Road deaths down to record low
The use of mobile speed cameras has been claimed as one reason for dropping fatalities
PEOPLE killed on French roads fell to a record low in 2013, new figures show.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced that 3,250 people died last year, a fall of 400 on 2012, and nearly 15,000 fewer than the 1972 high, when 18,000 people were killed.
Speeding accounted for 25% of deaths on French roads in 2013, while drink was a factor in 20%, the figures show.
The number of 18-24 year olds killed fell 10%, while the number of pedestrians who died fell 7%, and fatal accidents involving cyclists dropped 8% after a rise in 2012 - but that figure remains higher than its record low in 2010.
Biker deaths also fell, by 3%, while the number of people killed in incidents involving HGVs rose 9%, following a sharp decline in recent years.
The number of people injured in road traffic collisions fell by more than 6%, while 4.7% fewer people were hospitalised following accidents.
Mr Valls reiterated his wish to see the number of people killed on French roads fall to less than 2,000 in the next decade and promised to ramp up publicity campaigns and modernise the 4,097 speed cameras currently deployed in metropolitan France and the overseas territories.
He also refused to rule out a reduction in the speed limit on secondary roads from its current 90kph.
Those responsible for road safety have said that mobile speed cameras have had a positive impact on the number of fatal accidents. They also highlighted the effect on driving habits of hard-hitting publicity campaigns, rising fuel prices, and changing weather conditions.