Police threaten strike after road accident injuries
An accident at the weekend that seriously injured two traffic police officers has angered the VSOA union, which stated that signalling officers should be present at accident scenes but usually are not
Signal team not present
The accident took place on Sunday afternoon on the E19 at Machelen, near Brussels. The officers on the scene were hit by another vehicle as they exited their car. There were not accompanied by a signalling team, contrary to a previous agreement. “A year ago it was agreed with the interior minister that traffic police in Flemish Brabant would always be accompanied by a signalling team,” said Vincent Houssin, deputy chair of VSOA.
The signalling team’s job is to provide signs and other forms of warning to motorists, in order to preserve the integrity of the evidence at the scene and to protect victims, police and other personnel present. “Thanks to savings and the fact that some senior officers do what they please, this happens all too seldom,” Houssin said, “with Sunday’s incident as the consequence.”
The VSOA received the support of their non-party counterparts in the NSPV union. “We stand behind the argument,” said spokesperson Gert Cockx. “We will have to see in the negotiating committee whether measures will be taken to guarantee the safety of officers. If not, then we will join in with the strike notice.”.
The officers are in hospital, and the condition of both has been upgraded from critical to stable.
Photo courtesy VRT