New 80km/h speed limit in France led to a significant reduction in deaths

  • July 27, 2019

One year after the entry into force of the 80 km/h speed limit on rural, single-carriageway roads in France, Christophe Castaner, the Minister of the Interior, announced the measure had resulted in  206 lives saved and “many less injured”.

The figures came from new data compiled by the OISR, the national road safety observatory, in a provisional report on the effects of the transition to 80 km/h, published on 9 July.

According to the report, in the second half of 2018, 125 deaths were prevented on the affected roads, compared to the average of the five previous years (2013 to 2017). In the first half of 2019, the death figure was 882 deaths, compared to an average of 963 over the five years 2013 to 2017 i.e. 81 fewer.

Rural single-carriageway roads were chosen for the new French measure because that is where the majority of road deaths in France take place.  In April 2018, Cerema (the Centre for Studies and Expertise on Risks, the Environment, Mobility and Development) published a study on the accidentology of single-carriageway rural roads finding that they were where 55% of fatal collisions took place.