For complete rules and regulations, you can obtain a learner’s handbook called Driving in Belgium from A to Z at http://www.newtrafficbooks.be. Here is an outline of the most important rules:
- In Belgium you drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left.
- The legal driving age is 18, though a provisional license may be attained at 17.
- All vehicles must be registered with the Direction Immatriculation de Vehicules(DIV) and have a valid vehicle permit.
- It is mandatory that all vehicles carry at least third-party insurance.
- Seat belts are mandatory for all passengers where seat belts are attached.
- Vehicles coming from the right usually have the right of way, and at crossings marked with an ‘x’, the right of way must always be yielded to vehicles from the right. The exception is on highways, roundabouts and crossings marked with an orange diamond within a white background.
- Trams must always be given preference.
- Headlights are mandatory in all tunnels.
- Children under three may not travel in the front seat unless harnessed appropriately.
- Drivers must always carry a valid driver’s license, either Belgian, European or international (accompanied by a valid license from owners’ country), vehicle registration, proof of insurance, acceptable identification ( ID card or passport) and proof of payment of road tax.
- A fire extinguisher, warning triangle, and luminous vest must also be carried for safety purposes and a first-aid kit is recommended.
When parking in Brussels you must pay. There are metres on almost every block where you can purchase stubs that you must then display on the dashboard of your car. Tickets are issued very regularly and fines are approximately 20€ so it is worth it to pay the Euro or so for parking. It is also important to park in designated parking spots otherwise you may be towed. There are also many parking garages in the city where you can park and pay, although generally, these cost more than street parking.
In Case of an Accident
In the event of a minor accident where there are no injuries or death, it is not necessary to call the police. Vehicles must be moved off the road and an accident report form (constat amiable d’accident/Europees aanrijdingsformulier) must be filled out and signed by all parties. This form is issued by your insurance company and should be carried in your car. If for some reason you do not have one on you, you can get one from your insurance company and sign it afterward, though it must be returned to your insurance company within a week.
In the event of a serious accident, with injury or death, or a disputed minor accident, the police must be called. The vehicles should be moved to a safe place off the road if possible and a warning triangle raised to show the hazard to other traffic. People involved in the accident should wear their luminous vests should they be in a position of danger from other traffic. The injured should be kept warm until assistance arrives. Call the police, ambulance and fire brigade if necessary. Take names and contact details of all people involved in the accident, as well as exchanging car registration and insurance details. Also take names and contacts of witnesses to the accident. An accident report must be filled out, which in the event of serious injury, will be filled out by the police. Expenses related to the accident must be reported to the relevant insurers.
If the accident happens in a European country outside of Belgium, the motorist is covered by the Green Card which is issued by the insurance company when you get your insurance cover. It is obligatory to keep this in your car at all times.
- Police – 101 or 112
- Ambulance and Fire Brigade – 100