Acts of vandalism against speed cameras has surged since the speed limit was cut to 80kph on France's secondary routes, according to reports - but the speed reduction has coincided with a 5.5% drop in the number of road deaths, official figures reveal.
A total 324 people died on French roads in July, the month the speed limit reduction was introduced on 400,000kms of routes across the country. That figure is a fall of 19 compared to the same month in 2017, and in line with reductions in May and June.
Sécurité routière figures also reveal that July was a bad month for motorcyclists (97 deaths) and cyclists (29 killed) - and Emmanuel Barbe, interministerial delegate for road safety urged caution before declaring the speed limit cut a success. "We can think that the 80 km/h played a role but we must remain extremely careful," he said.
Attacks on roadside cameras have jumped, Le Parisien reports. It said 86 radars have been damaged in the Ain since the beginning of the year, while six have been vandalised in the Hautes-Pyrénées over the past 15 days, and 19 in Haute-Loire since early July. Vandalism figures for the whole of the country were not available, the paper said.
Cleaning a camera lens that had been covered in paint costs €600, it added.
The number of motorists who have been caught on camera since the 80 km/h limit was introduced doubled in July compared to the same month last year, the government has revealed.
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