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    2017 Belgium road deaths figure down by 3%

    © Belga
    The number who died at the scene last year barely changed in Wallonia, with an increase from 9% to 15% in Brussels and a decrease of 10% in Flanders.
    © Belga

    The number of road deaths in Belgium reduced by 3% in 2017 compared to 2016, reaching a historically low level. However, the situation varies greatly according to the regions: increasing in Brussels, almost unchanged in Wallonia with a significantly downward trend in Flanders. According to the most recent Road Safety Barometer produced by the institute Vias, and published on Tuesday, there are fewer car accidents in the south of the country than in the north. There are, however, nearly twice as many actual deaths. Moreover, it appears that the national target fixed for 2020 will be difficult to achieve.

    Last year, 483 people died at the scene of the road accident, compared to 500 in 2016 (a decline of 3%). To this total should be added deaths in the 30 days following given accidents, to obtain the overall number of people killed. Estimates from the institute Vias, indicate that this figure will reach around 620 for 2017 (compared to 637 in 2016). Consequently, the organisation predicts that “it will actually be very difficult to reach the target of a maximum of 420 people killed by 2020.”

    The number injured is also decreasing, by 6% (down from 51,074 to 48,227), as is that of accidents (from 39,850 to 37,786, equating to a decline of 5%). Moreover, Vias finds, “All of the relevant indicators are at a low level which has never been reached since the creation of the Road Safety Barometer.” In total, nearly 3,000 lives have been saved and 60,000 accidents avoided over the last ten years.

    As has been the case since 2014, the number who died at the scene has barely changed in Wallonia (an increase of 0.4%). On the other hand in Brussels, this figure has increased from 9% to 15% whilst a decrease of 10% was observed in Flanders. The situation takes on a more uniform nature regarding the number of accidents, which have decreased within all three regions (down 3% in Wallonia, a decline of 1% in Brussels, with a drop of 7% in Flanders).

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times