French départements sticking with 80km/h on rural roads

  • October 20, 2019

A growing number of French regional authorities (départements) are going back on plans to raise some rural road speed limits from 80 km/h to 90.

France reduced the national speed limit on 400,000 km of unseparated rural roads from 90km/h to 80 in July last year – a move which led to the prevention of 206 deaths in one year, according to official figures.

But the French government announced in May that it would modify the law to enable local authorities to raise the speed limit again, if certain other conditions to guarantee a high level of road safety are met.  The announcement followed weeks of protests by the yellow vest (gilets jaunes) movement.

But so far, 22 départements have said they will not increase the limits again due to the additional road safety requirements, according to media reports.

For now, the speed limits will stay at 80 km/h as the national legal changes required have not yet been passed into law, due to disagreements between the two French houses of parliament.