French motorists had very little overall taste of lowering the speed to 80 km / h at the national level. According to a ministerial report revealed on Friday, November 26 by the League for the Defense of Drivers, thirty-seven departments went back to 90 km / h on some of their roads outside the city. These departments are above all “predominantly rural and having a low population density” on an axis going from Calvados to Hérault, but also in certain departments of the Grand Est, according to this report sent by the Ministry of the Interior to parliamentarians.
A total of 33,428 kilometers of roads are concerned, over portions ranging from 5,284 kilometers in the Allier to 22 kilometers in the Haut-Rhin. According to Actu.fr, Isère could follow very soon. On November 15, the President of the Department, Jean-Pierre Barbier, presented a plan to return to the 90 km / h limitation. “This will allow a better acceptability of the imposed limitations and, consequently, a better respect of the maximum speed in the zones with 70 km / h”, put forward the Department.
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The government’s strategy singled out
The lowering in July 2018 from 90 to 80 km / h of the maximum speed, on two-way secondary roads without a central separator, where fatal accidents are concentrated, was followed by strong protests, in particular from the yellow vests . At the end of December 2019, the Mobility Orientation Law offered the departments the possibility of derogating from 80 km / h, after consulting the departmental road safety commission on each of the road sections concerned. To justify their decision, the departmental councils have above all mentioned the need to “make traffic more fluid and remedy the increase in the accumulation of vehicles, especially behind heavy goods vehicles, generating risk-taking when overtaking”, and ” to reduce travel times to fight against the isolation of the territories “.
The report written in September indicates that the effects of the return to 90 km / h on road mortality were measured in a very heterogeneous way, making it impossible to take stock, especially since the year 2020 saw figures of traffic in decline, due to the health crisis. A first report published in July 2020 affirmed that the reduction in the authorized speed had saved 349 lives over 20 months and saved 700 million euros per year (reduction in accidents, lower fuel consumption), for a travel time increased by just one second per kilometer on average.
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In its press release, the League for the Defense of Drivers accuses the government of “oscillating between two strategies: either it arranges the results in its own way so that the benefits appear indisputable, or it hides them under the carpet. But in its sights, always the same culprit: speed “. “The other factors of accident, alcohol, narcotics, degradation of the roads, remain on the other hand the poor relations of the Road Safety”, underlined the League in a press release.
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