Curfews Bring Historic Drop In Road Fatalities


France TrafficPHOTO: INTERIEUR.GOUV.FR/SG/DICOM/F.PELLIER18 MARCH - A 20% drop in the number of road fatalities on an annual base was registered in France in February, estimates from the National Interministerial Road Safety Observatory (ONISR) show.

175 people died on the roads in February 2021 in mainland France whereas this figure was 220 in February 2020 - 45 killed less or a 20% drop, which is historic, data show. The sudden plunge is largely due to the nationally imposed curfews and lockdowns because of the coronavirus and the fact that large crowds of employees work from home and do not commute.


The restrictions linked to the health crisis have a serious impact mobility, study by the French Centre for Studies and Expertise on Risks, the Environment, Mobility and Urban Planning (La Cerema) shows. Social life after work or even pedestrian journeys after dark are strongly affected by the introduction of a 6 p.m. curfew. It is therefore estimated that 2/3 of the decrease in mortality is due to the introduction of the curfew and 1/3 to the reduction in journeys during the day. Thus, 23 pedestrians were killed in February 2021, 15 less than in February 2020.


The trend is observed with motorcyclists as well – while 40 lost their lives in February 2020, this number dropped to 32 this February, or a decline of 20%. Driver mortality fell 17% compared to February 2020: 96 drivers were killed against 116 a year ago. The drop in road mortality in urban areas is the highest at more than 50% - 40 people killed in February 2021 compared to 85 12 months ago.