“Number of hit-and-runs has doubled”

According to figures from the Flemish motorist association VAB, the number of accidents in which one of the parties drives away from the scene without exchanging insurance detail has doubled in recent years. According to VAB’s “Mobility Barometer”, 4 out of 10 Flemish motorists has been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in the past few years. Fortunately most cases (60%) involved parking accidents where minor damage was caused by a vehicle colliding with a parked car as it tried to leave an on street parking space.

VAB says that the figures give it “cause for concern”. If the police are unable to find the other driver, the driver that has had her/his car damaged has to pay to get it repair. The insurance companies only pay for the damage if the car is insured by a fully comprehensive policy.

The main reasons cited for the increase in parking accidents are twofold. First of all cars have become wider in recent years, while parking spaces have remained the same. Secondly, young people are no longer tested on theiron-street parking skills when they go for their driving test.

Serious damage and even injury is caused in around one in ten hit-and-run accidents. VAB is keen to point out that there are severe penalties for those that rive away from the scene of an accident. The risk up to 6 month in prison and a fine of 2,000 euro for material damage.

Those that drive away from the scene of an accident in which someone is killed or injured risk up to 2 years in gaol, a 5,000 euro fine and the confiscation of their driving license.