Emmanuel Barbe, the outgoing French road safety chief, says 336 deaths were prevented over the 18-month period since the introduction of a lower 80 km/h on single-carriageway rural roads in France.
Mr Barbe also criticised the “shameful” vandalism that led to large numbers of speed cameras being put out of action by the yellow vest movement. Without that damage, the figures for deaths prevented would have been higher, he said.
An analysis report published last month by researchers at Cerema found that, thanks to the new speed limits, there has been:
- an average speed reduction of 3-4 km/h;
- a 13% reduction of road deaths on affected roads, compared to deaths on other roads;
- an estimated increased travel time of 1 second per km based on data from Google Maps.
The Cerema report can be downloaded from: https://www.cerema.fr/fr/actualites/abaissement-vitesse-maximale-autorisee-80-kmh-evaluation