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North zone police to target speeding checks on problem streets

17:31 25/11/2021

The Brussels North police zone is planning a traffic safety campaign that will see them paying special attention to six problem areas in Schaerbeek, Evere and Saint-Josse, as well as educating pedestrians and users of ‘micromobility’, such as bikes and e-scooters.

Police have been making an effort in Schaerbeek in particular following a number of deadly accidents and citizen activism, not least by the neighbourhood group 1030/0. An increase in the use of traffic cameras and police stops have seen more than 300 fines handed out every day in the municipality, half of them for speeding.

“Over the last three years, there have been no fatalities due to accidents involving vulnerable road users,” in Schaerbeek said the zone in a statement. Vulnerable road users are pedestrians and users of micromobility.

The North zone police are now launching another ‘red artery’ campaign, which was also done in 2019. The idea is to concentrate on six problem streets and intersections where the most serious infractions occur. It seems that speed demons are still a problem on Avenue Léon Mahillon and Rue Masui in Schaerbeek, Avenues Cicéron and Anciens Combattants in Evere, and Rue des Coteaux and Rue du Progrès in Saint-Josse.

Changing behaviour

Police hope that frequent checks on these arteries will change drivers’ behaviour as the chance of getting caught will be high. Pieter Fannes of 1030/0, which was founded to demand something be done about the out-of-control speeding in Schaerbeek, told Bruzz that the previous red artery campaign was successful in creating a change in speeds in the streets involved.

In Schaerbeek, the efforts have seen accidents in general in fall by a quarter, the police zone reports. At the same time, accidents that are not fatal but involved injuries were up last year on the year before. Because about 40% of them involved pedestrians and users of micromobility, the police plan an awareness campaign for these road users. Problems with these road users include crossing on a red light, crossing between cars and looking at a mobile phone while walking.

Fatal traffic accidents across the Brussels Capital-Region were in fact down in the first nine months of this year, compared to the same period last year. There were six fewer fatalities so far this year than last year.

The figure was also down in Wallonia but up in Flanders, leading to a total of 290, two fewer than last year nationwide. “The trend in the number of road deaths in Wallonia and Brussels is very positive,” said Vias, “but the increase in the number of victims in Flanders is alarming.”

Photo ©Thierry Roge/BELGA


Written by Lisa Bradshaw