Record cycling deaths in 2019, as road accidents increase once again
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    Record cycling deaths in 2019, as road accidents increase once again

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    The year 2019 saw a record number of accidental deaths involving cyclists in the whole of Belgium, according to the road traffic institute Vias.

    The number of fatal cycling accidents rose from 84 in 2018 to 91 in 2019, however there were wide regional variations. So in Wallonia the number jumped from seven in 2018 to 21 in 2019; in Flanders the numbers went down from 75 to 68, but in Antwerp province alone the number went up from 11 to 24.

    The institute said the return to an upward trend meant the target for this year was “impossible to achieve”.

    At the same time, the number of cycling accidents involving injuries increased by 2%. The numbers varied between an increase of 0.2% in Flanders to 8% in Wallonia and 17% in Brussels.

    In general, there were 620 road deaths in 2019, compared to 584 in 2018 – a reversal of the downward trend of recent years.

    Again, Wallonia saw a particularly large increase, from 266 in 2018 to 297 in 2019, an increase of 31. In Flanders, in contrast, the numbers rose by only 7 from 297 to 304.

    In Brussels, the number of road deaths even fell, from 21 to 19.

    The largest increase was seen among passengers (266 to 297) and pedestrians (73 to 88).

    In Flanders the number of accidents involving a heavy goods vehicle fell fell from 70 to 52.

    After three consecutive years of a reduction in the numbers of road traffic deaths, the number of deaths on our roads has risen once again,” Vias said.

    The stated goal of a maximum number of 420 deaths by 2020 now appears impossible to achieve in one year.”

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times