Simply crossing the road continues to claim victims in Brussels. On Wednesday evening two children aged nine and 13 were run over as they crossed the road in Watermael-Boitsfort. The children were using a zebra crossing on the Place Wiener while the light was red. The two sisters were taken to hospital, where their lives were said not to be in danger. The driver of the vehicle tested negative for alcohol.
In Kraainem, meanwhile, an 87-year-old man died after being run over crossing the road just over the regional border in Kraainem, on the Koningin Astridlaan. The man was taken to hospital but died later of his injuries. Again, the driver tested negative for alcohol, and the prosecutor’s office of Halle-Vilvoorde assigned a forensic traffic expert to the case.
The latest accidents come soon after a young woman was killed while crossing at green on the Chaussée de Jette in Koekelberg, by a driver who overtook a vehicle on the right by driving over a cycle path. Residents from Koekelberg and neighbouring communes Ganshoren, Berchem-Ste-Agathe and Jette have formed a local association to fight again what is seen as a growing death toll of pedestrians on the roads.
Meanwhile Brussels multimedia platform Bruzz has carried out a poll among users to find out the most dangerous junctions in the city for crossing the road, after another woman was injured on the Place Yser by the canal in Brussels. She is now out of danger.
According to Bruzz, the top three most dangerous places in the city for pedestrians are the Place Sainctelette in Brussels-City, and Place Meiser and Place Jules De Trooz, both in Schaerbeek. All three were described by users on the spot by variations on the phrase “complete chaos”.
For traffic expert Kris Peeters, the traffic at such spots is, for more vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians, “swimming with the sharks”.
“At this sort of location it’s often not possible to solve the problems at the level of a junction or even a whole neighbourhood,” Peeters told Bruzz. “In fact it all goes back to the number of cars there are in a city like Brussels. That’s now simply too high, partly as a result of the number of commuters who stream into the city, almost all of whom are alone in their cars. We use our public space exceptionally inefficiently. That’s where policy-makers need to do something.”