Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Belgium, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Belgium’s road network is generally well built and maintained, but you may occasionally encounter potholes, even on principal roads. Sufficient lighting exists on major highways, but on rural roads it is often insufficient or nonexistent. Belgian rules for right-of-way differ from those in the United States, and new drivers should thoroughly understand these rules before driving in Belgium. For instance, traffic coming from the right generally has priority at uncontrolled intersections, even if coming from a smaller street. The maximum speed limit on Belgian highways is 120 kilometers (72 miles) per hour, but is not always posted. The maximum speed in urban areas is normally 50 km (30 miles) per hour, but in central Brussels it is 30 km (19 miles) per hour. While Belgian authorities strictly enforce speed limits, many Belgians still drive significantly faster than the posted limit. Claiming ignorance of the speed limit may not prevent you from getting a significant fine for speeding, and your vehicle may be impounded if you can’t pay the fine on the spot. Belgian police also conduct breath analysis checks for alcohol use, particularly at night and during major holidays. The legal limit for operating a motor vehicle is .05 percent blood alcohol content.
Roadside assistance and information on road conditions are available in English from Touring Mobilis, telephone 02 286-3040. Belgian police will also provide information on road conditions, telephone 02-642-6666. Emergency services are efficient and responsive. For police emergencies, dial 101 by phone within Belgium. For all other emergencies, dial 112.
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