Some rare good news on road safety in France as minister unveils the first new mobile ‘double tap’ speed camera, but also a reduced traffic police presence this summer.
Also, a new motorway link in Lyon smooths the way between Bordeaux and Geneva as the end of road works at Charleroi clears the path from Lille to Liege. Ahead of the first Black Saturday in France, holiday traffic has been noticeably less intense than forecast, so far. The Russian parliament approves the challenging Kerch Bridge to Crimea.
SPEEDING THROUGH FRANCE
Fewer police but more speed cameras this summer.
Thirteen thousand traffic police will patrol the French road network this summer said interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Saturday.
It might sound a lot but is considerably less than the fifteen thousand on duty last year, and the 18,000 over Christmas 2014 and 22,000 at New Year.
However, investment in speed cameras continues. Cazeneuve also unveiled a new generation of mobile ‘double tap’ speed cameras, on the A6 at Fleury, south of Paris.
The new cameras take photos of the front and back of speeding vehicles and can be deployed quickly to danger spots or protect road workers.
Mobile radars have a tolerance of 10kmh below 100kmh and 10% above, e.g. they will not activate until 144kmh in a 130kmh zone says LegisPermis.com.
Fixed radar cameras have a tolerance of 5% on speeds of less than 100kmh and 5% above.
Cazeneuve also announced a five percent fall in road deaths in June, only the second monthly fall so far in 2015. In 2014 road deaths rose for the first time in more than a decade and have risen by three percent so far this year.
Meanwhile, there is a sudden flurry of speeding stories. As well as the German Porsche 911 driver caught in eastern France last week, pictured above, a teenager – accompanied by his mother – was clocked at 147kmh in an 80kmh zone near Toulouse on Sunday and a biker in Nantes was finally caught after being flashed 41 times by the same camera.
Gendarmerie also tweeted about a helicopter based anti-speed operation in the Gorges du Verdon at the weekend.
It was also revealed today by newspaper Le Soir that Belgian drivers are flashed an average of 1150 times each day in France. Since a new information sharing directive was introduced in November 2013, drivers from EU countries except the UK, Ireland and Denmark can be prosecuted at home for traffic offences committed abroad.
roundup: BELGIUM. The road widening and resurfacing work on the A15/E42 at Charleroi, regularly responsible for delays in excess of 45mins in recent months, has now finished. Three lanes in each direction are now open. It clears the way for drivers between Lille and Liege – apart from minor works at Namur – very handy during the on-going renovation of the E40 at Gent. Phase one of the E40 work is now also finished. The second and final phase should be complete by mid-July Hajo Beeckman from the Flanders traffic centre Verkeerscentrum tells us this morning. HOLIDAY TRAFFIC. The weekend holiday getaways have so far been noticably much less busy than anticipated. Apart from delays of more than an hour on the A7 south from Lyon to Avignon, and some traffic along the A10 Paris-Bordeaux, Saturday’s Grand Vacances departure in France was something of a damp squib. Similarly, except for a mass of drivers heading north through Hamburg and Lubeck, Germany was significantly quieter on Saturday than the previous week which, while certainly busy, was also less so than forecast. Whether this means fewer holidaymakers are travelling by car this year, or postponing journeys for quieter times, remains to be seen: this Saturday is the first Black Saturday in France, for traffic heading south along the A7 Lyon-Avignon. The A9 from Montpellier to the Spanish border also expected to be very busy (see more on Black Saturdays in France). Meanwhile, every Saturday until 8 August carries the highest congestion alert in Germany. Next week sees that extended for the first time to a Friday. This Saturday also sees the first heavy holiday getaway in Austria. RUSSIA. Parliament has formally approved plans for a Kerch Bridge to Crimea reports The Moscow Times. According to the new law, the $4bn project will be completed by December 2018 at the latest. As expected, construction firm Stroigazmontazh, majority owned by Arkady Rotenberg, an ally of President Putin, has been awarded the contract to build the technically challenging road and rail bridge. It will be the only fixed link between the Russian mainland and its recently acquired Crimea peninsula.