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Road deaths close to 4,000 a year

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Road deaths close to 4,000 a year
Geraint Rowland
08:20 CET+01:00

3,970 people lost their lives on French roads in 2011, a slight improvement on the 2010 total but still far away from President Nicolas Sarkozy's ambition to get the annual level below 3,000.

There were 22 fewer deaths in 2011 than the 3,992 deaths recorded in 2010.

The government is pushing ahead with new measures to help reduce the number further.

These include an increase in the fine for using a mobile phone while driving from €35 to €135 ($45 to $175) and the removal of three points from the driving licence.

The fine for watching a film while driving will also be increased to €1,500. This has been reported as a particular problem with long-distance truck drivers.

Equipment that gives information about the location of speed cameras will also be banned.

Manufacturers have already been incorporating the new rules into new products, but drivers will need to download updated software onto systems they already own that contain such information.

France has made dramatic gains on road safety, cutting the number of road deaths in half in ten years.

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