Our (Belgian) road accident figures are going anything but towards 0. The latest Road Safety Barometer shows that the number of deaths (at the scene) on our roads has increased by more than 16% compared to the same period last year. 326 people have already died in traffic this year. More than a quarter of them are pedestrians or cyclists. The number of cycling deaths even rises to the highest number in the past 10 years (from 31 to 49).
Mobile 21 wrote a blog text about it, how we do get towards that 0. Fewer cars instead of newer cars. Human-sized streets instead of car-sized streets:
How to go to Zero?
A different approach from the ‘blame the victim’ approach in the city of Hasselt.
Very curious what you think about this? How can we move towards that zero?
I think it proves that no matter how much money you throw at infrastructure, the problem still remains that most of our cities and villages are succumbing to too many cars. There’s only so much public space to divide and motorized traffic just takes up too much of it, causing conflicts that result in way too many road deaths each year. Lesser cars, combined with better and safer infrastructure, better enforcement and regulations, good prevention and sensibilisation; in that order can ultimately lead to zero traffic fatalities. Rather sooner than later, because these increasing number of deaths on our roads are a disgrace!
We need to humanise the cost - get away from “cars in accidents” and “cyclists / pedestrians” and talk more about the humans that were involved who were driving the vehicle (especially trucks and buses) or those people who were riding the cycles.
The effect is always much greater when we know the stories behind the fatalities - but unfortunately the media only does this when there is a “worthy” character … such as a junior doctor, or a school-girl that were the victims, but I think we could get more impact by talking about ALL the victims more (especially here in the UK) and the conditions that led to the event.
I remember seeing this Western Australian advert not too long ago (though it is from 2020) and the message here is very powerful