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Several Belgian highway code changes from 1 October
A series of changes to the Belgian highway code will come into effect on 1 October, including new signage and the end of a ban on using cruise control.
A new sign will indicate zones wherein only bicycles will be allowed to park between 7.30 and 18.00, with motorists able to use it in the evening and at night. Motorists who park in this zone outside the permitted times will be fined €58.
This new sign aims to offer "more flexibility in the organisation of parking", Belgian mobility minister Georges Gilkinet said, adding: "It will be particularly useful in the vicinity of schools."
More changes for cyclists
Electric bicycles capable of reaching speeds of 45 km/h will also be allowed on shared pavements along roads with up to a 50 km/h speed limit beginning on 1 October.
Two new categories of vehicle type are also being added to the highway code: "velomobile" and "recumbent bicycle". Both these bicycles are low-slung, making them harder to see on the roads.
Changes to the highway code will allow these types of bikes to use roads with a maximum speed of 50 km/h, even when there is a cycle path available, to ensure they are visible to motorists.
"Motorists sometimes have difficulty detecting them and this can be surprising at junctions," Gilkinet explained.
Bicycles will also be able to display yellow or orange side signs, which until now was prohibited, as well as their front and rear lights.
Changes for motorists
A ban on using cruise control will be repealed as of 1 October. The ban was put in place 15 years ago but is now considered unnecessary, as cruise control technology has evolved to become more intelligent and better at detecting nearby traffic.
Other changes to the code include a requirement for electric vehicles parked at public charging points to actually be plugged into them, rather than simply using it to park. Violations carry a €58 fine.
Chequered markings will also be introduced at level crossings to reduce accidents.
“Vehicles will not be able to drive onto them if they risk being blocked by traffic,” Gilkinet said.