Road fatalities up 8 per cent last year, death toll among cyclists reaches all-time high
The number of deaths on Belgian roads in 2022 has increased by 8 per cent compared to 2021, according to figures provided by the federal police. Last year, 521 people were killed in traffic accidents. The number of cycling deaths rose from 74 to 95, the highest number ever recorded - a trend which appears in line with the sharp increase in the popularity of bicycles.
All national trends show an increase. As well as the number of fatalities, the number of people injured (+8 per cent) and the number of injury accidents (+9 per cent) are on the rise. However, there are significant differences between regions: in Flanders, the number of road fatalities fell by 7 per cent (from 291 to 271), whereas in Wallonia, there was a sharp increase (from 187 to 229). In Brussels, the number of deaths rose from 6 to 21.
Ninety-five cyclists (up from 74 in 2021) and 80 pedestrians (up from 69 in 2021) died in traffic in 2022. Almost half of cycling victims (46 per cent) are over 65 years old. Nearly 4 in 10 cyclists (39 per cent) were riding electric bikes at the time of the accident.
This increase seemingly goes hand in hand with the sharp increase in popularity of cycling as a mode of transport. According to the Federal Public Service (FPS) for Mobility, cycling is now the primary mode of transportation for 14,1 per cent of Belgian workers, up from 7,8 per cent in 2005 and 11,1 per cent in 2017. No other mode of transportation has seen more substantial growth over the years in Flanders, Wallonia or Brussels. The rise of electric bikes and speed pedelecs is partly responsible for this growing popularity.
In addition, there were also four deaths among users of e-scooters.
© BELGA PHOTO NICHOLAS DE COCKER