Last Saturday, a video with Ghent parking attendants went viral on TikTok. The city men then measure very accurately how far a Volvo is parked from the zebra crossing. But what exactly about parking at a zebra crossing? And what about crossings for cyclists? Stef Willems of the VIAS traffic institute explains the rules.
“According to article 24 in the Belgian highway code, it is prohibited to park or stand still your car where it could pose a danger to other road users,” says Willems. “This is, among other things, the case with zebra crossings, where sufficient space for good visibility is essential. This is important for both pedestrians and car drivers to avoid accidents. For that reason, you must keep a distance of at least five meters ‘in front of’ the zebra crossing – counting from the nose of the car.”
“It is striking that the highway code does not say anything about the distance when parking ‘behind’ the zebra crossing. The rule therefore only applies if you want to park ‘in front of’ the crossing. In other words, you will not receive a fine if you have less than five meters between the back of your car and the zebra crossing. The difference between parking before or after is a bit vague. It is therefore best to keep a distance of five meters anyway. This way, you can’t injure anyone at the zebra crossing when reversing,” Willems explains.
Dropping off your children quickly is also not allowed
“The rule also applies to places where cyclists or people with two-wheeled mopeds cross. You are not allowed to park there, but you are also not allowed to stand still,” says Willems. “Do you want to quickly drop the children off at the school gate? This is not allowed just before a crossing. Even if you are driving in traffic jams, you must always keep zebra crossings clear.”
Read more below the TikTok video.
@www.zalig.co @Stad Ghent ♬ Circus – Color Clownies
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The GAS fine will cost you at least 58 euros
Do you park less than five meters in front of a zebra crossing? Then the GAS fine will cost you at least 58 euros. The exact amount depends on the situation: the closer, the more expensive. Do you park on the zebra crossing itself? Then you will in any case receive a GAS fine of the second degree, which amounts to 116 euros. The rule also applies in Wallonia.
In the comments of the TikTok video, people wonder whether parking attendants are allowed to issue fines. “Yes, they can certainly do that. Not only the police can fine you,” says Willems. The video has now been viewed more than 1.5 million times.
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