The use of the electric bike is on the increase in Belgium with one out of six Belgians currently using one.
This was one of the main findings of the 8th report of the National Road Safety Investigation by Vias, which was this year focused on bike use.
Each year, Vias performs a major survey on the behaviour of “Belgians mobility,” their sense of insecurity in traffic, and their support for certain road safety measures.
The Institute for Highway Safety adds that the number of cyclists in general is also increasing in Brussels (28 to 30%) and Flanders (63 to 69%), but not in Wallonia (from 25 to 24%).
With 16% of users in 2019, the use of the electric bike continues to increase in Belgium (+10% in 2018 and +13% in 2019). Vias institute further pointed out that bikes with pedal assistance rarely exceed 24 km/h.
However, the use of the car remains the most popular mode of transport in Belgium.
Last year, 83% travelled by car. Only one Walloon in three used public transport in 2019. About the same proportion is found in Brussels (64% by car).
When it comes to high-risk behaviour, speeding remains the major issue according to those who responded to the Vias survey.
“The percentage of drivers who say they exceed speed limitations on a monthly basis has increased, especially on highways, from 27 to 32%, and on extra-urban roads, from 31 to 36%.”
Though the fight against drunk driving remains one of the biggest priorities in terms of road safety, Vias disclosed that half of the questioned cyclists admitted to riding under the influence of alcohol. The Flemish (57%), much more than the Walloons (23%).
Moreover, the survey revealed that 54% of cyclists involved in an accident during weekend nights were under the influence.
Another observation raised by the investigation revealed that four cyclists in ten (43%) said they take the bike path in the opposite direction. “The risk of an accident with a motor vehicle is thereby increased, because the driver does not expect to see a cyclist surge in contraflow,” says Vias.
The Institute for Road Safety pleads for greater awareness of the 30 zones in city centres, while more than half of the citizens oppose them.