BELGA/VERSTRAETE

Big drop in road deaths

There has been a steep decrease in the number of road traffic accidents, RTAs, during the first three months of the year.  84 people died in RTAs and that is 20 fewer than a year ago.

The figure is the lowest since records were compiled in this way.  It isn't a final figure because people dying in the thirty days after their accident still need to be added.

The number of injured too is down, from 10,980 to 10,414.  The number of deaths is down across all Belgian regions.  In Flanders Antwerp Province witnessed the biggest fall in road deaths.  The figures for Flemish Brabant are better too, while in other Flemish provinces figures stabilised.  The figures are down for all categories of road users: deaths among bikers fell most sharply by 18%.  The number of road deaths involving minivans rose from 6 to 9!

There's also been a big drop in the number of people dying on the spot. During the first three months of the year not a single cyclist was killed in Brussels or Wallonia either.

For a first time more people were killed at night during the working week than at the weekend.  The number of young drivers involved in RTAs with injuries and deaths fell and reached a new record low.

Federal mobility minister Bellot hopes the number of road deaths can be cut further when the new alcohol lock becomes obligatory for certain categories of driver.  It will prevent them from driving when they have drunk too much.  Hopefully, this and measures already taken will allow Belgium to meet its target of no more than 420 road deaths a year.