F France has to contend with an increasing number of road deaths. Most fatal accidents happen on country roads. The French government wanted to take countermeasures with a new speed limit.
For this purpose, France has reduced the maximum speed on country roads from 90 to 80 km /h. It applies to two-lane roads with no structural separation and thus to around 400,000 kilometers of rural roads. The new regulation came into force on July 1, 2018. This did not result in any changes on four-lane country roads. France would like to precisely examine the effects of the reduced maximum speed on the development of accidents. Detailed results are to be presented in July 2020.Before the introduction of the speed limit, many motorists had hoped until the very end that Prime Minister Edouard Philippe would shy away from such an unpopular decision. According to opinion polls, 59% of the French are against the new speed limit. The motorist lobby doubts that a lower speed limit can actually reduce the number of accidents.
Regionally 90 km /h possible again
After the speed reduction, there were numerous protests in France. The decrease from 90 km /h to 80 km /h last year was also one of the triggers of the protest movement of the so-called yellow vests. At the beginning of June, the French parliament reacted and voted to relax the speed limit of 80 km /h introduced last year. The new regulation that has now been adopted allows cities and departments to increase the maximum speed regionally to 90 km /h.