Over 200 calls to Brussels emergency services during car-free Sunday
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    Over 200 calls to Brussels emergency services during car-free Sunday

    Cyclists, rollerbladers and e-scooter enthusiasts took back the streets of Brussels on Sunday. Credit: © Belga

    Brussels Firefighters received nearly 250 calls for assistance during this year’s car-free Sunday, in figures that reveal a slight hike from last year’s numbers.

    The event shut down the city’s streets to most vehicles for the larger part of the day, and saw cyclists, rollerbladers and e-scooter enthusiasts across Brussels take back streets usually dominated by motorised vehicles.

    At the end of the event, the fire department totalled 246 medical interventions, out of which 89 were for injuries on public areas, including road-related incidents.

    This year’s figures represent a slight increase from last year’s event, which saw the fire department carry out a total of 227 medical interventions, 72 of which were for injuries.

    Both years’ figures also represent a hike from the number of interventions carried out during the same time period on a day with normal circulating conditions, a statement provided by the fire department showed.

    On Sunday 15 September 2019, a total of 167 calls were made to the fire department during the same time frame, a hike which could be attributed to the car-ban implemented for the event.

    “In normal conditions, some sick and injured people who would normally drive to the emergency ward themselves, call ambulances to take them to the hospital,” the statement said.

    Car-free Sunday saw most vehicles —with exceptions including public transport buses, taxis and emergency and diplomatic service vehicles— banned from circulating on the roads of the Brussels-Capital Region from 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM.

    The event was also organised in other Belgian cities such as Mons and Ath in Wallonia, according to Le Soir, as well as in over 50 cities in Flanders.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times