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Rising death toll among cyclists in France

Number of cyclist deaths on French roads has risen 2.4% a year since 2010, official figures reveal

A total 175 cyclists died on France's roads in 2018, and 82 more have been killed in the first six months of 2019 according to official statistics.

In 2017, 173 cyclists were killed in road traffic incidents, according to Observatoire National Interministériel de la Sécurité Routière (ONISR) figures. Since 2010, the number of cyclists killed on the road has increased on average 2.4% a year.

In the UK, 99 cyclist deaths were reported in 2018, down 2% from the previous year, according to British Government figures. The number of pedal cyclists killed or serious injured in Great Britain has increased by 29% from 2008 to 2018.

Jean-Marc Peronneau, of the French Cycling Federation, said the behaviour of motorists is increasingly dangerous. "[Riders] always have to be very careful," he said. He said that speeding, drink-driving and using mobile phones at the wheel have all contributed to the rising death toll among cyclists in the home country of the Tour de France.

As the number of cyclists increases in France, the need for improved infrastructure, such as dedicated and properly protected and maintained cycle lanes is also a concern. Many roads are not equipped for cycle users, Mr Peronneau said.

In Paris alone, 147 cyclists have been injured on the streets of the city in three months.

Nor are cyclists blameless, with many instances of riders flouting traffic laws by, for example, ignoring red lights.

Workshops are available for children to learn how to ride on the road safely.

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