Nearly half of Flemish children are afraid of traffic

Summary

A new survey from the Institute for Mobility and broadcaster VTM shows that 80% of kids in Flanders find traffic dangerous, while nearly half are actually afraid of getting hurt

Kids tell on parents

Eight out of 10 children between the ages of six and 14 consider traffic as dangerous, while nearly half (46%) are actually afraid of getting hurt on the road. These startling figures are the result of an online survey carried out by TV channel VTM and the Institute for Mobility (Imob) at Hasselt University.

The survey asked 5,510 children and 13,482 parents about their perception of how children and adults behave in traffic and their generally experience on Flanders’ roads. It also asked questions about the extent to which road safety was discussed at home and in school.

It turns out that youngsters have quite a sober image of road safety, “although they often have difficulties estimating dangers correctly,” said professor Tom Brijs of Imob.

The large majority (83%) of parents also think traffic is dangerous for young children. One out of two thinks that their child is too quickly distracted, and two out of three feel their child can’t accurately estimate the dangers of traffic.

According to children, parents don’t always set a good example. While 38% of parents admit to using their mobile phones behind the wheel, 50% of their children say they have done so. More than half of all parents also admit to having driven too fast with their child in the car.

Most parents (79%) and children (69%) feel that there should be more attention given to road safety at school.

The online survey is part of a traffic safety campaign, with VTM kids’ programme KZoom characters Zeppe and Zikki serving as mascots. Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts is asking municipalities to devote extra attention to safety on routes that children follow on their way to school, sport centres or youth clubs.

Photo courtesy lokalepolitie.be

Hasselt University

Established in the 1970s, Hasselt University (UHasselt) is one of Flanders’ youngest universities. With six faculties, seven research institutes and two campuses, it’s become an established education and research centre.
PhD - UHasselt awarded Flanders’ first-ever doctorate in architecture in 2011.
Partners - The university works with Maastricht University in the Netherlands on many research projects and degree programmes.
Jail time - The centrepiece of the university’s city campus is the renovated 19th-century prison that houses the law programme.
1 973

university was founded

5 000

students

30

million euro budget for new city campus