Belgium: New drivers to get mandatory first aid training

  • May 15, 2018

The Brussels Capital region will introduce mandatory first aid training for all new drivers from November this year.  20,000 places on courses organised by the Red Cross will be available on an annual basis.  But the requirements only apply in Brussels, one of the three main administrative regions of Belgium.  The costs of the courses will be paid, not by drivers, but by the Brussels authorities.

ETSC says first aid training could be useful, and in any case, can prove helpful in a wide range of medical emergencies.  However, experts consulted as part of ETSC’s REVIVE project on post-collision care have pointed out that first aid training needs to be repeated to be most effective in ensuring bystanders know what to do in a road traffic emergency.

The Brussels region has also just completed a novel road safety survey for cyclists.

More than four hundred volunteers have spent six months signalling dangerous points for cyclists across the city.

From June 2017 until January this year, the volunteers used smartphone-connected, handle-bar mounted buttons to “ping” locations where they felt unsafe on Brussels roads.  The devices were operated more than 40,000 times, with around a half of cases highlighting poor or non-existent cycling infrastructure and the other half expressing concern over interaction with other road users en-route.

The results of the “Ping if you care” project will now be reviewed by Brussels Mobility, the local authority responsible for transport safety in the city.