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Nearly half of children are afraid of traffic

11:22 10/03/2015

Eight out of 10 Dutch-speaking children between the ages of six and 14 consider traffic as dangerous, while nearly half (46%) are actually afraid of getting hurt on the road. These startling figures are the result of an online survey carried out by TV channel VTM and the Institute for Mobility (Imob) at Hasselt University.

The survey asked 5,510 children and 13,482 parents about their perception of how children and adults behave in traffic and their generally experience on the roads. It also asked questions about the extent to which road safety was discussed at home and in school.

It turns out that youngsters have quite a sober image of road safety, “although they often have difficulties estimating dangers correctly,” said professor Tom Brijs of Imob.

The large majority (83%) of parents also think traffic is dangerous for young children. One out of two thinks that their child is too quickly distracted, and two out of three feel their child can’t accurately estimate the dangers of traffic.

According to children, parents don’t always set a good example. While 38% of parents admit to using their mobile phones behind the wheel, 50% of their children say they have done so. More than half of all parents also admit to having driven too fast with their child in the car.

Most parents (79%) and children (69%) feel that there should be more attention given to road safety at school.

The online survey is part of a traffic safety campaign, with VTM kids’ programme KZoom characters Zeppe and Zikki serving as mascots. Flemish mobility minister Ben Weyts is asking municipalities to devote extra attention to safety on routes that children follow on their way to school, sport centres or youth clubs.


photo courtesy

Written by Andy Furniere



They are right. They are also part of the problem. The drunken driver and entitled and suicidal cyclist season are now declared open. Belgium remains an accident blackspot in North Western Europe for good reasons. Even the kids can see it.

Mar 10, 2015 22:30