France

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 […]

Careful town label for local authorities in France

Careful 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 […]

Drivers in France take more risks when driving for work

Drivers in France take more risks when driving for work

Drivers on work-related journeys in France are more likely to engage in risky behaviours than those on private trips according to a report by Axa, an insurer.   The research found that 88% of drivers speed on work business, compared to 82% on private trips. Similar differences were found for driving while fatigued, distracted driving and driving under the influence of alcohol.   The study was carried out before legal changes that now require companies in France to reveal who was driving a company vehicle in the case […]

Apple to offer a built-in iPhone ‘car mode’ as new data suggest widespread distracted driving

Apple to offer a built-in iPhone ‘car mode’ as new data suggest widespread distracted driving

The next version of the standard software included on Apple’s iPhones will include a feature that detects driving and then blocks distracting notifications including calls and messages. The overridable feature, known as ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’, will operate automatically once the phone’s owner has opted-in to the feature the first time the phone detects driving. Passengers, and indeed drivers who click the passenger button, will be able to override the mode at all times. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requested […]

ETSC on the lookout for fleet road safety champions

ETSC on the lookout for fleet road safety champions

If your organisation has a road safety programme, and results to prove it, you have until 1 September to apply for ETSC’s annual PRAISE Awards for work-related road safety. The competition is divided into three separate categories: SME (Small-Medium Enterprise), large company and public authority. ETSC is especially keen to promote the award to small organisations, who often struggle to balance the issue with other priorities. A survey by a French insurer recently showed that 80% of small and medium enterprises have no specific […]

Alcohol interlock programmes finally get a boost in France

Alcohol interlock programmes finally get a boost in France

Three French départements are trialling wider use of alcohol interlocks in the fight against drink driving offences. Drivers who have had their license suspended for a drink driving offence will be able to get back behind the wheel if they agree to install an alcohol interlock at their own expense and to accept medical and psychological check-ups. The programme, which requires authorisation of a doctor and the local administrator responsible for driving licenses, should lead to more drivers using the devices. Judges in criminal […]

France to restrict smart phone apps from sharing temporary police check locations

France to restrict smart phone apps from sharing temporary police check locations

France has notified the European Commission that it intends to introduce measures to prevent driving apps from sharing the location of temporary police checks and mobile safety cameras. Apps and portable GPS devices that show the location of fixed safety cameras are already prohibited in France. The new measures would enable the police to block zones of 20km across for a period of 24 hours to prevent sharing of the location of temporary controls via apps such as Waze and Coyote. The government says […]

France: Call for presidential candidates to back mobile phone driving ban for employees

France: Call for presidential candidates to back mobile phone driving ban for employees

Association Prévention Routière, ETSC’s French member organisation, has published a list of road safety priorities for the Presidential election candidates. The proposals include a ban on use of mobile phones while driving by all company employees and a target of zero children killed on French roads. Some major corporations have already banned their employees from using mobile phone (including hands free kits) at the wheel, including Unilever, the multinational consumer goods company. The manifesto was sent to all presidential candidates. Eight out of eleven […]

Mandatory helmets for under-12s in France

Mandatory helmets for under-12s in France

Children under twelve are now required to wear a cycle helmet in France under legal changes that came into force on 22 March. Spain began requiring helmets for under-16s in 2014, and a number of other EU member states have had bicycle helmet laws for youngsters for several years including Sweden, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. In Malta, all riders are required to wear a helmet.

EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements

EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements

Eight EU transport ministers have called on the European Commission to ‘speed up’ plans to upgrade vehicle safety standards saying road safety should be ‘top priority’. In a letter to the European Commissioner for industry Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the transport ministers of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands said ‘ambitious’ new vehicle safety standards are needed ‘to help Member States halve the number of road deaths by 2020’. 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering life-changing […]

France and Ireland step up roadside drug testing

France and Ireland step up roadside drug testing

France and Ireland are increasing their use of road-side saliva testing technology in a bid to boost enforcement of drug driving. France previously required police to accompany drivers to a clinical blood test if they were suspected of drug driving based on a saliva test.  Following a trial to determine the accuracy of roadside testing equipment the blood test will now be replaced by a second saliva test.  Both of the samples taken will still need to be verified at a laboratory, but the […]

France cracks down on company car speeding

France cracks down on company car speeding

A legal loophole in France that has let many fleet car drivers avoid speeding fines and penalty points is set to be closed. Companies had been able to pay fines on an employee’s behalf without ever identifying the driver.  But that should change following the approval of a new legal text in the National Assembly earlier this month. Around 15% of the French vehicle fleet is thought to be company owned. And the government estimates that 2 million penalty points a year were not […]

France installing 10,000 dummy speed cameras

France installing 10,000 dummy speed cameras

France has begun a major programme to triple the number of ‘safety zones’ covered by its speed camera programme.  From February the government began installing 10,000 dummy cameras across the country. The move is one of a number of new measures introduced in response to two years of annual increases in road deaths. France currently has some 4,200 active speed cameras, this number is expected to increase by 500 over the next three years. But the installation of the 10,000 dummy units will see […]

Penalty points for Belgian drivers…in France

Penalty points for Belgian drivers…in France

Belgian drivers committing traffic offences in France face losing points on a virtual driving license if French plans to extend its penalty points system to foreign drivers get the go-ahead. Belgium remains a holdout on penalty points, with surrounding France, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg all using variations on the system as part of enforcement mechanisms. But Belgian drivers could now face being banned from driving in France if they lose all their virtual points there. The Belgian Road Safety Institute welcomed […]

France – road deaths increase as speeds creep up

France – road deaths increase as speeds creep up

For the first time in 35 years, road deaths in France have increased for a second year running. The rise in deaths has come as mean speeds have increased by between 1 and 4 km/h, according to analysis by the National Observatory for Road Safety (ONISR). The rise in speeds over the last two years also reverses a ten-year fall that occurred following the introduction of an extensive national safety camera network. ETSC’s member organisation Association Prévention Routière says part of the problem is […]

Grenoble is first French 30km/h city

Grenoble is first French 30km/h city

Grenoble in France is the first large French city to introduce a blanket 30km/h zone across the city – reduced from 50km/h. The measures, which came into force on 1 January, follow a large expansion of 30km/h zones in Paris and a similar scale change in Valencia in neighbouring Spain last year. Paris is expected to extend 30km/h zones across the city by 2020, and the Spanish government has also announced plans for 30km/h to be the default limit on urban roads. ETSC has […]

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