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Today the government of Flanders imposed another “Smog alert”, atleast until tomorrow evening.


What is this, you might ask?When the amount of fine dust in the air exceeds the european limit (40 µg/m³), a speed limit of 90 kph is imposed on certain roads, to reduce this.

As posted by Wim in this post (in dutch), about the smog-alert end of 2007, this is actually quite moot – you drive less fast for 3-4 days in a year, but keep polluting the same all the other days. It’s also only mandatory in flanders, not in wallonia (go figure).

Also, completely accidental, the amount of speed-checks increases tenfold, and there’s the zero-tolerance.

I do agree that we need to do something about this problem – but not the short half-assed “solution” our government imposes (drive slower for 2 days) which only serves to increase their revenue through speeding tickets – but a real structural solution. Like:

  • higher taxes on the polluting cars
  • promoting the ecologically sound cards
  • making public transport usable for more people

I’m sure there are a lot more options, but these would be a start…