car news

With motorcycle more freedom in Belgian traffic jam

December 27, 2023

You probably know it from Germany: the Rettungsgasse. During congestion, cars should form a free lane to allow emergency vehicles to pass between two lanes. You are not allowed to use it with your motorcycle. You risk a fine. Not in Belgium. There, the Roads & Traffic Agency allows you motorcyclists to use this free lane to pass the traffic jam.


“For motorcyclists , the rescue lane is a good thing. In fact, they may use the free space of the rescue lane to pass the traffic jam. Motorcyclists who pass traffic jams do so at a very moderate speed, a maximum of 20 km/h faster than motorists,” according to the agency’s website.

Free passage of emergency services

We do not know the rescue lane as a phenomenon in the Netherlands. Only when there is no emergency lane, such as during road works, should traffic in the left lane move as close to the guardrail as possible and that in the other lanes move as far to the right as possible to form a clear passage for emergency vehicles. Usually you then see motorists wriggling stepwise left and right to let police and towing services through. Preventive is not done as in Belgium, and also in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

hefty fine

Those who do not cooperate in forming the so-called Rettunggasse or Rescue Lane will be fined in those countries. In Belgium, such a fine can get you 174 euros cost, but not if you are on a motorcycle, nor if you are riding in the emergency lane. Because that’s what is allowed, then, at low speed.

Motorcyclists Action Group

The MAG (Motorcyclists Action Group) advocates implementing the Belgian rule in the Netherlands as well. That we motorcyclists are allowed to use the free lane for emergency vehicles. In our country, then, the government will have to first define the mandatory formation of the rescue lane in the laws and regulations of traffic accurately as in our neighboring countries. And indicate that motorcyclists may ride on this at low speed as in Belgium.

Fine and safe idea

In Belgium, the driving of motorcyclists on the Rescue Lane will be officially incorporated into the Highway Code in the fall of 2024. In any case, it is a nice idea and especially a safe one. It saves fiddling and wriggling with your bike when cars are just a little too close together in a traffic jam. Low-speed driving between traffic jams is already tolerated in our country, but with a little more space, it’s a lot nicer, or let’s say more pleasurable.