Belgium below average on EU road safety
20 February 2006, BRUSSELS — Belgium has reduced the number of traffic deaths in recent years - but at a rate lower than the European average, a European Commission evaluation indicates.
20 February 2006
BRUSSELS — Belgium has reduced the number of traffic deaths in recent years - but at a rate lower than the European average, a European Commission evaluation indicates.
The EC is especially concerned about the increasing number of fatal accidents involving motorbikes.
Europe is aiming to reduce the annual number of traffic deaths to a maximum of 25,000 by 2010. That is half the number of fatalities recorded in 2001.
European Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot will publish an interim evaluation of the traffic safety plan on Wednesday.
Current estimates indicate the number of traffic deaths across the 25-nation EU fell by 17.5 percent between 2001 and 2005 to 41,600 deaths.
Eleven countries were praised for reducing the number of fatalities better than the EU average. France topped the list, recording a 32 percent fall in fatalities.
On the other end of the scale are primarily the new EU member states from Eastern Europe.
In large Eastern European countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, the number of fatalities is still rising.
The EC said Belgium is located between these two groups, making "limited progress". It was the only EU country which did not supply figures for the years 2003-04.
But based on estimates, the EC decided that the number of road deaths between 2001 and 2004 fell by more than 5 percent, but less than the European average.
The EC expects that recent road safety measures taken by the Belgian government will lead to fewer fatalities.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news