Angry protests: French want to tighten the speed limit

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The French want to tighten the speed limit

Angry protests: French want to tighten the speed limit-french

The French Ministry of Transport is planning to reduce the speed limit on country roads from 90 to 80

Source: picture alliance / maxppp

The planned lowering of the upper speed limit from 90 to 80 km / h causes horror among French drivers. A traffic club calls for a good example to be followed – from Germany.

P.The French government’s plans to reduce the maximum speed on country roads from the current 90 km / h to 100 km / h are enraging French drivers. According to estimates, 84 percent of motorists in the neighboring country are against this project. At least that’s what Pierre Chasseray of the traffic club "40 millions d’automobilistes" claims, which alone has over 320,000 members.

You see a strong lobby behind these plans that wants to spoil the fun of driving for the French. With a public letter to the responsible minister Manuel Valls and a petition, the association tries to prevent the speed limit. On November 29th, the speed limit on country roads will be voted on in a plenary session. A further lowering of the speed limit on the toll highways is also being discussed, currently 130 km / h applies nationwide.

The transport politicians who want to enforce Tempo 80 have armed themselves with numbers. A committee for road safety (CISR) calculates: Whereas in 1972 there were still 18,034 road fatalities in France, the number has fallen significantly after the introduction of the first speed limit, most recently to 3,645 deaths in 2012 – despite the higher volume of traffic. By 2020, the aim is to reduce the number of fatalities to below 2000 – and the speed limit on country roads should contribute to this. According to a survey, 43 percent of fatal accidents occur at night and mainly on country roads.

Germany as an example

The reduction in traffic accidents to the 80 km / h speed limit is nonsense, says Transport Club boss Chasseray, and uses Germany and Great Britain as a counter-example, where the speed on country roads is limited to 100 km / h and 97 km / h, respectively is. There too – as everywhere in Europe – the number of road deaths has fallen over the decades.

Better cars than 30 years ago, airbags and seat belts as well as investments in roads and infrastructure, but also a dense rescue network have all contributed to this positive trend. "Nobody will question a speed limit on country roads, but the current restriction is completely sufficient," thunders Pierre Chasseray, who is in favor of a European regulation based on the German model. “We too want to prevent road deaths, but with the right means. Accident-prone areas must be defused and two-lane roads expanded. Trees standing close together on country roads pose a particular risk. "

Drugs number one cause of accidents

Many French believe that the French Minister of the Interior, Manuel Valls, chose motorists as a scapegoat and that he wants to continue to restrict them with bans instead of addressing the real problems. "This is not only bad for the citizens, but also for the entire French auto industry," says Chasseray.

There is agreement on one point. Alcohol and other drugs behind the wheel are among the most common causes of fatal accidents. In second place, according to the statistics of the CISR, is excessive speed, followed by telephoning behind the wheel and fatigue.

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