‘Worrying’ trend sees record-high in number of cyclists killed in road accidents
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‘Worrying’ trend sees record-high in number of cyclists killed in road accidents

In the first half of 2019, the number of cyclists killed in Belgian roads reached a new record high. Credit: © Belga

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.

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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.”

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times