May 28, 2023

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If you see a car with a flashing green light in Belgium, you'd better stop |  car

If you see a car with a flashing green light in Belgium, you’d better stop | car

Belgian traffic institute Vias calls them “courtesy lights” and hopes motorists will stop driving cars with such a headlight. The idea for these green flashing lights comes from Canada.

This is a pilot project that started in April. At the time, the Belgian Traffic Institute distributed green flashing lights to volunteer firefighters. Thanks to these courtesy lights, they should be known to other road users when they are on their way to the barracks for urgent intervention.

The pilot project will last eight months. During that period, the FIAS Institute, commissioned by the Belgian Ministry of Mobility and Transport, will examine whether the flashing lights have an effect on arrival times. The effect of safety among volunteers in the field of firefighting is also being studied.

Four fire zones

Initially, it concerns four regions in which the blinking lights will be introduced: the emergency region of Luxembourg, Walloon Brabant, Kempin (province of Antwerp) and the province of East Flanders. The first 4 months they roam without special lights, the last 4 months with. It is checked whether the volunteers reach the barracks more quickly, whether other road users are courteous to them and whether the volunteers feel safe when driving these lights.

Belgian volunteer firefighters – as in the Netherlands – must come to the barracks as quickly as possible when called. They do this in their own car, so that it is not obvious to other road users that they are volunteers on their way to make an emergency call. A green light can change that, but it is not safe behavior for disrespecting traffic regulations.

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Vías borrowed the idea from a number of Canadian provinces such as Quebec, where a similar system exists. The reason for this initiative is a bill by Representatives Marian Fairhart and Jasper Bellen. “It is about getting to know the volunteer on the road. This light has already been cemented in many countries and now we want to check the added value of Belgium,” the MPs said.

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