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Belgium Traffic Rules

The traffic rules in Belgium are sometimes slightly different than in your home country. We list the most important general rules for you.

Belgium traffic rules in general

Some important general traffic rules are mentioned here, including a number of traffic regulations that may deviate from your home country.

Drive safely

  • According to the Belgian traffic regulations, the driver must always be able to perform all necessary driving movements and always have good control of his vehicle.
  • Based on this general rule, as a driver, you can be fined if, for example, you eat or drink something while driving, smoke a cigarette, apply makeup or take something from the glove compartment.

Driving and alcohol in Belgium

  • The maximum permitted alcohol level in the blood is 0.5 per mille.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs is prohibited.

Mobile phone us in traffic in Belgium

  • Drivers of vehicles (including cyclists) are prohibited from holding a mobile phone while driving.
  • Note: Even if the vehicle is stationary in a traffic jam or in front of a red traffic light, the driver is not allowed to hold a mobile phone.
  • Hands-free calling is allowed.

Pedestrians and safety in Belgium traffic

  • If there is no footpath or cycle path, pedestrians are obliged to walk on the left side and as close to the edge of the road as possible, except in special situations or when that could pose a danger to them.
  • People walking with a bicycle, moped or motorcycle must walk on the right side of the road.

Basic traffic rules in Belgium

  • You have to drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left.

Priority in traffic in Belgium

  • As a basic rule, drivers from the right have right of way at an intersection, unless stated otherwise.
  • Trams always have right of way.

  • In Belgium, zipping is mandatory for slow-moving traffic if two lanes are merged. This means that you have to keep driving in your own lane just before the narrowing and only then may you merge.
  • The drivers in the through lane must take turns allowing one vehicle to enter their lane.
  • Drivers who do not continue to the narrowing or who do not give right of way to entering traffic risk a fine.

Roundabouts in Belgium

  • A driver driving on a roundabout has priority over a driver who wants to enter the roundabout.
  • All roundabouts in Belgium have priority signs.

Overtaking in Belgium traffic

  • As a motorist or motorcyclist, always drive with a wide arc around pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders; you are obliged to make sure that the lateral distance between you and a pedestrian, cyclist or moped rider is at least 1.50 m when overtaking outside the city limits.
  • You must also keep this distance if you overtake a cyclist or moped rider outside the city limits who is riding on a bicycle lane or (possibly raised) bicycle path.
  • This also means that in certain situations you have to keep driving behind a pedestrian, cyclist or moped rider until there is more room to overtake.
  • You have to pass a stationary tram at walking pace. You may pass a tram along the side where passengers board or alight, provided that there is at least 2 m between the tram and the vehicle.

Belgium traffic lights

  • A flashing orange light means that drivers must pay extra attention when driving through.
  • Note that in some other countries, it is illegal to continue driving with an orange light that lights up continuously, unless you have come so close to the stop line or the traffic light that you can no longer stop safely.

Standing still

  • It is forbidden to stop in places where your vehicle is not clearly visible (such as after a sharp bend or on a hill) or where it forms an obstacle to other traffic.
  • It is also prohibited to stop in the following places:
    • On a speed bump or elevated road section.
    • Within the city limits on a raised verge.

Parking in Belgium

  • It is forbidden to park on the left side of the road (against the direction of travel), also in parking spaces on the left. You may park on the left in a one-way street.
  • It is prohibited to park next to a yellow dashed line on the road and next to a curb with a yellow line.
  • It is also prohibited to park in the following places:
    • In front of the entrance of a public building.
    • Where pedestrians, cyclists or moped riders have to drive on the road to avoid an obstacle (vehicle, pile of sand, etc.).
    • Less than 5 meters from the start or end of a cycle path.
    • Less than 15 meters away from a sign indicating a tram or bus stop.
    • Unless otherwise specified, parking in Belgium is allowed in a blue zone of Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm with a parking disc, for a maximum of 2 hours.
    • Outside a blue zone, the rules of the blue zone also apply if there are traffic signs with the image of a parking disc underneath.
    • There are blue rectangular parking signs with a white P and a wheel axle on it that indicate that partial or full parking on the sidewalk is mandatory.

