As you may know, since January 1 municipalities in Belgium may impose fines to young people from 14 years upwards. But some administrative sanctions elicit a few raised eyebrows. Here are five of the best, applied in different Belgian municipalities.
1. “It is forbidden to sit on the back of a bench.”
This is the law in the town of Hasselt. Nor can one walk the streets in a disguise, except, of course, the holy trinity of St. Nicolas, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
2. “It is forbidden to carry or to transport people with a contagious disease with any means of transport other than an ambulance.”
This is applied in the municipality of Schaerbeek. What happens if a parent wants to take a child with chickenpox to the pediatrician? Should Stib drivers refuse to take travelers who have a cold?
3.”It is prohibited for a group of ten cyclists to do the same circuit several times.”
The town of Dendermonde clearly finds this antisocial behaviour and levies a fine to anyone found going around in circles.
4. “It is forbidden to throw snowballs.”
Lokeren has banned an activity usually associated with children and young people. So, one of winter’s small pleasures remains a pipe-dream – but you are allowed to throw handfuls of rain.
5. “Street musicians do not have the right to play bum notes.”
Clearly, the town of Louvain has sent its entire police force off for music lessons…