French motorways 'safest in Europe'

European report praises motorway conditions and safety measures - but finds many smaller dual carriageways need work

25 May 2010

MOTORWAYS in France are among the safest in Europe - but many dual carriageways and local roads are not up to scratch, according to a new report.

The study by the European Road Assessment Programme gave 98% of French motorways at least four stars out of five for safety, compared with 78% in Belgium and Luxembourg.

The research was based on a sample of 4,300km of the French autoroute network, on an itinerary from Brussels to Barcelona.

Specially equipped trucks recorded the condition of the carriageway, road signs, barriers and other safety measures and compared the data with the number of recorded deaths on the road.

Researchers followed a similar route using dual carriageways and smaller roads and only a third of the roads assessed scored at least three stars.

Nearly 15% of the dual carriageways examined obtained just one star out of five, representing a "high risk" of an accident.

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