French Road Deaths: Best July in 65 Years


Latest Statistics from the French Roads Authority show that July 2013 had the least number of road deaths in the country since 1948

There was a time when French drivers had a strong (and often well-deserved) reputation for speeding and driving nonchalantly after an obligatory few glasses of lunchtime wine.

Those days would appear to be firmly in the past and the work of former president Nicolas Sarkozy in clamping down on speeding during his tenure as Interior Minister has copper-fastened this trend.

The latest statistics on road deaths are encouraging: Yesterday, the Sécurité Routière published figures that showed July 2013 to have been the least fatal Julye on French roads since 1948. A total of 345 people lost their lives on French roads last month, compared with 366 in July 2012 – a “significant reduction” of 5.7% in road fatalities.

The French national road safety authority was quick to nip any complacency in the bud, however, pointing out that “These encouraging results come with a rise in other accident-related indicators.” The number of road accidents was up by 3%, for example; a total of 5,434 crashes in July 2013. The number of road accident injury victims was also up by 2.6% (from 6,792 in July 2012 to 6,966 in July 2013). And for motorcyclists, the overall trend in deaths went completely against the grain, with a 19.3% rise in mortality rates in the two months of June and July 2013 compared with the same period last year.

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