The number of deadly road accidents in Belgium rose during the first half of 2019, marking a “worrying” upset of a years-long downward trend and a new record high for cyclist deaths.
The number of people killed in road accidents so far this year was of 306, marking a 27% increase in comparison to the first semester of 2018, according to the report by road safety institute VIAS.
Throughout Belgium, 48 cyclists lost their lives in a road accident during the first half of the year, in what is a new “worrying” record for the highest number of cyclists killed on Belgian roads.
Wallonia registered a steep hike in the number of deadly cycling accidents, with 15 cyclists killed in the first semester of the year, in comparison to an average of five cyclists killed a year over the past 10 years.
In Brussels, the number of overall accidents involving a cyclists also rose by 16%, reaching the highest levels since the creation of VIAS’ road safety survey.
The numbers also represent an upset to a trend which had seen a steady decline in the number of deadly road accidents in Belgium over the past seven years.
“We have fallen back on 2016 numbers — or 2013 in the case of Wallonia,” the report reads.
The French-speaking region saw a significant leap in the number of deadly accidents, with 146 people killed on Walloon roads, a hike of 35% in comparison to the same period last year.
Flanders registered a slightly lower hike than Wallonia in the number of deadly road accidents, with 152 people killed so far this year, marking a 23% increase. The number of deadly accidents in Brussels remained stable, the report showed, with 9 deadly accidents registered in the region, in comparison to 8 last year.
The survey’s results underscored a “very negative trend” for the first semester of the year, the report said, adding that the drop in the number of road injuries meant that the accidents were “increasingly deadly.”