Rallying everyone behind road safety

Speaking at the Cross-Government Road Safety Committee (CISR) meeting on 9 January 2018, the Prime Minister announced a series of key measures for reducing the number of road deaths. The plan aims to return road safety to the top of the national agenda.


Road safety policy is a national priority which must galvanise all sections of French society into action. Because unsafe roads are not inevitable, a series of measures has been unveiled to dramatically reverse the rise in road accidents.

The Cross-Government Road Safety Committee (CISR) has outlined three major thrusts for the road safety policy of the five-year term:

  1. Involvement on the part of every citizen in improving road safety.
  2. Protection of all road users.
  3. Anticipation to harness the benefits of new technology for the sake of road safety.

These three thrusts underpin 18 measures, including seven key measures:

  • Rally the whole of society to the cause by encouraging each citizen to play their part.
  • Lower the maximum speed limit from 90 km/h to 80 km/h (50mph) on two-lane routes with no separating central reservation. A review will be carried out on 1 July 2020.
  • Tackle the problem of drink and drug driving, by increasing the use of ignition interlock devices for example.
  • Crack down on the use of mobile phones while driving.
  • Protect pedestrians better by securing the surrounding areas of pedestrian crossings and toughening action taken against motorists who flout the rules.
  • Strengthen prevention measures in terms of road safety education, particularly among young people.
  • Encourage exemplary drivers through a public authority-led reward scheme. Discussions on what form this scheme could take will be held by the National Road Safety Council (CNSR) during the first half of 2018.


After a steady decline in road deaths since 1970, these figures have been on the rise again for the past three years in a row: by 3.4% in 2014, 2.2% in 2015 and 0.5% in 2016. And the numbers in 2017 are still no better. Roads are the leading cause of violent death in France: 9 fatalities and 65 serious casualties every day in 2016 – a trend that has continued in 2017.

Nowadays, speed is the number one cause of fatal accidents in the country (31%), followed by alcohol, then drugs (19% and 9%). The road network where fatal accidents occur most often involves two-lane routes with no separating central reservation (55% of all road deaths).

The Government continues to be fully committed to making roads safer: "it is the Government's duty to take this matter firmly in hand and to do everything necessary to reduce the number of road traffic accidents. Our sole objective is to save more lives every year on our roads," Édouard Philippe vowed before the Cross-Government Road Safety Committee (CISR).


  • 9 January 2018: Cross-Government Road Safety Committee meeting