ROAD SAFETY: THE FRENCH EXPERIENCE

In contrast with some other countries, France had not succeeded in mastering the increase in road accidents prior to 1972. The number of deaths rose from 8800 in 1960 to 17000 in 1972. During this period the number of cars had doubled from 8 million to 16 million. To combat this a delegate for road safety, with wide powers, was created, directly responsible to the prime minister. The priorities he defined were: the respect of speed limits; the wearing of seat belts; abstinence from alcohol when driving. The new speed limits, introduced in december 1973 during the energy crisis, led to a 22.6% reduction in road deaths in the first four months of 1974. From october 1973 the wearing of seat belts became compulsory outside urban areas. Small fines were imposed on offenders. Results for the first eight months of 1974 show that the risk of being killed is 2.25 times reduced by wearing a seat belt. At present it is hoped to extend the compulsory wearing of seat belts to urban areas and to reinforce the laws on drunken driving. Despite the progress made in road safety in France, much remains to be accomplished. /TRRL/

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00125116
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 18 1975 12:00AM