19 cyclists killed during summer

In the first six weeks of the summer holiday (July and August) 19 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents. This is much more than in other years. The 19 fatal cycle accidents were all caused by a collision between a cycle and a motor vehicle: a car, motorcycle, lorry or tractor.
The cycle has become more popular here in Belgium: not only for avid cyclists, but as a general means of transport as well. Unfortunately the downside of the equation is that with the increasing popularity there comes an increase in the number of fatal accidents. In the first 6 weeks of the summer holiday 19 cyclists died in traffic accidents which is over 3 per week.
Werner De Dobbeleer of the Belgian Institute of Traffic Safety is disconcerted. "This is an awful lot in just a month and a half. According to the most recent figures up until now an average of 7 cyclists die per month. "19 deaths are far above the average, and especially during the summer holidays," says Mr De Dobbeleer adding, "The peak of fatal accidents involving cycles is normally in June and in September, with an absolute dip in July."

The reason why the number of fatalities goes up in September is because many children cycle to school that are not yet used to it. During exam time in June more children use their bicycle as well. According to Mr De Dobbeleer there are usually no cycle fatalities in July and August.

"Let's hope that there is a 'coincidence factor' here," concludes Werner De Dobbeleer.
The Flemish farmers' union Boerenbond is asking cyclists and other drivers to be extra careful on rural roads now that the harvesting month has started. More tractors then usual will be on the small rural roads. This means that cyclists will be extra vulnerable on these roads. The Boerenbond asks car drivers and buses to reduce their speed and drive carefully.