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‘Historic’ drop in road deaths

Last month saw casualties drop by a quarter compared to February last year

LAST month saw the lowest monthly number of road deaths since the Second World War.

With 201 casualties in February, the figure was down 25% on the same month last year – a “historic” reduction according to road safety officials.

In a statement the safety authority said “these figures confirm an improvement in safety and behaviour which got under way in July last year.”

Some commentators have however pointed to the severely cold and often snowy weather as a factor in reduced fatal accidents, with people being advised not to drive and those doing so driving more slowly. Campaign body the Ligue Contre la Violence Routière has also suggested recession is causing people to abandon their cars or drive less quickly to save petrol.

The 12 months from March last year to February 2011 saw deaths fall below 3,900 for the first time. This has partly been attributed to extra speed cameras.

President Sarkozy set a target of less than 3,000 deaths in 2012.

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