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2022 is 'annus horribilis' for road safety in Brussels

09:14 08/08/2023

Last year, Brussels suffered the worst record for road accidents in at least 10 years, new figures from the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (IBSA) have revealed.

After two calmer years during the pandemic, accidents have increased sharply in the Brussels region. IBSA noted 4,172 accidents in 2022, marking a 17.7% rise and the highest in a decade, as well as 204 serious injuries.

The number of accidents rose throughout Belgium, but Brussels saw the biggest rise. The biggest increases were seen in Koekelberg, Uccle and Anderlecht.

The top three communes for road accidents (reflective also of their large size) were Anderlecht, Ixelles and Schaerbeek, followed by Molenbeek.

Only two communes within the Brussels region - Berchem-Sainte-Agathe and Forest - did not record more accidents in 2022. More positively, despite a small rise, Schaerbeek recorded lower figures than those seen pre Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the Vias road safety institute has announced that more than half of the fatal accidents occurring on Belgian motorways in 2021-2022 took place near slip roads.

“More than a third (38%) of kilometres travelled on the Belgian road network are on the motorway,” said Vias, formerly the Belgian Institute for Road Safety (IBSR).

"The risk of accidents is lower there than on the rest of the network, but the seriousness of these accidents is much higher.

"Indeed, there are 231 people killed per 1,000 accidents on the motorway – this is three to four times more than in urban areas."

Belgium’s deadliest motorways outside Brussels are in East Flanders, with 73 fatalities per 100km of motorway in 2022. For Wallonia, Hainaut province’s roads are the most dangerous with 64 deaths per 100km.

Written by Liz Newmark