Traffic offenders in Belgium can now pay fines in instalments
From now on, anyone who has received a traffic fine in Belgium can request an online payment plan. Offenders must apply to pay in instalments before the fine's deadline and acknowledge that they were the driver who committed the offence.
"Having to pay a traffic fine is never fun, of course. But at a time when many families are struggling with rising energy prices, it is extra sour when a traffic fine arrives in the mail. Justice is sympathetic to people with payment difficulties," announced Belgian Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne on Monday. "One could already get an instalment plan for criminal fines, now an offender can also apply for an instalment plan for traffic fines, which are usually smaller amounts."
The monthly instalments can be selected online and six months is the longest timeframe for paying back the amount. After the payment plan has been requested, the funds will be drawn through direct debit until the fine has been paid off.
Offenders do not have to prove their financial situation, so instalment plans are an option for everyone. The Justice Ministry wants to provide a solution for people who acknowledge their offences but do not have the necessary funds to pay the full fine at the time.
If the fine is still not paid, the Ministry of Justice can stop the payment plan altogether. Not paying the fine could increase the risk of the fine going up and having to appear before the police court. Anyone failing to pay would also lose the right to request payment instalments for two years.
The instalment plan is free of interest. "The new option is apparently welcome," said Van Quickenborne. In one week, almost 500 people have already applied for an instalment plan.
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