Coronavirus: road death toll halved during lockdown

The scenic route: views from the Route des Crêtes, Cassis, France
The scenic route: views from the Route des Crêtes, Cassis, France

While the number of high-speed offences and accidents increased.

Road deaths more than halved in April, with the lockdown cutting most non-essential traffic. The figure of 103 killed was 133 down on April 2019 – a 56% fall – and follows a 40% cut in March, when lockdown started.

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However, the national road safety body Sécurité Routière said the death toll figures gave a false image as numbers had fallen by less than the drop in road traffic. There was also the return of once-rare accidents where lone drivers had unexplained high-speed crashes, plus many flashed at more than 250kph.

Empty roads saw high-speed offences and accidents soaring. Research by Europe 1 showed speed traps caught 11,200 drivers going at least 50kph over the limit – up from 9,600 in 2019 – while radar alert firm Coyote showed 77% fewer vehicles on the roads.

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