Road deaths rise in Belgium
For the first time in nine years the number of deaths on Belgian roads is on the rise again according to the Department for Mobility.In 2001, 1,486 people were killed in traffic accidents in Belgium. By 2008 this figure had fallen to 922.
Last year the tally stood at 955. It was the first rise in nine years.
The rise means Belgium is still well short of the target reduction (750 deaths) that it hopes to achieve this year.
The figures also reveal regional differences. In Flanders the number of accidents fell by 4.2%. This means that there were less than 30,000 road accidents for the very first time. The number of fatalities fell to 483, a fall of 12 in comparison with the previous year.
In Wallonia there were more accidents and more deaths. Accidents rose by 1.6%, deaths by 3.9%.
29% of accidents happened during the weekend. 43% of all road deaths occurred during the weekend too.
The Secretary of State for Transport Etienne Schouppe (Flemish Christian democrat) told VRT News that weekend accidents are usually more serious than those that happen during the week.