, road rules and behaviour are broadly similar to those in France
(including the rule of priorité à droite
no longer used in France, but maintained in Belgium as a result of lobbying by manufacturers of headlight glass and replacement wings); the Belgians have a reputation in France as being bad drivers, probably harking back to the relatively recent introduction of driving testing
(in the 1960s) as well as common racial stereotyping
, and do tend to be somewhat informal
in their approach to driving. However, the road laws do make a driver who is in collision with a "soft" target - pedestrian, cyclist, horse rider, moped rider - automatically liable for personal injuries under all circumstances unless the pedestrian really was trying to throw themselves under their wheels, and in the vast majority of cases for damage to property as well.
Drivers are required to give way to you if you are crossing a zebra crossing, but this does not mean they have to stop for the entire duration of your passage (as in the UK). You therefore need to be prepared for traffic continuing to pass in front of and behind you as you walk across. The finest example of this in my experience is the crossing at the south-eastern corner of the Warande/Parc de Bruxelles, in front of the royal palace: here three four/six lane roads (varying with traffic density), including main routes into the city meet at roughly 120 degree angles, with no road markings whatsoever apart from a single fifty metre zebra crossing from the park towards the former royal stables. The road surface is cobbled, the sight lines for a pedestrian crossing from the park side are zero, and the junction is a priorité à droite one. The secret is just to stroll straight across it, ignoring all cars. There is a lot of space, and they'll be aiming to miss. They just won't actually stop under any circumstances, but I never had any problem there in a year of using it as my route to work.
At light-controlled (pelican) crossings in normal traffic conditions it is generally advisable to wait for the green man; attempts to predict a safe crossing time by watching the traffic lights always seem to end up with you still standing on the pavement when everybody else has already started crossing because they were watching the green man. There is no general social opprobrium attached to crossing against the lights when clearly safe to do so (although I did get ticked off by the Brussels police for it once, and there are some very complex road systems in that city).
Crossing at uncontrolled road junctions without traffic lights, you need to be aware of the priorité à droite thing. This does have the benefit that most drivers approach such junctions with a fair degree of caution; however, vehicles entering a main road from the right have priority only if they keep moving, so drivers coming out of a side road you are crossing may well not be very enthusiastic about your stepping out in front of them. Traffic turning into a side road has to give way to pedestrians by law, and usually does so.