Luk De Wilde

Road deaths at historic low during first half of the year

According to figures from the road safety body VIAS Institute there were 191 road deaths in Belgium during the first half of the year. This is 30 fewer than during the same period last year. Never before were there so few road deaths during the first half of the year.

In a reaction the Flemish Transport Minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) told VRT News that “We are all doing a great deal, including taking many unpleasant measures, to bring the figures down. When the current Flemish Government took office we said that we wanted the number of road deaths halved by 2020. If things continue as they are this will be achieved”.

VIAS says that there are five reasons for the fall in the number of road deaths. The maximum speed on stretches of main road near to school has been reduced and there have been improvements to infrastructure al many locations.  

There are also more speed traps and the penalties for those caught speeding more than once have been increased.  

In addition to this, vehicles have become safer and passengers use their seatbelts more than was case in the past.  

Older people and cyclists

It isn’t all good news though as the number of road deaths among those over 65 has risen from 46 to 53. There was also a significant rise in the number of road deaths in accidents involving lorries (from 3 to 19).

Meanwhile, the number of accidents in which cyclists sustained injuries was up by 2% in Belgium as a whole and by 3% in Flanders.