Sharp rise in hit-and-run accidents
19 October 2005
BRUSSELS — The number of hit-and-run accidents in Belgium has risen spectacularly in the past year, police figures have revealed.
Federal and local police recorded 9,991 hit-and-run crimes last year, an 80 percent rise on the 5,466 recorded in 2003.
Seven out of 10 hit-and-run accidents occur in Flanders, newspaper ‘Het Gazet van Antwerpen’ reported on Wednesday.
There were 848 injuries and 11 people killed in a hit-and-run accident last year, the Flemish daily said.
Insurers said the increase is due to increasing fear of higher insurance premiums as a result of an accident.
Drink driving also contributes to a motorist’s decision to flee the scene of an accident, insurers said.
Hit-and-run accidents have attracted intense media attention across Belgium in recent months.
Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt also urged the judiciary to place greater priority on prosecuting such crimes.
The problem is currently under investigation in the five Belgian regions, the results of which are expected in the near future.
Further instructions will then be issued to the nation’s attorneys-general.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news