E-bikes Are on the Rise in Belgium: One in Six Riders Uses an E-bike

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The use of electric bicycles is in constant evolution in Belgium and one Belgian out of six uses an e-bike, according to the main findings of the 8th edition of the National Road Safety Survey conducted by Vias. The survey focused on the use of bicycles this year.

The Institute For Road Safety adds that the number of cyclists, in general, is also increasing in Brussels (from 28% to 30%) and in Flanders (from 63% to 69 %), but not in Wallonia (which is falling a bit, from 25% to 24 %).

With 16% of riders in 2019, the use of electric bicycles continues to grow in Belgium, up from 10% in 2018 and 13% in 2019. The Vias Institute also points out that bicycles with pedal assistance rarely exceed a speed of 25km/h, which is a predefined speed limit by law across Europe.

Read also: Traditional or speed e-bike? – in this article.

Nevertheless, the use of a car still remains the most popular mode of transport for Belgians. Last year, 83% of Belgians drove their cars. Only one person in three in Wallonia used public transport in 2019. In Brussels, an equal proportion of inhabitants used public transport and the car (64%).

Read also: Can electric bikes replace cars in home-to-work commutes? – in this article.

Speed remains the major issue raised by respondents to the Vias survey in terms of risk behaviors. “The percentage of drivers reporting exceeding the speed limit each month has increased, especially outside built-up areas: from 27% to 32% on motorways and from 31% to 36% outside built-up areas”, relays Vias in its press release.

While the fight against drank-driving remains one of the most important battlegrounds in terms of road safety, Vias reveals that half of the cyclists surveyed admitted to riding their bikes under the influence of alcohol. 

The Flemish (57%) are significantly more numerous than the Walloons (23%), says the press release, which also reveals that 54% of checked cyclists involved in an accident on weekend nights were under the influence of alcohol.

Another fact raised by the Vias survey is that four out of ten cyclists (43%) report using the bicycle path the wrong way round. “The risk of having an accident with a motor vehicle is increased because the driver is not expecting to see a cyclist coming up the wrong way,” explains Vias.

Finally, the Institute for Road Safety pleads for better awareness of the generalized “30 km/h” speed limit zones in city centers, even though more than half of the citizens are opposed to this rule.

Every year, the Vias Institute carries out a major survey on the travel behaviors of Belgians, their feeling of security in traffic, and their adherence to certain road safety measures.

Read also: In Bavarian Alps electric bikes are not always welcome – in this article.

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