Just under three-quarters (74.8%) of Brussels residents feel road traffic speeds should be reduced and that this is the most important parameter that needs to be changed to make the capital’s roads safer. This was one of the findings of an online survey on the main priorities and concerns of capital residents, conducted within the framework of the Brussels Estates General on Road Safety.
This event, organised over a number of months, was closed on Tuesday by Brussels State Secretary for Road Safety Bianca Debaets. It brought together various citizens’ groups, associations and experts to discuss various aspects of road safety and come up with recommendations.
“I’ve always been in favour of a generalised Zone-30 (30 kmph speed limit) in the Brussels Region except for the main highways,” Debaets said. “I am happy to see that an enormous majority of Brussels residents are, in fact, of the same opinion.”
According to the State Secretary, speeding has regularly headed the list of key factors in discussions between experts and grassroot associations. The Region has invested millions of euros in acquiring radars, lidars, and additional speed-check service systems. “More than ever before, we are calling on Brussels mayors and precincts to use them extensively and do more and more monitoring,” Debaets added.
One of the findings of the online survey was that the main concern of the 1,500 Brussels residents polled was incivility on the road. According to Debaets, the number of Brussels residents who had experienced at least one case of aggressiveness in traffic (37%) was the highest in the country. One of the recommendations of the Estates General was to mobilise police officers on foot and on bicycle, capable of intervening faster and more easily in the event of antisocial and dangerous behaviour such as double parking or cars blocking the path of public transport vehicles.
Many respondents also complained that traffic signs and road development were insufficiently clear.
Debaets agreed. “I cannot but say these motorists are right: we have to make Brussels road development arrangements clearer and more legible,” she admitted.
“Moving towards a generalised Zone 30 will create more clarity. We can link that to a vast awareness campaign with the necessary infrastructure modification. A global, coherent approach in consultation with the communes is necessary to facilitate this clarity,” the State Secretary said.