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.

"/> 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.

" />
SHARE
COPY LINK

ROADS

Road deaths close to 4,000 a year

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.

Road deaths close to 4,000 a year
Geraint Rowland

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.

twitter.com/matthew_warren

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ROADS

Drivers in France to be spied on by 400 ‘super speed cameras’

Hundreds of hi-tech “speed cameras of the future” are to be be installed this year on roads across France, which has had three quarters of its existing cameras vandalised since the start of the “yellow vest” protests several months ago.

Drivers in France to be spied on by 400 'super speed cameras'
A vandalised speed camera in Corsica in December. Photo: AFP

The cameras, perched on four-metre tall posts, have been tested in Marseille and Strasbourg and now 400 of them will be rolled out over the coming year, with three times that number to be set up next year, France Info reported.

The devices are capable of not only clocking your speed but also recording a variety of other misdemeanours, such as phoning while driving, sudden swerving, not wearing a seatbelt, or overtaking on the right, which is illegal in France.

But in the short term the cameras, whose brand name is the Mesta Fusion 2 and which can monitor eight lanes of traffic and several vehicles at once, will be used only to catch people speeding.

READ ALSO

There will be four decoy cameras for each operating one, and the decoys and the real ones will be switched regularly to prevent drivers figuring out which are the ones catching them breaking the law.

The new cameras are said to be far harder to vandalise than existing ones.

 

The French government last week blamed a steep rise in road deaths in February on the yellow vest movement, during which three quarters of speed cameras on the country’s roads have been vandalised or put out of action in recent months.

Official figures said that 253 people were killed on the roads in France in February, a 17.1 percent increase on the same time last year.

Previously road deaths had been going down. There were 3,259 deaths on the country's roads in 2018 – down from 3,448 deaths the previous year.

But they have started to rise again since the yellow vest movement began late last year.

Some protesters angry about planned rises in fuel tax and the rising costs of travel to work, and about a recent lowering of speed limits on some roads, turned their ire on speed cameras.

 
SHOW COMMENTS