Road fatalities continue to decrease

The European Commission has published optimistic results last week on the percentage of Road fatalities. Both road fatalities and road accidents have kept decreasing over the past years. The European Commission published the EU statistics last week, which point out a global positive trend throughout the European continent. And Belgium is no exception.

From 2016 to 2017, road fatalities have decreased by 3%, with 55 deaths per million inhabitants. And from 2010 to 2017, the fall represents 26%, while the rate of deaths/million of inhabitants was 77 at the beginning of the decade.

Both the political efforts and the technological progresses and regulatory frameworks have made the road safer and the driving attitudes better.

But this is not the end of the story. The goal, both at the national and the EU level, has initially been to halve the road fatalities from 2010 to 2020. The Belgian authorities aim to reach the target of 420 deaths in 2020, while 620 people lost their life last year, Vias’ statistics highlighted.

And it seems it is unlikely achievable over the next three years. François Bellot, the Federal minister for mobility is still very involved in this process. “A regulatory framework has been implemented, to allow the measures we have set up to bear fruits, the current priority is to foster the number of road-checks”, he told last month.

On a micro-perspective, 15 people were found dead last year in Brussels (+6% in comparison with 2016). The rate is then about 12,8 per million of inhabitants, much lower than in Flanders (34,2) and in Wallonia (68,6).

Significant efforts should then be done to really make the roads friendly and safe areas. By 2050, the European Commission aims to achieve a “Vision 0” and cut-off as many road fatalities as possible.

Should the alcohol issue be tackled? A recent report on 38 countries indeed points out that 43% of the Belgians have already driven under intoxication, which makes Belgium the worst example.