January 26, 2022

37 departments have moved up a gear, including eight in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

In our region, only the departments of Gironde, Landes, Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Lot-et-Garonne have retained a maximum speed of 80 km / h

Thirty-seven departments have returned to 90 km / h on some of their roads outside the city, after the lowering of the speed limit to 80 km / h at the national level, according to a ministerial report, revealed Friday by the League for the defense of drivers . These departments are above all “predominantly rural and having a low population density” on an axis going from Calvados to Hérault, but also in certain departments of the Grand Est, according to this report sent by the Ministry of the Interior to parliamentarians.

A total of 33,428 kilometers of roads are concerned, over portions ranging from 5,284 kilometers in the Allier to 22 kilometers in the Haut-Rhin. The lowering in July 2018 from 90 to 80 km / h of the maximum speed, on two-way secondary roads without a central separator, where fatal accidents are concentrated, was followed by strong protests, in particular from the yellow vests .


The departments in blue are those returned to a maximum speed of 90 km / h.

Screenshot Ministry of the Interior

Four exceptions in the South West

The report states “that no department, with two exceptions (Calvados and Charente-Maritime), is located on the Atlantic or Mediterranean arc. The north and west of the territory, like the south-west and the south-east, are absent or under-represented ”. In the southwest, in fact, only the departments of the north and east of the region have returned to 90 km / h. The Gironde, the Landes, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques and the Lot-et-Garonne, them, remained at 80 km / h.

At the end of December 2019, the Mobility Orientation Law offered the departments a possibility to derogate from 80 km / h, after consulting the departmental road safety commission on each of the road sections concerned. To justify their decision, the departmental councils spoke above all of the need to “make traffic more fluid and remedy the increase in the accumulation of vehicles, especially behind heavy goods vehicles, generating risk-taking when overtaking”, and ” to reduce travel times in order to fight against the isolation of the territories ”.

Lives Spared

The report written in September indicates that the effects of returning to 90 km / h on road mortality have been measured in a very heterogeneous way. A first report published in July 2020 affirmed that the reduction in the authorized speed had saved 349 lives over 20 months and saved 700 million euros per year (reduction in accidents, lower fuel consumption), for a travel time increased by just one second per kilometer on average.

In its press release, the League for the Defense of Drivers accuses the government of “oscillating between two strategies: either it arranges the results in its own way so that the benefits appear indisputable, or it hides them under the carpet. But in his viewfinder, always the same culprit: speed ”. “The other factors of accident, alcohol, drugs, degradation of the roads, remain on the other hand the poor relations of the road safety”, underlined the League.