Emergency telephones in Belgium still important
While people are turning to their mobile phones instead of the emergency telephones on Belgian roads, it is still essential to keep them while network is down or busy.7 August 2008
BELGIUM – The distinctively orange emergency telephones on Belgian roads still serve their purpose even as less people tend to make use of them, says Flemish Traffic Control Centre in Wilrijk.
According to Hajo Beeckman of the centre, the emergency telephones along Belgian roads are currently used about 10,000 times a year. Per day, this makes an average of 29 calls.
In comparison to the year 2000 when there were still some 74 registered calls per day, that number has clearly dropped.
While Beeckman is admits the less people are using emergency telephones now, he strongly believes they still serve their cause.
“Not every one has a cell phone,” he says. “Besides, even mobile phone owners may find themselves in an area with no range at all, or be confronted with an exhausted battery,” he points out.
Figures show that foreign drivers especially benefit from the presence of emergency telephones.
“60 per cent of our callers are foreigners, many of them tourists or truck drivers. Many of them cannot use their phone abroad. In those cases, the orange emergency telephone comes in quite handy,” Beeckman explains.
Because of their vital presence in case of an emergency, the Flemish authorities intend to continue to invest in the phones’ maintenance.
“In the event of a major road accident, the mobile phone networks may easily be overloaded,” it is said.
“When the occasion arises, emergency telephones may save lives.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]