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Road rage experienced by 35% more people since start of crisis
Road users confronted with incidents of aggressive driving shot up by 35% across Belgium since the corona crisis began, according to a survey carried out on behalf of road safety agency Vias. The survey questioned residents of Belgium on various mobility issues, including tailbacks, public transport and infrastructural changes.
Split up by region, Wallonia saw the biggest increase, with 42% more respondents saying they have been faced with road rage compared to 2019 figures. In Brussels and Flanders, the figures were pretty much the same – around 35% higher.
Residents questioned cited speeding as the biggest problem, which has actually increased despite there being less traffic. The less traffic there is, the more people feel free to drive faster, according to Vias.
Last year also saw a number of debates around road use by motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and users of scooters. This, coupled with changes to urban infrastructure to improve the situation for vulnerable road users, has led to friction between them and drivers.
In Brussels alone, temporary cycle lanes, the introduction of Zone 30 and making the avenues around Bois de la Cambre car-free resulted in heated debates last year. Of those questioned, nearly two-thirds were positive about improved infrastructure for vulnerable road users. Only 17% were negative about the changes, with the rest reported feeling neutral about it.
In terms of positive effects of the corona crisis on mobility, the two most cited were less traffic and less travel in general. More than one in 10 were positive about their experience taking up – or returning to – cycling.
Brussels is first when it comes to concern about taking public transport, with 47% citing stress around it. The national average was 31%, or nearly one in three worried about taking public transport during the pandemic. The second-biggest concern was crowded pavements and cycle paths.
More than half of all respondents think that the traffic situation in Belgium will return to what it was after the crisis is over, and 40% of Brussels residents think that it will be worse.
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