Maximum speed in traffic in Belgium

In city limits (A) Outside city limits (B) Highway (C, D)
Moped bikes: 25 25 Prohibited
Mopeds: 45 45 Prohibited
Motor vehicles with or without trailer / caravan, maximum permitted mass of combination <3500 kg: 50 70/90 (E) 120 (F)
Motor vehicles with or without trailer / caravan, maximum permitted mass combination> 3500 kg 50 70/90 (E) 90
  • A: There is a maximum speed of 30 km / h for all vehicles within zone 30, in a street with speed bumps and a so-called bicycle street or rue cyclabe. In residential areas, the speed limit is 20 km / h.
  • B: Also applies to motorways (not motorways) with carriageways separated by a road marking.
  • C: Also applies to roads with a minimum of 4 lanes and carriageways separated by a central reservation (expressways).
  • D: If there is too much particulate matter in the air, the smog alarm will be triggered and you may not exceed 90 km / h on certain motorways in Flanders. This alarm is usually announced a day in advance. The smog alarm is also mentioned on matrix signs with the text: SMOG 90. More information can be found on vlaanderen.be/. Speed ​​limits may also apply in Brussels and Wallonia due to particulate matter.
  • E: In Flanders, a maximum speed of 70 km / h applies outside built-up areas, unless stated otherwise. In Wallonia and Brussels, the speed limit outside built-up areas is 90 km / h, unless stated otherwise.
  • F: We advise you to keep to the maximum speed of 90 km / h with a caravan or trailer.
  • The minimum speed on motorways is 70 km / h.

Speed ​​camera signaling in Belgium

  • The taking with you and use of radar detection equipment is prohibited.
  • The use of equipment with signaling for fixed speed cameras or section controls (such as navigation equipment and telephones) is permitted.
    Traffic rules car in Belgium

    Traffic rules cars in Belgium

    Lighting

    • Drivers are only required to use lights during the day when visibility is poor.
    • The rear fog light must be switched on when the visibility is less than 100 m due to snow, fog or heavy rainfall.

    Children in the car in Belgium

    • Children up to the age of 18 years less than 1.35 m in height may only be transported in an approved and appropriate child seat or on an approved and appropriate booster seat.
    • Only if two child seats are already in use in the rear seat and there is no space for a third child seat, a third child may be transported with only one seat belt.
    • Children under the age of 3 cannot be transported in a car that does not have a child seat.
    • If a child is transported with the back to the front in the front seat, the airbag must be deactivated.

    Smoking in the car in Belgium

    • Since 9 February 2019, it has been forbidden in Flanders for any occupant of a car or camper to smoke in the presence of a child under 16 years of age. This prohibition also applies to electronic cigarettes. The fine for a violation can be up to € 1000.
    • In Wallonia, a law has been passed prohibiting smoking in the car in the presence of a child under 18 years of age. This law is expected to come into effect in 2020.

    Cargo

    • Cargo must not protrude forward.
    • The load, including the vehicle, may be a maximum of 2.55 m wide and 4 m high and may not pose any danger to other traffic.
    • Indivisible load may protrude a maximum of 3 m backwards, divisible load maximum 1 m.
    • Cargo that protrudes more than 1 m to the rear must be equipped with a red and white striped sign. When its’s dark or in poor visibility, cargo that protrudes more than 1 m to the rear must also be provided with a red light.

    Dashcam in Belgium

    • No current information about using a dashcam available.

    Cruise control in Belgium

    • In Belgium it may be prohibited to use cruise control. This prohibition is indicated by a prohibition sign with the words Cruise control with a red line through it. Where this sign is located, the cruise control may not be used until the next intersection.
    Belgium traffic rules for caravans and trailers

    Dimensions, maxima

    Belgium Note
    Width combination (mirrors excluded): 2.55 m
    Width combination: 4 m
    Lenght trailer / caravan (drawbar included): 12 m (A)
    Lenght combination (including trailer / caravan): 18.75 m (A)
    • A: Any bicycle carrier on the back is included in the length.

