

  • built-up areas – 50 km / h
  • outside the built-up areas – 90 km / h (70 km / h) [  1  ]
  • Expressway – 120 km / h
  • Motorway – 120 km / h

Cars with trailers:

  • built-up areas – 50 km / h
  • outside the built-up areas – 90 km / h (70 km / h) [  1  ]
  • Expressway – 120 km / h
  • Motorway – 120 km / h

From 1 January 2017, the maximum speed outside the village in Flanders (administrative region in northern Belgium) is 70 km / h.

The maximum speed on the motorway is 70 km / h.

In the area covered by the “residential area” sign, the speed of vehicles must not exceed 30 km / h.

Be careful  – there are a large number of speed cameras in Flanders and as you approach Brussels.

The current speed limits for cars on the roads of European countries.

alcohol

The maximum permissible alcohol content in the bloodstream is  0.49 ‰  .

If the alcohol content in the bloodstream exceeds the permissible level, a fine will be imposed:

  • from 0.5 ‰ to 0.79 ‰ – driving is prohibited for 3 hours and a € 150 fine will be imposed on site. If you refuse to pay on site, you could be prosecuted and fined up to € 3,000.
  • over 0.8 ‰ – Driving is prohibited for at least 6 hours and a € 600 fine will be imposed on site. If you refuse to pay on site, you could face criminal prosecution and fines of up to € 12,000. Your driver’s license will be revoked for up to 5 years.

If your driving experience is less than 2 years there is no penalty and you will be automatically prosecuted.

The maximum alcohol limit for drivers in European countries.

Dimmed headlights

Dipped headlights are not required during the day. The dipped headlights should be switched on during the day when visibility is poor.

In which European countries is the use of dipped headlights mandatory during the day?

Children in cars

Children under 12 years and under 135 cm should only be transported in special seats. A child under 3 years of age cannot be transported in a car without a child seat.

Children aged 3 to 8 years can only be transported on a motorcycle in restraint systems that are suitable for their weight.

It is forbidden to transport children under 3 years of age on motorcycles. This rule also applies to children carried in a stroller.

Fine – 50 €.

Seat belts

Seat belts are mandatory for both front and rear passengers   .

Fine – 50 €.

Cellphone

It is forbidden to use a mobile phone that is not equipped with a technical device that allows negotiation without the use of hands while the vehicle is in motion.

Fine of 100 € or more.

Penalties for using mobile phones while driving in European countries.

Window tinting

The degree of light transmission of the front and front side windows must be at least 70%.

In the case of rear windows, the degree of light transmission is not regulated.

If the rear window is tinted, there must be a rear-view mirror on the opposite side from the driver’s side.

motorcycles

Motorcyclists not only have to wear a helmet, but also gloves, a long-sleeved jacket, long trousers or overalls. In addition, boots or boots must protect the ankles.

Failure to follow these rules will result in a € 50 fine.

In traffic jams, motorcyclists are allowed to move between the lanes. At the same time, the speed of their movement should not exceed 50 km / h, and the difference in speed with slowly moving or stationary vehicles should not be more than 20 km / h.

Motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles may use the lanes provided for buses, except in cases in which this is prohibited by appropriate signs.

Motorcycles with a sidecar are allowed to move with a trailer if the sidecar wheel is equipped with brakes.

Punish

Police officers in Belgium have the right to impose fines on the spot. The police officer must issue an official confirmation of the amount of the fine. The driver can refuse to pay the fine on site.

A foreign driver who refuses to pay a fine on site may be asked to leave a deposit. And if the deposit is not paid within 96 hours, the police will confiscate the vehicle until it is paid. Fines can be paid in EUR in cash (only for foreign drivers), by postal order or by credit / debit card.

Traffic violations in Belgium are divided into 4 groups:

  • I  – is punished with a fine of € 50 if paid on the spot and € 55 to € 1,375 if the case is examined in court.
  • II  – is punished with a fine of € 100 if paid on the spot and € 110 to € 1,375 if the case is examined in court. In this case, withdrawal of a driver’s license and suspension of driving is possible.
  • III  – is punished with a fine of 150 € if paid on the spot and from 165 € to 2,750 € if the case is examined in court. In this case, withdrawal of a driver’s license and suspension of driving is possible.
  • IV  – is punished with a fine of 300 € (only for foreign drivers). For residents, the case is always examined in court and punished with a fine of 220 to 2,750 euros.

