Vias: ‘Far fewer traffic deaths on Belgian roads in 2023’

The number of road deaths in Belgium decreased by 21% in the first six months of the year compared to last year. Last year, 287 people died in traffic on Belgian roads, this year ‘only’ 227. Yet an average of nine people still die on Belgian roads every week, which remains far too many.

The figures come from Traffic Safety Institute Vias and are based on data from the Federal police – the lowest figures ever, excluding the pandemic years.

Positive trend…

The good news is that accidents with e-scooters fell. On the other hand, the number of deaths during weeknights increased spectacularly – they doubled.

The number of injury crashes also fell slightly – from 18 577 to 17 944, or a decrease of 3%. The accidents with injuries decreased by 4% – from 22 495 to 21 594. All indicators, therefore, show a positive trend.

…in all regions

The positive trend was also visible in all regions. Road fatalities fell the most in Wallonia: from 133 to 100, or -25%. In Flanders, the downsize trend was less spectacular: from 142 to 122, or -14%.

Injury accidents fell most in Brussels: from 2 081 to 1 898, or -9%. In Flanders, from 11 547 to 11 230, or -3%, and in Wallonia, from 4 949 to 4 816, or -3%.

Many vans involved

The number of deaths was lower in all Flemish provinces, except for Flemish Brabant, which increased from 14 to 18. In all other Flemish provinces, figures went down: in Limburg, from 24 to 18; in West Flanders, from 36 to 28; in East Flanders, from 31 to 28; and in Antwerp, from 37 to 30.

The number of fatalities in accidents involving vans remains high, partly due to the permanent success of e-commerce. However, the number of cycling deaths fell sharply from 54 to 37.

No reason for euphoria yet

The number of injury crashes is falling for almost all types of road users; only for pedestrians and mopeds, there is no improvement. And the most favorable trend is visible in the number of electric scooter accidents.

So, in general, we notice a positive trend. Nevertheless, there is no reason for euphoria. The favorable trend should continue in the coming months and years.

Alone on the road

As the first day of the new school year approaches, Vias calls for extra vigilance from all road users because, after a long holiday, hundreds of thousands of children set out again on foot, by bicycle, or by public transport.

According to a new Vias survey among 640 children between 10 and 14 years old, in Flanders, more than half aged twelve or more go to school on foot or by bicycle. The transition to secondary school is a turning point: half of these young people go to school alone as soon as they enter secondary school.

In Flanders, more than half of young people (between 10 and 14) go to school by bicycle (28%) or on foot (25%). Walking is the most popular way to school in Wallonia (37%).


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