    Extra wide trailers in Belgium

    • For the transportation of a trailer wider than 2.55 m, a special permit must be obtained from one of the three Belgian regional services. If a permit is issued, it applies to the entire Belgian territory.
    • See wegenverkeer.be/uitzonderlijk-vervoer and mobilit.belgium.be/ for more information.

    Towing a car in Belgium

    • In Belgium, towing a car with a triangle (triangular drawbar) is prohibited. (Towing is only allowed if the towed vehicle is no longer able to drive under its own power and towing is prohibited on highways and motorways.)
    Traffic rules motorcycle

    Traffic rules for motorcycles in Belgium

    Helmet

    • The wearing of a helmet is mandatory for the driver and passenger. This obligation also applies to a child who is taken as a passenger on the motorcycle.
    • The helmet must have an approval mark, unless it is a size that does not require approval, such as a helmet for small children.
    • The driver and passenger (s) of a motorcycle with sidecar, trike or quad are required to wear a helmet, unless such motorcycle has a passenger compartment (safety cell or closed body) and the driver and passengers are protected with a seat belt or child restraint system.

    Clothes on the motorcycle in Belgium

    • Motorcycle drivers and passengers are required to wear gloves, a long-sleeved jacket and long pants or overalls, as well as boots or sturdy, high-top shoes that protect the ankles.

    Motorcycle lighting in Belgium

    • The dipped beam and red rear light must always be on, including during the day.
    • The other lighting should only be used at night and when visibility is poor.

    Passengers om the motorcyle

    • It is allowed to transport a passenger on a motorcycle, provided that a special seat and footrests are available.
    • Children under 3 years of age must not be transported on a motorcycle unless they are in a suitable and approved child seat in a sidecar.
    • On a motorcycle with a maximum cylinder capacity of 125 cm³, children from 3 to 7 years old may only be transported when they are in an approved child seat.
    • On a motorcycle with a cylinder capacity of more than 125 cm³, children under 8 years of age are not allowed to be transported unless they are in a suitable and approved child seat in a sidecar.

    Motorcycle trailers in Belgium

    • A trailer may be coupled behind a motorcycle.
    • A trailer may only be coupled to a motorcycle with a sidecar if the sidecar wheel is fitted with a brake.
    • Trikes and quads are not allowed to tow a trailer.

    Traffic jam

    • Motorcyclists are allowed to drive in a traffic jam between the lanes with slow moving or stationary vehicles. They are not allowed to drive faster than 50 km / h and they are allowed to drive a maximum of 20 km / h per hour faster than the vehicles they overtake.
    • On motorways and motorways, motorcyclists are only allowed to drive between the vehicles on the two leftmost lanes.
    • Traffic jams are strictly prohibited when approaching an unguarded pedestrian or cyclist crossing.

    Parking

    • Motorcycles may be parked on the sidewalk and in city limits also on elevated roadsides, provided that at least 1.50 m of free space remains and they do not cause any nuisance.
    • If several motorcycles are parked at a parking meter within the same parking space for a car, then payment only has to be made once.
    • Motorcycles may also be parked at the rectangular blue Parking sign with a white image of a passenger car.

    Riding in a group

    • When motorbikes in a group (minimum two persons) are driving on a road with lanes, they are allowed to drive in the same lane in two parallel rows in zigzag formation (brick formation), with sufficient safety distance from each other.
    • When the carriageway is not divided into lanes, they may not occupy more than half of the carriageway.
    • A group of more than 50 participants should (and a group of 15 to 50 participants may) be accompanied by at least two road captains who ensure that the trip runs smoothly. These road masters must be at least 25 years old, wear a retro-reflective safety vest with the word ‘road captain’ written on the back in black letters and be in possession of a C3 type road sign (round, white with a red border) . At least one of the road captains can stop traffic on the cross roads while the group is crossing an intersection without traffic lights.

