Aggression against bus drivers in Flanders dropped by 20% in 2020
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Aggression against bus drivers in Flanders dropped by 20% in 2020

Credit: Belga

Drivers and inspectors of Flemish public transport company De Lijn and its subcontractors experienced 1,379 cases of physical or verbal aggression in 2020.

Those figures, which represent a 20% drop compared to the year before, were presented by Flemish mobility minister Lydia Peeters on request of Flemish MP Bert Maertens.

The statistics are “still very alarming,” Maertens said, “if you know that the total number of De Lijn passengers has halved as a result of the corona pandemic.”

In total, 1,247 of the cases registered involved verbal aggression, and 132 involved physical aggression.

Maertens pled for more security cameras in the buses, which “would deter potential perpetrators and also help with the subsequent prosecution.” Currently, 77% of De Lijn buses have video surveillance installed, as do 65% of subcontractors’ buses.

Currently, the goal is to have all De Lijn buses equipped with video surveillance by 2025, and those of the subcontractors by 2027.

While the pandemic’s impact on aggression was limited considering the 50% drop in passengers, vandalism dropped by as much as 90%. The public transport company counted 88 incidents, compared to 782 a year earlier.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times