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Road deaths rise across Belgium as commuters get back behind the wheel

09:01 27/02/2023

The number of road deaths across Belgium rose by 8% last year compared with 2021 as commuters continue to return to the road after more than two years of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

These figures, released by the Vias road safety institute, still show that fewer people are dying on the roads compared to before the pandemic.

The marked year-on-year increase was felt most severely in Wallonia and in Brussels, with the former experiencing a rise of 22% in 2022.

The number of deaths in the capital rose from six to 21 last year. By contrast, the death toll in Flanders dropped by 7% across the same period.

Cyclists, pedestrians and people who ride electric scooters were the most likely to be killed, with almost one death every day recorded in 2022 throughout the country.

Some 95 cyclists (compared to 74 in 2021), 80 pedestrians (69 in 2021) and four users of electric scooters (one in 2021) died in traffic accidents in Belgium, marking the highest number of cyclist deaths in 10 years.

Last year also witnessed a steep rise in electric scooter accidents, averaging five every day, or 1,715 accidents – an increase of 63% compared to the year before. As electric scooter accidents are largely unreported, these figures are likely an understatement.

Europe-wide road safety figures released by the European Commission last week recorded a rise of 3% in the number of fatal road accidents across the continent compared with the previous year. About 20,600 people lost their lives in road accidents across Europe last year.

In 2018, the EU set itself the goal of halving the number of road deaths by 2030.

Written by Paul Millar