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Brussels sees lowest number of road deaths in a decade

© Alex Lee via Unsplash

Brussels registered four road accident deaths in the first half of this year, the lowest total for ten years, according to traffic institute Vias.

Last year, the region suffered ten deaths in the first six months – a period when teleworking meant there were fewer cars on the roads.

Wallonia too registered a lower total of road deaths in the first half of 2021 – 70 compared to 88 last year.

In Flanders, however, the trend is ever-upwards, from 88 in 2020 to 109 this year, the highest total since 2016, when there were 132 in the first half of the year.

“The figures are not favourable for Flanders, especially in the knowledge that the hospitality industry was closed for a long time this spring and there was still a curfew for several months,” said Vias in a statement.

The relaxation of anti-corona measures in June, in particular, had an effect, with 27 fatalities in that month alone, compared to 13 in June 2020.

Comparatively speaking, fatalities among riders of mopeds rose from three in 2020 to six in 2021. In absolute numbers, the death toll was highest among car drivers and passengers, increasing from 33 to 44.

With regards to motorcycle riders, 18 deaths were recorded this year compared to 14 last year. Deaths in light commercial vehicles went up from 12 to 16. These figures concern Flanders alone.

On a national level, the positive results in Wallonia and Brussels bring the averages down by an aggregate 2% for fatal accidents.

For non-fatal accidents incurring injuries, on the other hand, there remains an upward trend with 12% more accidents and 11% more injuries.

In Flanders, the number of accidents rose by 11% (from 8,585 to 9,509), in Brussels by 6% (from 1,481 to 1,568) and in Wallonia by 16% (from 3,824 to 4,441).

The figures reveal two emerging trends. Firstly, moped accidents are on the rise; probably as the vehicles become more popular for those under 24 and perhaps given their use in food delivery jobs.

Secondly, accidents involving electric bicycles have increased by 24% this year compared to an increase of only 3% for users of ordinary bicycles.