A quick observation triggered by the very helpful post from The French Village Diaries, regarding death by speed on French roads. Apparently France has a 31% level of fatal accidents due to speed. No really? Am I standing with my mouth open in amazed disbelieve? No. I am probably opening my mouth and shouting wildly at yet another French driver who has thought it perfectly fine to sit tailgating me for the last half hour, then as our wide straight road heads towards a blind corner, with a junction, a house, and a no overtake mark on the road, swings out and blasts past, almost shearing off my wing-mirror. Then, unlike us Brits learnt, we do not pull swiftly back into lane after indicating. No we continue, at speed to drift along on the opposite side of the road, blissfully unaware that the oncoming traffic I coming into view at an alarming rate!
Luckily by the time I have reached and gone round the blind corner, my French driver would have either arrived at their destination, poured a glass of Bordeaux and lit a fag – or in the case of this statistic, become part of the 31% who now reside elsewhere.
And interestingly, another statistic – CO2 emissions. Due to the speed limit being reduced to 80km per hour, fuel and thus pollution will be reduced. Well maybe but with the inability of the French to try and not light up a cigarette twenty times a day, I don’t think the “clean-air” policy holds much weight.
And imagine – French mornings now. Cigarette, black coffee and off to work. At midday, starving, anxious and foot firmly pressed down on that car pedal to shoot off home for that baguette, your going to have to take an extra ten minutes to get there. That’s probably going to mean hyperventilating, the lighting of another cigarette and eyes off the road as you roll your rizlar , you wont see me poodling along as usual, before that bend. Hopefully you see the tractor, or that big oak tree before its too late.
There got it off my chest. Apologies to all you non-smoking, courteous French drivers who do take care. Just a bit of French/English bonhomie to brighten a wet day.
Off to check I have my triangle, high-vis and breathalyser kit. I will probably be more likely fined for driving far too slowly!