Traffic fines in Belgium:

Traffic fines in Belgium
violationgroupFine (EUR) *
Go in the left lane with a free right on the two lane road in the same directionI50
Throw rubbish or other objects out of the vehicleII100
No signals if the speed drops significantlyII100
Failure to keep a distance of 50 m outside the built-up areasII100
Failure to give trams priority in movementII100
Overtaking on the rightII100
Stopping or parking on a sidewalk, crosswalk, or bike pathII100
Failure to give priority to pedestrians to move about in a pedestrian zoneIII150
Missing dipped headlights when the visibility is less than 200 mIII150
Disregarding signs of the passage is prohibited or overtaking is prohibitedIII150
Violation of the rules for driving a level crossingIV300
Stop or park at an intersectionIV300

* when paying on site.

There is no on-site fine if the perpetrator is under the age of 18 or if damage is caused to third parties.

Express fines in Belgium:

Over speeding in Belgium
About speed  
up to 10 km / h50 €50 €
over 10 km / h50 € + 10 € for each additional 1 km / h50 € + 5 € for each additional 1 km / h

Examples of calculating fines for exceeding the speed limit of 7 km / h:
In built-up areas: € 50 + (€ 7 x € 10) = € 120 
On the motorway: € 50 + (€ 7 x € 5) = € 85

If the speed is exceeded in the built-up area over 20 km / h and outside of it over 30 km / h, the driving license will be revoked.

If the speed in the built-up area exceeds 30 km / h and outside of it more than 40 km / h – a mandatory driving lock.

Fines for violating the traffic rules in Belgium  in English (853 Кб).

useful information

Fuel prices

Unleaded petrol (95 and 98) and diesel are available in Belgium. There is no such thing as leaded gasoline. There are LPG stations.

Official fuel prices are regulated by the government. The official price is the maximum allowable price for petroleum products.

Emergency numbers

  • European emergency number – 112
  • Fire – 100
  • Police – 101
  • Ambulance – 100

Mandatory to take with you in the car

  • Reflective Jacket  – Drivers who stop in areas where stopping is prohibited must wear a reflective vest when leaving their vehicle. The penalty for violations is € 50.
    However, the amount can be much higher (€ 60 – € 1,500) if the driver refuses to pay or if the driver has to go to court (e.g. in the event of an accident). A reflective vest is compulsory for vehicles registered in Belgium.
    Although the driver of a foreign vehicle will not be penalized for not wearing a vest in the event of a police check, a fine may be imposed if he does not have a vest when leaving the vehicle in the event of a breakdown
  • Warning triangle  – optional for motorcycles.

Winter equipment

Winter tires

The use of winter tires in Belgium is optional but is recommended from October 1st to April 30th in mountain areas.

Studded tires

The use of studded tires is prohibited, but in exceptional cases (in difficult weather conditions) it can be permitted from November 1st to March 31st for vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tons.

Vehicles with studded tires must have a sticker with the speed limit «60» on the back. You are subject to the following speed limits: 90 km / h on motorways and 60 km / h on normal roads.

Snow chains

Snow chains should only be used on roads covered with snow or ice.

Requirements for the use of winter and studded tires in different European countries.

Optional equipment and other rules

A first aid kit and a fire extinguisher are compulsory for vehicles registered in Belgium. This is a recommendation for vehicles that are registered in other countries.

A new road sign has been introduced to prohibit the use of cruise control on congested highways. Sometimes this sign is put up during road works on the motorway.

The navigation software is allowed to display the location of cameras at a fixed speed.

Most level crossings in Belgium are equipped with cameras. Crossing at a time when it is prohibited, i.e. red lights, can result in a fine of up to € 2,750.

The use of radar detectors is  prohibited  . In the event of a violation, a fine of € 75,000 or a prison sentence of 15 days to 3 months. The device is confiscated.