Road fatalities: the costly wrong turn

It is high time to reverse the trajectory that has not only failed but actually reversed death tolls and greater road safety in the country

“France has a current death toll of about 64 per million inhabitants, a figure nearly twice its European neighbours (from 40-50 in UK, Germany and Spain), despite similar traffic regulations, including alcohol or speed limits. Yet since the early 70s, this is a four-fold reduction from 17,000 to 4,000 annual deaths currently. This was largely due to intelligent analysis and step-wise adaptation of new measures, often against initial driving community outcry, consolidating those that work, modulating or abandoning rapidly those that are ineffective, or, very rarely, those that are counter-productive…”

“The Permis à Points (PAP) and the speedcams over three years reduced road death tolls from its previous 155 average plateau to a new 135 average. The PAP, once fine-tuned, beholds every driver to act responsibly while fines can be borne by the self-employed, the employers or businesses who shrug them off as part of their distribution or marketing and sales business costs. Despite compensatory master-plans and strategies, with the political abatement of these two measures, road fatalities have racketed up dramatically and may cross the 180 mark in 2018. An intelligent body politic should have taken stock, fine-tuned or adjusted the measures…”

 

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* Published in print edition on 25 May 2018

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