Producers of a Belgian TV show that invited politicians on a bike ride as part of a discussion about how to make roads safer for cyclists had a surprise waiting for their guests – the show had gathered 500 relatives of people killed in road traffic collisions while riding their bikes.
The Brussels Times reports that the segment was included in the programme Make Belgium Great Again, which identifies problems within the country and tries to find solutions to them.
In the show which aired yesterday evening five politicians – each a senior figure from one of the main five political parties in Flanders – were taken on what they were told would be a “pleasant bike ride on a nice summer evening.”
Instead, the bike ride took in what have become known as ‘moordstrookje’ – chosen last year by dictionary publishers Van Dale as the Belgian/Flemish Word of the Year 2018 – and which translates as ‘murder strips’.
The term is defined as a painted bicycle lane on a dangerous street next to fast-moving cars, with such infrastructure often ending abruptly, forcing cyclists onto the main carriageway.
Following the bike ride, the show’s producers surprised the politicians with the group of 500 relatives of cyclists who had died as a result of such poor infrastructure.
All were wearing white t-shirts, many showing their relationship with the victim such as ‘mijn zoon’, ‘mijn dochter’, ‘mijn broer’ (‘my son’, ‘my daughter’, ‘my brother’). The victims themselves were represented by white ghost bikes.
Ellen Vanhove, who heads the programme’s editorial team, told the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, which has video from the programme: “We did not just want to make the umpteenth item about cyclists and traffic safety, we wanted to make an actual impact.
“In the end, we opted for this scenario. The politicians involved were not all equally happy about it, but the creases have been smoothened out now.”
She added: “We did not want to make it a policy discussion. The important thing is traffic safety here.”
Belgian TV show takes politicians on a bike ride – then confronts them with 500 relatives of cyclists killed through poor infrastructure | road.cc
Producers of a Belgian TV show that invited politicians on a bike ride as part of a discussion about how to make roads safer for cyclists had a surprise waiting for their guests – the show had gathered 500 relatives of people killed in road traffic collisions while riding their bikes. The Brussels Times reports… [Read More]