France: 80 kph speed limit saved 206 lives
French Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, announced that the lowered speed limit saved 206 lives. Last year, the government changed the speed limit from 90 to 80 kph on secondary roads for safety reasons. Even though results are positive, the Minister notes that numbers could have been better if speed cameras weren’t destroyed during the Yellow Jacked movement.
On Tuesday, French Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner (LREM), gave positive feedback on the much-contradicted speed limit reduction. Last year, the French government decided to reduce the speed limit on 400.000 km of secondary roads from 90 to 80 kph.
Compared to the five previous years, 2018 saw a reduction in the number of road fatalities. According to the Minister’s figures, 206 lives were saved. Mr. Castaner owes those positive numbers to the speed reduction. But he also points out that more victims could have been avoided.
He points the finger to thugs who destroyed a good chunk of speed cameras during the Yellow Jacket protests. “At the height of the protests, 75% of the fleet was destroyed,” notes Christophe Castaner.
Since then, repair works have started. New-generation machines will now replace vandalized speed cameras. Those will be able to catch speeding motorists but also those holding their cell phones or even those not wearing a seatbelt.
Although the Minister proudly presents those numbers, the Parliament has already agreed to ease the speed limit on certain secondary roads. According to the mobility law voted last month at the National Assembly, counties will now be in charge of determining the speed limit.
“They will do it on their responsibility,” insists the Minister. He also points out that local communities will have to get an accident study done before changing the speed limit.
2018: best year for road safety
Last year detains the record for the safest year on French roads ever. Road accidents took the life of 3.248 people. June 2019 continues the trend with 290 deaths.
Various new measures voted in the mobility law will soon be put up. Holding a cell phone while driving will be more severely sanctioned. Operators, such as Waze and Coyote, will also be banned from informing users about some exceptional anti-terrorism police checks.