    Bus lane

    • Motorcycles are allowed to drive on the bus lane and in lanes if this is indicated by a traffic sign with a symbol of a motor or if this is indicated by a symbol of a motor on the lane itself.
    Belgium traffic rules moped

    Traffic rules moped in Belgium

    • In Belgium, a light moped is called a class A moped (maximum speed 25 km / h), and a regular moped a class B moped (maximum speed 45 km / h).

    Wearing a helmet

    • Wearing a helmet is compulsory for drivers of class A and B mopeds. Note: Moped light riders must therefore also wear a helmet in Belgium.

    Lighting

    • Mopeds and mopeds must also use low beam during the day.

    Passengers

    • Only a driver who is 18 years of age or older may transport a passenger on a moped or light-moped in a designated seat (duo or buddy seat).
    • Children under 3 years of age cannot be transported with a moped.
    • Children from 3 to 8 years old must be transported in a suitable child seat.

    Place on the road

    • If there is a cycle path, mopeds must also use it.
    • On roads with a maximum speed of up to 50 km / h, mopeds are allowed to drive on the cycle path as well as on the carriageway.
    • On roads where it is allowed to drive faster than 50 km / h, mopeds must use the cycle path if available.

    Riding side by side

    • It is forbidden for moped and light-moped riders to ride side by side on the road. In principle, this is allowed on a cycle path, but the handlebars or any load that is being transported must not protrude beyond the cycle path and other road users must not be endangered.

    Trailer

    • A trailer may be coupled behind a moped or light moped.
    • Any load including vehicle may extend a maximum of 1 m in width and protrude a maximum of 0.5 m rearward.

    Other rules

    • If the letter A is displayed on a bottom plate of a moped traffic sign, this traffic sign applies to moped. If a B is displayed, the road sign for mopeds applies.
    Traffic rules for a bicycle in Belgium

    Belgium traffic rules for bicycles

    Helmet

    • Wearing a helmet is not mandatory in Belgium.

    Mobile phone

    • Cyclists are prohibited from holding a mobile phone while driving.
    • Hands-free calling is allowed.

    Lighting and other requirements

    • The light on the front of the bike should be white or yellow and the back of the bike should be red.
    • Instead of fixed lamps on the bicycle, individual lamps are also allowed. These may be attached to clothing and / or bags, but must be clearly visible.
    • The bicycle must have a white reflector in front and a red rear.
    • Yellow or orange reflectors must be fitted on the pedals.
    • There must be a reflective strip on the tires. If not, the wheels (rims) must have at least two yellow or orange reflectors fitted.
    • The bicycle must also be equipped with properly functioning brakes and a bell.

    Passengers

    • In Belgium it is only allowed to transport a passenger on a bicycle if the bicycle has a special seat.
    • It is therefore prohibited to transport a passenger on the luggage carrier and a passenger may not be transported on the bicycle in an Amazon seat (with two legs on one side).
    • It is allowed to transport children in a bicycle seat.

    Trailer

    • It is allowed to ride with a bicycle to which a trailer is coupled with a maximum width of 1 m.
    • No other bicycle is allowed to ride next to a bicycle with a trailer.
    • A maximum of two passengers may be carried in a trailer. The trailer (bicycle trailer) must be equipped with secured seats with adequate protection for hands, feet and back.

    Place on the road

    • When there is a cycle path, cyclists must use it.
    • If there is no cycle path, cyclists may cycle on the carriageway, unless a traffic sign indicates that this is prohibited. Cycling is prohibited on motorways and motorways.
    • Outside the city limits, cyclists may also use the verge or pavement if there is no cycle path available.
    • Children up to 10 years old are allowed to cycle on the sidewalk.

    Riding side by side

    • Cyclists are allowed to ride side by side, provided that this does not hinder other traffic.
    • Outside the city limits you are obliged to drive one after the other with traffic behind you.

    Cycling and alcohol or drugs in Belgium

    • The maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 0.5 per mille.

    Traffic rules for electric bikes in Belgium

    • A standard electric bicycle (Belgium: bicycle with electric auxiliary motor) is a bicycle with pedal assistance up to 25 km / h that has a power of up to 250 watts.
    • Just like in the Netherlands, you have to follow the traffic rules for regular bicycles on an electric bicycle.
    • You do not need a driver’s license and wearing a bicycle helmet is not mandatory, but is advised.
    • On an electric bicycle, you should use the cycle path where possible.

    Speedpedelecs in Belgium traffic

    • In Belgium, specific rules have been introduced for electric bicycles with pedal assistance up to 45 km / h and a maximum power of 4000 watts. The speed pedelec belongs to the class P mopeds, for which largely the same rules apply as for normal mopeds.
    • The minimum age to ride a speed pedelec is 16 years and the driver must be in possession of the moped driving license (AM).
    • Third party insurance is mandatory for a speed pedelec.
    • The driver of a speed pedelec is obliged to wear a moped helmet (standard ECE 22.05) or an approved bicycle helmet (standard EN1078), provided that the latter offers special protection to the temples and the back of the head. In Belgium it is allowed to wear a special speed pedelec helmet (standard NTA 8776: 2016).
    • The position on the road can be determined by road authorities with signs that also include the speed pedelec in the form of a picture of a motorized bicycle accompanied by the letter P.
    • On roads with a maximum speed of up to 50 km / h with a mandatory cycle path next to it (indicated by a road marking or traffic sign) you can freely choose whether or not you want to ride on the cycle path with a speed pedelec, unless a traffic sign indicates that the cycle path is also mandatory for speed pedelecs (P). However, if the speed limit on such roads is higher than 50 km / h, you must ride on the mandatory cycle path with a speed pedelec.
    • An electric bicycle that can go faster than 45 km / h is considered a motor.
    • Just like cyclists, two speed pedelec drivers are allowed to cycle next to each other.
    • You are not allowed to transport children under the age of 3 on a speed pedelec.
    • Children between 3 and 8 years old may only be transported in a suitable restraint system (child seat) on the speed pedelec.
    • For more information, go to vlaanderen.be/elektrische-ficycles and fietsersbond.be/speedpedelec.

    Motorized bicycle

    • A motorized bicycle (Belgium: gemotoriseerde fiets) is an electric bicycle that offers pedal assistance up to 25 km / h, but has sufficient power to also drive without pedal assistance (maximum 1000 watts).
    • You have to follow the traffic rules for the regular bicycle on a motorized bicycle.
    • To be allowed to cycle on a motorized bicycle, you must be at least 16 years old.
    • If the electric motor can also work without pedaling, liability insurance is mandatory.
    • Wearing a bicycle helmet is not mandatory, but is advised.
    • On a motorized bicycle, you should use the cycle path where possible.

    Other bicycle traffic rules in Belgium

    Bicycle street

    • In Belgium, there are special bicycle streets where cyclists (and drivers of speed pedelecs) are allowed to drive across the full width of the road. Cars are not allowed to overtake cyclists and drive faster than 30 km / h. These streets are indicated by a blue rectangular sign with a red car, a white cyclist and the word Fietsstraat or Rue cyclabe.

    One-way street

    • Some one-way streets allow cyclists to ride in both directions if specifically allowed with a sign.

    Red lights traffic sign

    • Some traffic lights may have a traffic sign indicating that cyclists may go straight ahead or turn right at red lights, provided they give right of way to other road users.
    • Look for a triangular white sign with a red border with a yellow bicycle and a yellow arrow under it pointing to the right or straight ahead.
    Winter tires in Belgium

    Winter tires

    • Recommended in winter conditions – Winter tires are not mandatory, but recommended in winter conditions, especially in mountainous regions such as the Belgian Ardennes and the Belgian Eiffel.
    • Winter tires must legally have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm, but a minimum of 4mm is recommended.
    • We recommend that you use winter tires with the snowflake symbol (3PMSF).
    • Winter tires (type M + S) with a speed rating lower than that of the originally fitted tires are only permitted from 1 October to 30 April. In cars running on such tires, a clearly legible sticker indicating the maximum speed of these tires must be affixed within the driver’s field of vision.
    • Note: Driving on winter tires is compulsory in winter conditions in Luxembourg and Germany.
    Snow chains in Belgium

    Snow chains

    • Permitted – The use of snow chains is only permitted if the roads are covered with snow or ice.

