[rough translation from yesterday’s piece in Nieuwsblad]
The so-called ‘shooting stars’ from Q-Music, and similar announcements on other radio stations, which inform listeners of unannounced speed traps, are illegal. So says the Ethics Committee for Telecommunications. The problem lies in the way the radio stations obtain the information: they ask listeners to send a text message to a premium number, which costs them 0.50 euros.
And there’s the rub. ‘Revenue-generating services to bypass road safety are prohibited’, they say. As soon as you have to pay more to send such a message than for an ordinary text message, this kind of activity is not permitted under the code of ethics.’
Q-Music is continuing to broadcast its ‘falling stars’. ‘In our view it is still a useful way to warn people that there are many speed traps on the roads’, they say.
VRT, whose radio stations Studio Brussel and MNM announce speed traps, says that it was in any case reconsidering whether such announcements were still appropriate. ‘Indeed, we are aware that the sensitivity about this issue has changed enormously.’