The French government has said it will lower the speed limit on two-lane highways to 80km/h (50mph) from 90km/h, in an attempt to reverse an alarming rise in road deaths.
Highway deaths reached nearly 3,500 in 2016, with about 55% of those deaths (1,911 victims) occurred on the 400,000km of so-called secondary roads across France, two-lane routes with no separating guardrail.
The government says the lower speed limit could save 350 to 400 lives a year.
“Unsafe roads are not inevitable,” prime minister Edouard Philippe said after a meeting of the government’s road safety council.
“Lowering speeds reduces the number of accidents, as well as the severity of these accidents,” he said.
The government also plans to crack down on the use of cellphones while driving. Police can now suspend a licence if the driver is found to have broken other laws while using a phone that could “endanger his own security or that of someone else”.
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