VIAS: ‘there is a real problem with speeding in Wallonia’
The Belgian safety institute, VIAS, points out in its latest thematic report that the number of deadly highways accidents has increased in the last two years, especially in Wallonia. From 36,3 deaths per 1.000 accidents in 2016, this increased to 41,6 in 2017. The institute says speeding is the major cause.
“These figures show the absolute necessity to increase the number of speed controls on motorways”, declares VIAS’ spokesperson, Benoît Godart. “Wallonia needs more average speed cameras. There is a real problem with speeding in Wallonia!”
The spokesperson adds that this issue of speeding and the increasing number of deaths on highways isn’t happening in the northern part of the country.
More average speed cameras
By the end of 2018, forty new speed cameras should be installed all across Wallonia. Some of them will be average speed checks. Seven million euro will be invested in this but exact locations aren’t known yet. Currently, Wallonia only counts one average speed zone, while Flanders already has nearly 60 of them, to be doubled in the short-term.
“Nothing excludes the possibility of more average speed zones on the highway”, explains the cabinet of Walloon Mobility Minister, Carlo Di Antonio (cdH). “The decision will be taken depending on the police zones’ demands and specific needs.”
Worse on secondary roads
Wallonia’s bad reputation doesn’t stop there. On secondary extra-urban roads, every thousand accidents cause 44,1 deaths. They are the country’s deadliest roads. In urban areas, Wallonia is also bottom of class in terms of road safety. The number of deaths per 1.000 accidents is 14,4 for Wallonia, 5,6 for Flanders and 4,5 in Brussels.
VIAS adds that the share of young drivers (18-25 years old) implicated in a deadly accident during the week has increased from 11% in 2016 to 20% in 2017.
In its report, VIAS shows the passenger’s influence on the driver’s behaviour too. For very young drivers, the more passengers in the car, the more risk of a deadly accident.
On the other hand, the number of passengers doesn’t negatively affects the risk when the driver is over 30 years old. Indeed, parents tend do be more careful on the road when their children are sitting in the back. That is called the ‘protector effect’.