Minister Peeters’ MIA approach to accelerate traffic safety improvement
Flemish Minister for Mobility, Lydia Peeters (Open Vld), has launched a new approach to tackle unsafe traffic situations. MIA – Mobiliteit Innovatief Aanpakken – was presented on Monday in Hasselt.
With the MIA approach, the new and innovative way to tackle unsafe traffic situations, the minister wants to accelerate infrastructural investments to improve traffic safety. Dangerous and problematic intersections, roundabouts, and approach and exit roads will be tackled more quickly.
“It’s not enough to provide additional investments as long as busybodying hinders a rapid solution,” Minister Peeters told the Belga press agency. “My daily target is to aim at zero traffic victims. Now that figures stagnate, it’s time for an innovative approach.”
Irritation and frustration
According to the minister, the overabundance of rules, specifications, instructions, and complex and time-consuming procedures slow down infrastructural interventions. “We know the dangerous crossings or bicycle paths, but it takes too much time before the problems are solved,” the minister says. “This not only causes irritation and frustration, in the meantime, but it also costs lives.”
Minister Peeters is planning to test the MIA approach by experimenting with the proactive detection of unsafe traffic situations in two experimental gardens, one in Limburg and one in West Flanders. Several traffic situations will be monitored by cameras and drones.
Citizens will also be able to report undangerous situations via electronic platforms. The first MIA works will become visible in October. The last completions are provided for December 2023.
MIA is innovative because of the accelerated and simplified approach and also by the way of cooperating with several stakeholders who all support the communal mission: bringing back the number of traffic fatalities in Flanders to zero.
High on the agenda
IMOB, the research center of the Hasselt University, is participating in the project. ” The Hasselt University wants to be a civic university that contributes to the region,” Prof. dr. Tom Brijs (UHasselt) says. “The MIA experimental field in Limburg is a select opportunity to put it into practice.”
Gijs Moors, departmental manager of the Agency for Roads and Traffic (Agentschap Wegen en Verkeer, AWV) in Limburg: “Traffic safety and safe and comfortable bicycle paths are high on AWV’s agenda. Thanks to MIA, we can now experiment with innovative systems and gear up.”