Car free Sunday – “road safety has become a priority in Brussels”
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    Car free Sunday – “road safety has become a priority in Brussels”

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The State Secretary for Road safety, Bianca Debaets, went to Slow Village late Sunday morning. The event, held on Place Louise, was organised in conjunction with Brussels Mobility. The minister was there to talk about current road safety issues. 

    The Village included activities where tips and tricks are shared to help people stay calm in traffic. There was also a slow bike challenge, a bike race where you have to cycle as slowly as possible. 

    “We want to spread the message that sticking to speed limits is best for everybody”, says Bianca Debaets. “There are still far too many fatal accidents in Brussels despite our information campaigns. Every year we give police more resources so they can buy equipment to check motorist’s speed and blood alcohol levels”. 

    Sections radars are at various stages of installation in the Léopold II tunnel, boulevard Léopold III and more recently the Stéphanie tunnel (where there were 22 accidents in 2017). 

    “There are a lot of accidents in the tunnels”, says Bianca Debaets. “This means we have to work hard to make sure people respect traffic regulations, not just for safety reasons but also for fluidity and mobility. As we know, an accident in a tunnel causes hours of traffic jams”. 

    The region is also launching a project for the communes, which would introduce 30km/h zones and safe areas around schools. 

    “Road safety has become a priority in Brussels”, the State Secretary says. “More and more mayors are aware of it, no doubt thanks to residents who have taken action following fatal accidents. We are talking more about the importance of following the rules, but also about being courteous in traffic. It will feature heavily in our next campaigns, to stop aggressive driving and stop people beeping their horn as soon as someone takes two seconds to move away from a traffic light or slows down when passing near a cyclist or pedestrian”. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times