Road deaths in 2016 at historic low


The number of people who were injured or died in traffic accidents in Flanders – and across the country – continues to decrease, with 2016 showing the best figures ever

Down 15%

The number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in Belgium fell in 2016 to 640, a drop of 13% compared to 2015, the Institute for Road Safety (BIVV) has announced. In Flanders, the number dropped by 15%. The figures are historic lows.

In Flanders, home to 60% of the population, 320 people died in road accidents last year, exactly half of the national total. That was down from 378 in 2015. Limburg was responsible for the sharpest drop.

The 640 total includes victims who died up to 30 days after the accident; 540 of the victims died at the scene. The figures confirm a decade-long trend: Until some 10 years ago, the totals were about 1,000.

“The speed cameras have created a shift in thinking,” said Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts, “namely that we should always keep to the speed limit on the motorways and not only where speed monitoring has been announced.”

The number of accidents with injuries and the number of injured people also both decreased slightly, by 0.5% and 1.4%, respectively, nationwide. Although the Brussels-Capital Region had a slight increase in both categories. The number of accidents involving cyclists in Flanders was up by 2.2%, while in Brussels the increase was 19.2%. A large part of the increase involved cycling seniors, the BIVV said.

“For many types of users, our roads have never been as safe as they were last year,” BIVV said in a statement. “Compared to France, Germany and the Netherlands, Belgium saw the most positive evolution in the number of accidents involving injuries and the number of injured people.”

Photo: Junior Libby/Wikimedia