Traffic comes a standstill for 310 seconds in Ghent

An event to remember the people who died in a traffic accident has been held on a busy crossroads in the north of Ghent. Last year saw 310 people die on Flemish roads, almost 1 each day. For that reason, the crossroads was blocked for 310 seconds. Time for reflection, and to pay respect to the victims, their families and friends. 

The World Day for Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims takes place on the third Sunday of November. Today sees the 6th edition, and a ceremony was held in the north of Ghent, at the place where the Hogeweg and the Sint-Bernadettestraat meet.

Joke Castelein of organisers vzw Rondpunt explains that "after seven years of decline, the number of road deaths is on the rise again." In fact, the first 6 months of this year had as many as 152 road deaths, compared to 124 in the same period last year (+ 22 percent). 

The issue needs permanent attention, for this reason. The Flemish government wants to reduce the number of road deaths to zero by 2050 and has promised new measures. Last night, a motorist was killed on the E40 near Mannekensvere, when a heavy SUV crashed into the back of his small car. The French driver of the small car, a Renault Twingo, died on the spot.