With the population largely confined to their homes, road deaths unsurprisingly saw a sharp fall in April, the latest figures show.
A total of 103 people died on the roads in France in April 2020, compared to 233 in April 2019. The number of crashes resulting in injuries fell by 74 percent from 4,234 to 1,099.
The lockdown began in mid March and March also saw a fall in road deaths – down from 255 to 154 and overall road traffic fell by 60 percent during the lockdown.
The fall in the number of road deaths, and other type of accidental death including workplace accidents, helps to explain why some French départements actually saw fewer deaths during the coronavirus epidemic than during previous years.
But unfortunately the empty roads have tempted some people into extremely reckless driving – in southern France a motorist was caught on camera doing 250km/h.
Chantal Perrichon, head of road safety group Ligue contre la violence routière told French newspaper Le Parisien: “Since the start of the lockdown, traffic has decreased by 60 per cent, but the number of serious speeding incidents has increased by 16.3 per cent.
“Some people have let off steam by letting their vehicles loose on deserted roads.”