Belgium: The Red Badge of Carnage

Most European drivers on principle ignore the traffic laws, which they regard as an abridgment of their uncivil rights. However, they heed one caution signal: the red-and-white license plates of a car or truck from Belgium. Alone among Western European nations, Belgium does not issue drivers' licenses, give traffic instruction in its schools, or even demand that car owners show rudimentary knowledge of the rules of the road.

Statistics describe the dire results: at home, one in seven Belgian drivers is involved in an accident each year. The accident rate (1.4 persons killed or injured per 100,000 car miles traveled)...

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