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6. Mobility and road safety

Mobility in the Brussels-Capital Region involves multiple travel methods (active modes, public transport, motor vehicles and waterways). Changes in this area in conjunction with security lead us to think about the complexity of the interactions between the various aspects of mobility, in particular road safety and security on public transport. Our understanding of these changes is essential. It is this which guarantees that we can move around in all safety, and this is intimately connected to the challenges to be met and to the most fundamental exercise of our freedoms.

The topic of road safety is closely linked with the powers that were regionalised following the Sixth State Reform (Highway Code violations, road traffic rules, creation of a regional road safety fund, etc.). The priorities already identified at the national level include excessive and inappropriate speed, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the use of seatbelts and restraints, driver distraction, fatigue, the regulations for heavy and lighter goods vehicles, vehicle inspection, driver training and testing, the safety of vulnerable users, effective penalties and combatting repeat offending, appropriate measures for foreign offenders, and raising awareness among the general public.

In the Brussels-Capital Region, the priorities have been established by the States General for Road Safety and the 2011-2020 regional road safety action plan (PASR) approved by the government on 28 April 2011. This plan contains nine strategic objectives, 48 operational objectives and 183 actions. Set against the European and federal fight against the lack of safety of the roads, its aim is to reduce by 50% the number of victims of road traffic accidents by 2020, as compared with the average for the period 2006-2008.

The accident rate

The urban character and the small size of the Brussels Region is a determining factor for road safety statistics, since traffic speeds are lower. The weighted number of accidents is lower overall, as is the number of serious accidents, with only 5% of the total deaths in Belgium. Nevertheless, the Brussels Region records more accidents at crossroads, higher average blood-alcohol levels in drivers testing positive, and the highest instance of the use of mobile phones, cigarettes or other objects while driving.

Vulnerable users (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists) need particular attention, due to the urban character and the rising use of two-wheeled transport in towns. 

Public transport is an essential aspect in the sustainable development of the Brussels-Capital Region and has its own issues, due to:

  • Certain types of crime linked to themes addressed elsewhere in this plan, and the feelings of insecurity they cause;
  • The supra-local organisation of transport companies;
  • The integrated organisation of police services and partners.

The importance of public transport in the Brussels Region is reflected in the following figures:

  • 134.9 million metro journeys, 132.7 million by tram and 102.6 million by bus, representing a total of 370.2 million journeys for the STIB;
  • 94,605 journeys using the TEC lines;
  • 45 million passengers travel from, towards or in the Brussels Region with the operator De Lijn;
  • 363,375 passengers embark on the SNCB’s train every week.

Given this importance, this plan pays particular attention to securing all the transport modes in the Brussels Region.

The offences committed at the port of Brussels mainly concern the theft of material from sites within the port area, thefts from business break-ins, the abandonment of stolen vehicles and insurance fraud, vandalism (tags and graffiti, etc.), crimes against environmental legislation (deliberate or accidental pollution), etc.

Like all public transport infrastructure, the port has particular issues in terms of collaboration with the integrated police. In particular, for bodies of water, the federal police responsible for navigable waters are responsible for the canal, with the occasional support of local police, and local police districts are charged with other interventions in the Port area at the request of the harbour master (the Bruxelles-Ouest, Midi and Bruxelles-Capitale-Ixelles police districts).