2/8/2011, by Ceri Woolsgrove
The turn right on red lights law provision has recently been adopted by the Belgian Parliament. Before cyclists can begin turning right at red lights, the law must first come into force (that will be soon), and be implemented (this could take months or years depending on the road managers’ willingness to implement measures). ECF policy officer Ceri Woolsgrove comments on these recent developments
Belgium is currently in the process of updating its highway codes. Though the code will not be completely overhauled, for example speed limits and licensing will remain the same, there will be some changes for cyclists. Indeed the Government has passed a proposal to allow cyclists to turn right at a red light. It will be the one of the few countries in Europe to have this piece of legislation.
The Belgian update will also look to create “rues cyclables” whereby cyclists will be kept in the main body of traffic, though cars and other vehicles will have to defer, and give way, to those on bikes and not attempt to overtake; speeds will be kept to 30 kilometres per hour.
Other examples of the 'right turn on red' in Europe can be found in Germany where it is allowed only after a complete stop and when a specific sign is present. There are currently over 5000 'right turn on red' intersections in Germany. The Netherlands allows bicycles to turn right where the sign "rechtsaf voor fietsers vrij" is present. France meanwhile allows a 'right turn on red' only with the use of a special traffic light signal, though they are currently considering a system similar to the Belgian one.