Speed cameras on Paris ring road
PARIS, Jan 11 (AFP ) - Paris chief of police Jean-Paul Proust said he was satisfied Sunday with the introduction of the first radar cameras on the capital's ring road, saying the low number of speeding offences recorded showed that French driving behaviour was changing.
Two cameras that went into service on the “peripherique” at midnight Friday-Saturday had detected 710 vehicles travelling clearly above the 80 kilometres per hour (50 miles per hour) limit by midday Sunday – out of an estimated total of 500,000 cars, Proust told Europe 1 radio.
“It gives us hope not because our aim is to play around with numbers but because we want to encourage drivers to change progressively the way they drive, to respect the rules and limit the risks,” he said.
According to Proust, there were no road-deaths on the Paris ring road in 2003 compared to nine in 2001, while inside the city the number of victims fell from 114 to 54 in the same period.
“It is still too much. We will keep up our campaign because killing one another on the streets of Paris is not normal,” he said.
The French government has claimed success in its campaign to bring down the country’s stubbornly high death rate on the roads, with the figure for 2003 expected to be under 6,000 – down from more than 8,000 three years ago.
Reducing the death toll was one of the priorities set out at his 2002 re-election by President Jacques Chirac. Speed cameras were introduced in November on several highways and government officials say they produced an immediate effect on driving speeds.
By next year one thousand of the machines, which record the license plate of the car so police can send the owner a fine in the mail, are due to go into operation compared to 5,000 in Britain where the number of road deaths has been around half the number in France.
Subject: France news