Nineteen cyclists killed already this summer
In the first six weeks of the summer holiday, 19 cyclists were killed in traffic accidents, a figure which dramatically exceeds other years. All of the accidents were caused by a collision between a cycle and a motor vehicle.
Cycling has become more popular in recent years in Belgium, not only for avid cyclists but also as a general means of transport. Unfortunately the downside of the equation is that with the increasing popularity there comes an increase in the number of fatal accidents.
"This is an awful lot in just a month and a half. According to the most recent figures up until now an average of 7 cyclists die per month,” said Werner De Dobbeleer from the Belgian Institute of Traffic Safety
The number of fatalities usually increases in September, thought to be because many children start cycling to school and do not have experience on the roads. During exam time in June more children use their bicycle as well. According to Mr De Dobbeleer there are usually no cycle fatalities in July and August.
"Let's hope that there is a 'coincidence factor' here," concludes Werner De Dobbeleer.
The Flemish farmers' union Boerenbond is asking cyclists and other drivers to be extra careful on rural roads now that the harvesting month has begun. More tractors than usual will be on the small rural roads, making cyclists even more vulnerable on these roads. The Boerenbond asks car drivers and buses to reduce their speed and drive carefully.