The Belgian Minister of Mobility, Georges Gilkinet, plans to propose a draft law that would penalise the glorification of speeding and dangerous driving on social media. The proposed law targets individuals who post images or videos of themselves or others driving at excessive speeds or endangering other road users.
“Speeding, along with distraction and driving under the influence, is one of the three main killers on our roads. I cannot accept that some people treat our roads like Formula 1 circuits and then boast about it on social media,” said Gilkinet. “The glorification of speed or other behaviours that seriously compromise safety on our roads and streets is not acceptable, and it is extremely harmful in terms of social acceptance of certain deviant behaviours. There can be no tolerance for those who openly and without any limits obstruct the provisions of the highway code, including those relating to speed limits.”
The proposed law would impose a fine and a driving ban of one to twelve months on any individual who promotes such behaviour by broadcasting images or videos of themselves or others driving at very excessive speeds or endangering other road users. For example, this could include driving aggressively, refusing to give way, weaving in and out of traffic, or driving under the influence of alcohol.
The proposed law applies to public highways, but it does not matter if the images or videos were originally intended for a limited audience. The ease with which social media messages can be spread means that the author of the message “must be aware of” the potential reach of their message, according to Gilkinet.
Gilkinet, who is also deputy prime minister, hopes to pass the legislation this year.