A new TV campaign has been launched to get road deaths down from the stubborn 4,000 mark.

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Hard-hitting campaign to cut road deaths

A new TV campaign has been launched to get road deaths down from the stubborn 4,000 mark.

Hard-hitting campaign to cut road deaths
Sécurité Routière

The new campaign focuses on some of the major causes of accidents, including alcohol, use of mobile phones and excessive speed.

The black and white film uses graphic images of people in the aftermath of road accidents while a voiceover runs through the factors that lead to deaths.

“For as long as there’s too much alcohol in the driver’s blood, there will be blood on the roads. For as long as a driver misses a bend because he didn’t want to miss a phone call, we’ll be calling ambulances,” run the opening lines.

The campaign is signed with the endline “Tous Responsable” (“We’re all responsible.”)

Official figures showed there were 3,970 deaths on the roads in 2011, a very small improvement on the 3,992 recorded in 2010. Over ten years, the number of deaths on French roads has fallen by half.

The French figure is still high compared to some European countries. In the UK, with a similar population, the number of road deaths in 2010 was 1,857, half the French rate.

President Sarkozy stated his ambition in December 2007 to get the annual level below 3,000. A number of measures have been introduced including greater use of cameras and tougher fines. There are plans for new measures including forcing every car to carry a breathalyzer. 


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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.


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.