France

As road deaths increase, France looks at weakening speed penalties

As road deaths increase, France looks at weakening speed penalties

The French interior ministry is apparently considering relaxing speed sanctions to only apply the penalty point system for speeding in excess of 5 km/h over the posted speed limit, according to an unnamed source quoted by the AFP news agency. Today, anyone going above the speed limit can be fined and have points removed from their license.  The fines and amount of penalty points is linked to the level of […]

Motorcycles must face technical inspections in France from October

Motorcycles must face technical inspections in France from October

The French government will be obliged to introduce periodic technical inspections for motorcycles from October following a decision by the country’s supreme court. The government announced and then abruptly withdrew rules on motorcycle technical inspections in October last year, following pressure from motorcycle owners’ groups.  But that decision has now been overturned by the Conseil d’État. An EU law on roadworthiness, agreed back in 2013, gave Member States an exceptionally long lead time of nine […]

EU Member States highlight road safety improvements thanks to exchange programme

EU Member States highlight road safety improvements thanks to exchange programme

Dutch-inspired improvements to cycling infrastructure in Lithuania, harmonised day and night-time urban speed limits in Poland and major new national road safety strategies in Greece and Portugal are some of the changes inspired by the EU-funded Road Safety Exchange project, which wraps up with a final event today in Brussels. The project, which was funded by the European Parliament and managed by the European Transport Safety Council on behalf of […]

E-scooter speed and age requirements in focus

E-scooter speed and age requirements in focus

As the purchase and use of e-scooters continues to grow significantly across Europe, several governments are looking again at the rules governing their use. In Finland, in consultation with the government, rental scheme operators have agreed to limit e-scooter speeds to 20 km/h, and 15 km/h at night. There have been calls in Austria and Italy to limit the top speed of e-scooters at 20 km/h. In the city of […]

Paris moves to 30 km/h across the city, as Brussels hails safety gains

Paris moves to 30 km/h across the city, as Brussels hails safety gains

The French capital has introduced Europe’s largest 30 km/h zone, covering the entire city for the first time with the exception of several main roads, such as the Champs Elysée and the main ring road. 30 km/h limits already covered two thirds of the city, but the zone has now been extended in a further bid to reduce collisions, noise and pollution.  The southern city of Montpellier also introduced a […]

France u-turns on technical inspections for motorcycles

France u-turns on technical inspections for motorcycles

The French government’s law to introduce periodic technical inspections for motorcycles from 2022 was announced and then abruptly withdrawn last month, following pressure from motorcycle owners’ groups. An EU law on roadworthiness, agreed back in 2013, gave Member States an exceptionally long lead time of nine years to put in place regular technical tests for motorcycles, with a deadline for 1 January 2022.  At the time, ETSC was critical of […]

New drink-driving campaign in France as restaurants open up

The French government has recruited Michelin-starred celebrity chef and host of the French version of ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ Philippe Etchebest to front a new drink-driving campaign as bar and restaurant terraces open again across France. The humorous social media campaign and television adverts feature Etchebest telling a diner off for heading to collect his motorcycle after drinking too much at a meal with friends. Find out more about the campaign at: […]

France: shops selling alcohol must stock alcohol breath tests

France: shops selling alcohol must stock alcohol breath tests

From 1 July, supermarkets, grocery stores, wine sellers and internet shops selling alcoholic drinks are among the enterprises that must also stock and display alcohol breath tests for sale. Shops will be required to display the devices, including chemical-based tests and electronic tests, next to the largest display of alcoholic beverages, or near the till. Websites will be required to display a banner notice on the payment screen, advertising the […]

Greek government launches new road safety action plan

Greek government launches new road safety action plan

The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis launched an ambitious new national road safety action plan earlier this month.  At the heart of the proposals are a target to reduce deaths by 50% by 2030 and the development of a National Road Safety Strategic Plan 2021-2030 by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Greece saw the biggest reductions in annual road deaths in the EU over the decade to 2019, with […]

The French government wants to make it easier for local authorities to install speed cameras

The French government wants to make it easier for local authorities to install speed cameras

French cities and towns will be able to install speed cameras within their territory without consulting with the government’s state representatives (prefects), according to legal changes debated last month. Although speed cameras are a familiar site on French national roads and motorways, until now it has been complicated for mayors to install them on urban roads, requiring multiple levels of bureaucracy to be consulted. If approved, the change would allow […]

30km/h limits set to spread in 2021

30km/h limits set to spread in 2021

The city of Paris will extend 30 km/h limits to cover the entire city from 2021, and has launched a public consultation on the measure.  The move puts into effect an election promise of the mayor Anne Hidalgo.  Paris has had 30 km/h limits covering a wide area for several years, but it will now be the default speed everywhere except the ring road and pedestrianised areas.  Grenoble, Lille and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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