    Studded tires

    • Allowed in the winter period – Studded tires are allowed from 1 November to 31 March for vehicles with a maximum authorized mass of no more than 3500 kg. This limit does not apply to buses and minibuses.
    • If studded tires are used, they must be fitted on all wheels and on those of any trailer, unless the trailer weighs less than 500 kg.
    • Studded tires are not allowed to drive faster than 90 km / h on motorways and motorways and no faster than 60 km / h on other roads.
    • For Belgian cars with studded tires, a reflective sign with the text 60 on the back of the car is mandatory.
    Belgium road signs

    Road signs in Belgium

    Road signs

    • The road signs in Belgium hardly differ from those in most other Western European countries.
    • A rectangular white sign with a black silhouette of a village or townscape and whether or not a place name indicates the start of the city limits. The same sign with a slanting red line indicates the end of the city limits.

    Car and motorcycle

    • A round prohibition sign with the words Cruise control with a red line through it means that no cruise control may be used until the next intersection.
    • A round prohibition sign with the word PEAGE or TOL means that it is prohibited to pass by without stopping to pay a toll.
    • A rectangular blue sign with a truck in white and a passenger car to the right of it, indicates that trucks (over 3500 kg) may temporarily overtake other vehicles. The same sign with a red diagonal line across it indicates the end of this overtaking permit.
    • A turning ban is indicated by a round white sign with a red border and an inverted black U, which, unlike in the Netherlands, also has a red line running through it.
    • A round white sign with a red border and a black arrow curving to the left or right with a diagonal red line through it means No turn left (or right).
    • A round prohibition sign with a red border showing a black truck under which a length in meters is indicated, means that access is prohibited for all vehicles longer than the indicated length. Please note: this prohibition does not only apply to trucks, but also to cars with caravans or trailers.
    • Blue rectangular signs with a white P and an axle with two wheels below it in white indicate that parking, or partial parking, on the sidewalk or on the shoulder is mandatory. If a similar sign with a two-wheeled axle in white shows a red cross on the sidewalk or verge, parking on the carriageway is mandatory.
    • A blue rectangular sign with a red car, a white cyclist and the word Fietsstraat indicates a street where cyclists are allowed to travel the full width of the carriageway and are not allowed to be overtaken by cars and where cars are allowed to drive at a maximum speed of 30 km / h.
    • If a blue bottom sign with a white plug on it (and possibly a white car or one or more other categories of vehicles) is attached to the Parking allowed traffic sign, this indicates that the sign only applies to electric vehicles.
    • A blue rectangular sign with a small triangular, red-rimmed warning sign with a black cyclist and a curved white arrow pointing to that sign to alert drivers changing direction to cyclists and moped riders following the same public road.

    Bicycle, moped, moped and speed pedelec

    • Road authorities can use white rectangular plates with a black image of a bicycle with a motor (possibly with the text Mandatory, Prohibited or Excepted) to oblige or prohibit the use of a bicycle path for certain types of bicycles. A letter indicates which type of bicycle with a motor is meant:
      A – electric bike.
      B – moped.
      P – speed pedelec.
    • A triangular traffic sign at a traffic light with a yellow cyclist and arrow means that cyclists may continue in the indicated direction with a red or orange light, provided they give correct right of way.
    • A round blue sign with a bicycle and pedestrians next to each other, separated by a white line, indicates a combined, but separate bicycle / pedestrian path where electric bikes, but no mopeds, are allowed to ride.
    • A round blue sign with a bicycle and pedestrians one below the other indicates a combined cycle / pedestrian path where electric bikes and mopeds are prohibited.