Walloon driver more prone to road rage
According to the latest road insecurity survey from the VIAS traffic safety institute, 40% of Walloon drivers show aggressive road behavior. For Brussels, there are 32%, while only 13 to 21% of Flemish drivers show such signs. Honking (28%), obscene gestures (28%), and insults (27%) are amongst the most common. They are mainly committed by young male drivers.
With congestion, road rage has become, unfortunately, something of a common sight on Belgian roads. According to an Esra study, 41% of Belgian drivers admit to having already shown aggressive behavior, while 37% agree having driven dangerously. More so, 85% of Belgians have already observed aggressive road behavior.
Walloon most aggressive
“It’s in the five Walloon provinces that the perception of aggressive behavior from other drivers is the most widespread (40%), followed by Brussels (32%) and Flanders (13-21%),” writes VIAS in its latest road insecurity survey.
Honking is the most common aggressive road behavior. 63% of Belgian drivers admit using it to express their dissatisfaction regularly. Only Italians and Greeks do worse. For the rest, obscene gestures (28%) and insults (27%) are amongst the most commonly observed.
Young male drivers
As in many road safety statistics, young male drivers come, once again, at the top of the chart. A 2017 Stephens&Fitzharris study concluded that 35,5% of aggressive behavior was committed by young males aged under 40. On the other hand, only 19% came from young female drivers, and 11% from male aged 40 or more.
Anti-road rage training
Road rage doesn’t stay unpunished. In case of an accident or a regular police check, aggressive drivers can be sent to court. An alternative is anti-road rage training. “The 30-hour module is given five times a year, and it’s aimed at road rage actors (vandalism, threats or wilful injuries),” informs VIAS.
The objective is to help the driver understand the reasons for his (or her) aggressive behavior and the potential consequences. Since 2011, the number of attending drivers has sharply increased from 1.377 to 5.878 in 2018.
Fine or driving license withdrawal
Since 2000, Belgium has put up a particular directive that allows sanctions to increase in case of road rage. When an aggressive driver commits a road traffic offense, that directive makes it possible, among other things, to increase the fine. It can even go as far as a driving license withdrawal or a vehicle impoundment. If no traffic offense has been committed, the road rage driver can be sent to court.