France

COVID-19: Cities adapting road infrastructure and speed limits to enable safer cycling and walking

COVID-19: Cities adapting road infrastructure and speed limits to enable safer cycling and walking

Berlin, Brussels, Milan and Paris have all announced infrastructure changes to promote cycling and walking during the COVID-19 confinement period. Berlin has already temporarily widened cycle lanes to allow safe overtaking with social distancing limits in mind. Milan, meanwhile is closing 35km of streets to car traffic, introducing more 30 km/h limits and converting streets  to cycling and pedestrian-priority. In France, Paris and several other large cities have announced large rollouts of cycle lanes for during and after the lockdown. In the Belgian capital […]

COVID-19: Huge drop in traffic in Europe,  but impact on road deaths unclear

COVID-19: Huge drop in traffic in Europe, but impact on road deaths unclear

Unprecedented reductions in traffic volumes have been reported across Europe since confinement measures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic took effect.  Early reports based on limited data show that road deaths have not been reduced to the same degree, and, in some areas, have stayed the same or risen.  It is too early to draw firm conclusions. Data analysis by Tom Tom, of a number of major European cities has shown traffic volumes reduced by between 70 and 85% in countries where confinement measures are […]

336 lives saved on French roads thanks to 80 km/h limits

336 lives saved on French roads thanks to 80 km/h limits

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 […]

French départements sticking with 80km/h on rural roads

French départements sticking with 80km/h on rural roads

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 […]

Tributes paid to Jacques Chirac’s leadership on road safety

Tributes paid to Jacques Chirac’s leadership on road safety

ETSC’s French member Association Prévention Routière has paid tribute to former French President Jacques Chirac who passed away last month, hailing his ‘engagement and courage’ in improving road safety in France. After Chirac’s re-election in 2002, he announced that road safety would be one of the three main priorities of his second term Within a year, a new road safety law brought in sweeping changes including provisional licenses for young drivers and a network of automated speed cameras. According to an OECD report on […]

Call for ban on hands-free calling

Call for ban on hands-free calling

The British government should consider tougher restrictions on driving while using a mobile phone and stricter enforcement of the law to prevent the ‘entirely avoidable’ tragedy of deaths and serious injuries from related crashes on the roads, MPs on the UK Parliament’s transport committee have said in a new report. MPs called on the government to overhaul current laws on using hand-held mobile devices while driving, to cover use irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data. As evidence shows that using a […]

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

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

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 […]

France backtracks on 80km/h speed limit despite positive results

France backtracks on 80km/h speed limit despite positive results

French départements will soon be able to revert to a 90km/h speed limit on roads without separation barriers, in a reversal of a decision by the government to set a lower default limit of 80km/h across France last summer. The u-turn, which followed nationwide protests by the yellow vest movement, as well as widespread vandalism of speed cameras, came despite official statistics that showed a drop in deaths linked to the new speed limit. The French research institute Cerema and the French Road Safety […]

Speed camera vandalism in France puts up to 75% of devices out of action

Speed camera vandalism in France puts up to 75% of devices out of action

The French government has announced the installation of 400 new-generation speed cameras, following a spate of attacks on existing devices in recent months. The interior minister Christophe Castaner announced last month that up to 75% of speed cameras across the country had been vandalised and put out of action.  Attacks on speed camera equipment in France have increased dramatically since the reduction of the rural road speed limit to 80km/h last summer and the rise of the Yellow Vest protest movement. The new French-made […]

France rolls out alcohol interlock programme nationwide

France rolls out alcohol interlock programme nationwide

The French government has announced that convicted drink-drivers across France will be given the opportunity to participate in an alcohol interlock rehabilitation programme, as an alternative to a driving ban, following successful trials in seven départements. Drink-drivers found with a BAC level above 0.8 g/l will now be offered the possibility of installing an alcohol interlock for a period of between 6 months and 5 years rather than being subject to a ban from driving.  The courts will also have the power to reduce […]

Half of drug drivers involved in fatal collisions in France were also over the drink drive limit

Half of drug drivers involved in fatal collisions in France were also over the drink drive limit

New data from France confirms the large overlap between drink and drug driving in fatal collisions. Among the 439 drivers that tested positive for drugs after being involved in a fatal collision in 2017, half (224) also had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level above the legal limit in France of 0,5 g/l. The proportion is similar for non-fatal collisions. The figures were published in the latest road safety annual report from France’s national road safety observatory. The injury risk of drugs combined with […]

