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Hit-and-run incidents lead to community action in Schaerbeek

01:26 14/01/2018

The citizen’s platform 1030/0 held a community event in Schaerbeek on Sunday to both remember the victims who have been hit by cars in the municipality over the last two months and demand action from authorities.

The neighbourhood group formed last autumn in the wake of a hit-and-run that killed Stephanie Verbraekel, a graphic designer for De Standaard. The 28-year-old was hit by a speeding car while crossing the Chaussée de Haecht.

Since then, there have been three more hit-and-runs in the Brussels municipality. Just last weekend, a man and his five-year-old child were seriously injured when a car mounted the pavement and hit them at an entrance to Josaphat park. The driver, who fled on foot together with the passenger, was later found to have been drinking.

“Cyclists and pedestrians have no guarantee of a safe route through Schaerbeek,” says Stéphanie Terlinden of 1030/0. “We want to see that change.”

The group started a petition last November following the death of Verbraekel. “She was our neighbour, and her death shocked us all. But when we submitted a request for a hearing at the town council, we were turned down.”

The memorial and action in Schaerbeek took place at 15.00 on Sunday at the edge of Josaphat Park where Avenue des Azalées and Avenue Paul Deschanel come together. Participants were requested to bring a piece of chalk to “sketch the Schaerbeek of our dreams”.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw