Number of traffic accident victims in Brussels reaches new high
Despite new measures to improve road safety in the region, the number of road accident victims in Brussels reached its highest level on record last year, the Brussels Times reported on Friday.
The safety of pedestrians, car drivers and passengers has improved slightly in the capital, partly due to stricter speed limits, but the increasing use of e-scooters and bicycles is having a negative impact on the trend, according to figures released by Bruxelles Mobilité. "There are also worrying developments such as a trend towards bigger and heavier car models, the use of smartphones while driving and an increasing number of drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs," the organisation notes.
Last year, 4,800 people were injured in road accidents in Brussels - the highest number since records began 13 years ago and an increase of 5.3 per cent since 2019, when the last comparable data was recorded.
Reduced speed limit
As expected, the number of pedestrians injured dropped in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic and more people staying indoors. However, even in 2022, 913 pedestrians were injured - down from 1,064 in 2019. This shows a downward trend compared to the usual average, which fluctuates around 1,100 per year.
A similar trend was seen for car occupants, with the number of people injured falling to its lowest level in a decade, from 1,844 in 2012 to 1,115 in 2022. "In a city where the speed limit is now 30 km/h, it is very unlikely that a car occupant will be injured," says Bruxelles Mobilité.
The figures are worse for cyclists, who suffered more injuries in 2022 (1,086) than ever before. This figure has been rising steadily year on year since 2010 and, after 12 years, represents an increase of almost 170% in the number of people injured. This is most likely due to a sharp rise in the number of cyclists (up 300% since 2010). "The fact that the increase in accidents is slower than the increase in use shows that the relative risk of having an accident is decreasing," Bruxelles Mobilité noted.
However, the organisation noted that the necessary adaptations should be made to infrastructure, as the downward trend "must continue in order to reach the objective of zero deaths and serious injuries" that the region wants to achieve by 2030.
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