Anyone who drives a company car will soon see a parking ticket delivered directly to their mailbox. “We will get rid of a huge mountain of unnecessary administration,” says Flemish Member of Parliament Karin Brouwers (CD&V). Remarkable: the offender also benefits from this.
Parking along the public road, but no money put into the parking meter? Then there is a good chance that you will find a parking ticket or parking fee from the municipality concerned in your mailbox a few days later. Unless you drive a company car: it sometimes takes several weeks before you receive that letter, because it often has to be forwarded several times before it reaches the actual offender.
This is now changing at the Flemish level. The Flemish Parliament approved a proposed decree on Wednesday that largely eliminates the administrative burden involved in processing parking fees for company cars. Initiator Karin Brouwers (CD&V): ‘Flemish cities and municipalities today have no choice but to send the parking ticket to the holder of the license plate, which for company cars is the leasing company involved. The leasing company must then check who actually drives the leasing car in question, after which the driver – or sometimes also the company for which the driver works – can be informed. Complex and time-consuming.’
The intention is that the Flemish municipalities will soon have access to the federal Vehicle Crossroads Bank, established in 2015 in collaboration with the judiciary and the federal police. Most of the leasing companies in our country record in that database who the so-called ‘usual driver’ of one of their company cars is. Today, this ensures that a speeding violation ends up directly with the usual driver, and not with the so-called license plate holder, i.e. the leasing company.
The proposal for a decree approved yesterday will soon make it possible that not only the judiciary and the police, but also local municipalities can request the identity of the driver of a company car from that federal database. “Advice about this has of course been requested from the Data Protection Authority, the former privacy committee,” Brouwers emphasizes.
Avoid extra costs
The vehicle rental federation Renta emphasizes that the new way of working also has advantages for the offender. “It can now take a while for such a parking fee to reach the actual driver,” says general manager Frank Van Gool. ‘After all, the parking ticket must reach the leasing company, in some cases it must first be forwarded to the employer in question, after which the company must deliver the ticket to the employee in question. As a result, it sometimes happens that as an offender you only have a few days left to pay before the parking company charges extra costs. And by forwarding the parking ticket directly to the usual driver, the privacy of this driver is also better respected. After all, the employer no longer has access to who was where and when with the company car.’