134 French towns and cities to receive “Safer Town” label

134 French towns and cities to receive “Safer Town” label

One year after the official launch of its “Ville Prudente” (Safer Towns) label, ETSC’s French member Association Prévention Routière and its partners have unveiled the names of the first 134 municipalities to receive the label. The label rewards municipalities, regardless of their size, that develop an active road safety policy “in order to improve the safety and quality of life of their inhabitants”. The organisation has also published the results of a survey on attitudes to road safety in French towns. Association Prévention Routière […]

7 November 2018 – REVIVE Round table, Spain

7 November 2018 – REVIVE Round table, Spain

The fourth REVIVE Round table focused on improving post-collision outcomes in Belgium, France, Italy,  the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. In the framework of the REVIVE Project, experts in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Rescue/Fire Service (RFS) and road safety from Belgium, France, Italy,  the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain met in Madrid on 7 November 2018. They discussed the way forward for improving post-collision response and emergency care across the EU. The meeting gathered representatives from health agencies, rescue services as well as researchers and other actors […]

France introduces 80km/h limit on 400,000km of road

France introduces 80km/h limit on 400,000km of road

Two-lane roads with no separating guard rail in France have had their default speed limit reduced from 90 to 80 km/h since 1 July, fulfilling a commitment made by the Prime Minister in January. The change applies on 40% of the French road network; some 400,000 km of roads are affected by the lower limit. The government says that 350-400 deaths a year could be prevented by the measure. 55% of French road deaths occur on two-lane roads with no separating guard rail. A […]

France – 80 km/h trial resulted in lower average speeds

France – 80 km/h trial resulted in lower average speeds

A trial of lower speed limits on unseparated national roads in France has led to a reduction in speeds driven according to a new report by Cerema, a research institute. The trial, announced in May 2015, was run on three stretches of road, totalling 81km. Last month, the French government announced that the speed limit on all unseparated national roads would be reduced from 90 to 80 km/h from this Summer. Cerema observed the speeds before and after the lowering of the speed limit. […]

Opinion: Des limites de vitesse plus sûres – pourquoi la France prend la bonne route

Opinion: Des limites de vitesse plus sûres – pourquoi la France prend la bonne route

Antonio Avenoso, Directeur exécutif, ETSC English version L’article 4 de la Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen de 1789 stipule: “La liberté consiste à pouvoir faire tout ce qui ne nuit pas à autrui  …” Ces mots historiques semblaient appropriés hier, le gouvernement français ayant annoncé un certain nombre de mesures visant à améliorer la sécurité routière, notamment une réduction de la limite de vitesse de 90 à 80km/h sur les routes secondaires à double sens, dont les deux voies ne sont […]

Opinion: Safer speed limits – why France is taking the right road

Opinion: Safer speed limits – why France is taking the right road

By Antonio Avenoso, ETSC Executive Director Version française Article 4 of the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of The Citizen states: “Liberty consists of doing anything which does not harm others…”. These historic words seemed appropriate yesterday as the French government announced a number of measures to improve road safety including a reduction of the speed limit on unseparated rural roads from 90km/h to 80km/h.  The move has sparked a sadly now predictable backlash on social media and from groups […]

Safer speed limits and boost for alcohol interlocks as France announces major road safety push

Safer speed limits and boost for alcohol interlocks as France announces major road safety push

Two lane roads with no separating guard rail in France will have their default speed limit reduced from 90 to 80 km/h and alcohol interlocks will be required for recidivist drink driving offenders as part of the French government’s latest road safety crack-down. The measures, announced by the Prime Minister earlier this month, also include the possibility of suspending the license of a driver using a mobile phone at the wheel. The 80km/h limit has led to a backlash from motoring groups and on […]

Calls to increase education, enforcement and penalties for distracted driving

Calls to increase education, enforcement and penalties for distracted driving

A number of national surveys across Europe have revealed worrying attitudes to the use of mobile devices while driving. Campaigners are calling for better enforcement, higher penalties, technological solutions and education to raise awareness of the risks. A survey carried out by Ipsos in the Czech Republic last Summer found that 36% of drivers admitted using their phone almost every time they get behind the wheel. In Spain, 25% of drivers have admitted to using their phone behind the wheel, similar to the figure […]

Safer town label for local authorities in France

Safer town label for local authorities in France

Association Prévention Routière, ETSC’s French member, has launched a new label for towns and cities engaged in improving road safety across their territory. Towns and cities across France have been invited to apply for the ‘Ville Prudente’ label, which will be awarded at five different levels.  Local authorities have been invited to apply via an online questionnaire which will be followed-up by local visits from the organisation’s volunteer member base. The organisation has also launched an online tool enabling local authorities to track road […]

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