Relaxing the 80 km/h: Edouard Philippe is in Favour

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Relaxing the 80 km/h speed limit could be possibme, Edouard Philippe has said

On Thursday 16th May, 2019, the Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe said he saw “no inconvenience” to let the presidents of departments relax the highly controversial measure.

He dragged it like a ball on a chain for months. Edouard Philippe is now in favour of easing the controversial 80 km/h measure on secondary roads. Asked by Franceinfo this Thursday 16th May, 2019, he said he saw “no inconvenience” to let the presidents of county councils decide whether or not they maintain this speed. 

“A measure that has produced its effects”

“Senators, at the time of the review of the law of orientation on the mobilities, made a proposal to say that locally , the prefects and the chairmen of the county councils could free themselves from this limit of 80 km/h and set an upper limit. If the presidents of the departments wish to take their responsibilities, I have no problem with that. ”

The Prime Minister, however, praised an effective measure, which has “produced effects”.

“I rejoice. In 2018 we had the best year in safety. When I make a decision, I assume it.”

Edouard Philippe in favor of departments setting speed limits
Edouard Philippe in March 2018 before the National Assembly. (© AFP / Archives / JACQUES DEMARTHON)

“False opening”

During the examination of the mobilized bill, the Senate had already voted at the end of March the freedom for the presidents of departments, but also the prefects, to derogate at 80 km/h.

Author of this amendment, the senator LR of Haute-Saône Michel Raison denounces in a statement the “false opening” of Edouard Philippe “who knowingly fails to specify that the amendment proposed by the deputies LREM excludes from the device the national roads” .

Leaving the sole responsibility to the presidents of county council, the majority also put on the fact that few of them will dare to take the plunge, too anxious not to assume the fatal accidents.

“I do not need Parisian injunctions, nor to define the speed applicable on these roads, nor to receive lessons of road safety”, reacted by release François Sauvadet, president of the departmental council of Côte-d’Or , saying that “90% of the network (of his department) will be able to go back to 90 km/h”.

“I take the bet that the first death will all come down to 80 km/h,” said on his side the leader of MoDem deputies, Patrick Mignola.

The association 40 million drivers, great opponent of 80 km/h, welcomed a “retreat” of Edouard Philippe, “and a victory for us and the safety of roads.”

“We come back to the same situation as before, when the presidents of county councils set the speed on a case-by-case basis, at 70 or 90 km/h. Except we added this stupid 80 km/h. It will be a huge Micmac and a mess for everyone, “said AFP General Delegate Pierre Chasseray.

The president of the League against road violence Chantal Perrichon in 2014 in Paris.
The president of the League against road violence Chantal Perrichon in 2014 in Paris. (© AFP / Archives / BERTRAND GUAY)

“We will pay the price of blood”

Proponents of the limitation, they, posted their concern. For Chantal Perrichon, president of the League against road violence, “we will pay the blood price of the pseudo responsibility of elected officials who prefer their mandate to the security of citizens.”

According to the head of the association, Emmanuel Macron has “dropped” his prime minister “for months” on the issue. The head of state “gives himself time to see the effects of its reform of the ISF but does not go after two years of experimenting 80km / h,” she lambasted.

“We would like him to attach as much importance to people’s lives as to money.”

Since the announcement of the measure in early 2018, Edouard Philippe had committed to draw a balance sheet mid-2020 and cancel it if it proved ineffective.

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