Brice Hortefeux, French interior minister

French Government Adding a Thousand Speed Cameras

The January 2011 toll of traffic fatalities, 331, was 21.2 percent above the total in January 2010.

Paris newspapers reported Feb. 11 that Brice Hortefeux, France's interior minister, announced 1,000 extra speed cameras would be deployed nationwide by 2012 after January's toll of 331 people dying in traffic accidents was released. The total was 21.2 percent higher than the total during January 2010 and makes it that much more difficult for the French government to reach its goal of lowering traffic fatalities to fewer than 3,000 this year.

Hortefeux said he wanted to add more cameras to "reinforce motorists' uncertainty about whether they had been caught," The Connexion reported.

Total road fatalities in Frances for 2010 fell below 4,000, the lowest since it began tracking them in 1949. The newspaper said Hortefeux's plan includes 90 fixed camera systems and additional mobile camera units for police cars and motorcycles. Fines are being standardized, and 24,000 electronic terminals are being given to police so they can transmit violation data to a central processing unit that will issue tickets.

A new road safety course is being added in schols, as well, and the government is working with insurance companies to provide updated training for older drivers.

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