ANP/REMKO DE WAAL

Big rise in the number of accidents near to roadworks

The number of road traffic accidents that occur near to or at the site of roadworks in Belgium has risen sharply in recent years. That’s according to figures released by the road safety institute Vias. On Wednesday a member of a team that was carrying out maintenance work was killed on the E42 motorway in Wallonia. 

Last year there were 884 traffic accidents causing death or injury near at roadwork. These resulted in 16 deaths and 1,164 injuries. The figures for 2018 show a 19% increase compared with the figures for 2014. The increase is apparent in all three of Belgium’s regions. The Brussels-Capital Region saw the sharpest rise, followed by Wallonia and then Flanders.

Often the accidents are caused by motorists’ nonchalance of by them driving too quickly near to roadworks. Vias’ Benoît Godard told journalists that “European studies have shown that seven out of ten Belgian drivers forget to slow down while they are passing roadworks. Belgian is bottom of the class when it comes to this”.  

Meanwhile, half of the accidents at roadworks on motorways involve heavy goods vehicles. This only serves to increase the severity of the accident.    

Benoît Godard believes that “More checks on speed near to roadworks are essential if the number of accidents is to fall”.