The Macron government’s decision to cut the speed limit on country roads from 90km/h (56mph) to 80 is proving deeply unpopular.
In the government’s defense, they’re not pretending it will save fuel:
A speed-limit cut of 10 km/h on the 400,000km that make up France’s so-called “secondary” network is the government’s latest salvo in its long-running campaign against road deaths.
According to the road safety department of the interior ministry, the measure should save between 300 and 400 lives every year — principally because braking times will be shorter and any accidents that do occur will be less deadly.
That would mean France could resume the historic trend that reduced the number of road deaths by more than 80% since the early 1970s.
This is not a European Union measure; rural speed limits in the EU range from 70 km/h (Sweden) to 100 km/h (Spain, Germany, some others).
But to the rural Frenchman, it’s a bad idea no matter where it comes from:
Polls show that around the country reaction is hostile and suspicious.
Many drivers say the lower speed limit is unnecessary, based on erroneous analysis, and will complicate their daily lives. Some feel it is a cynical ploy to raise more money from fines.
But the most common reaction is that the measure is a typical piece of Parisian bossiness — proof that this supposedly sensitive government of President Emmanuel Macron is every bit as “out of touch” as its predecessors.
Yep. Been there, done that.