French roads return to 90km/hr?
Last month the Haute-Marne (52) department in Champagne-Ardenne started to raise the speed limit from 80 to 90 km/ hr on parts of its secondary road network. This 90km/ hr speed limit is being returned to over 476 km of road over 15 selected sections that meet three very specific criteria; no agricultural machinery use these sections, there are no bus stops and no village pedestian crossings. In changing the limit back, the department was quoted as saying that "it has seen no reduction in accident rates since the introduction of the 80km/hr limit. However, the main Route Nationals in Haut-Marne, whose operation and maintenance are the responsibility of the State, will remain at 80 km /hr limit.
The French motorists association “40 Million Automobilistes” has welcomed this decision by the Haute-Marne, it being the first French department to take a concrete step towards a return to 90km/ hr speed limits. It therefore hopes that this movement will be quickly followed by other French departments who are considering altering their speed limits including the Tarn, Cantal, Moselle & Correze. At present over 40 French departments are considering a return to 90 km/ hr limits on some of their roads although 7 have stated that the 90 limit will not be re-instated..