Road Safety management in France

Road safety, a public policy, involves every community, company or citizen.

The Inter-ministerial Committee on Road Safety (CISR) sets out the main orientations of government policy and priority actions.

The Inter-ministerial Director for Road Safety (DISR) implements the actions decided by the CISR and ensures the coordination of the ministries' road safety activities.

The French Road Safety Observatory (ONISR), located at DISR, collects and analyses accidentality and behaviour data and disseminates knowledge. The national observatory leads the local observatories working with the county or regional prefects.

The National Road Safety Council (CNSR), which was relaunched on 23 January 2017 for a period of 3 years, organises debate among road safety stakeholders (elected representatives, companies, associations and administrations). With the support of its experts committee, it proposes measures to the government.

The Road Safety role of ministries

The Ministry of the Interior, which includes, in addition to the general directorates of the national gendarmerie and police, the Road Safety Directorate (DSR). This directorate, placed under the authority of the inter-ministerialdirector for road safety, prepares and implements the road safety policy. UCLIR (Coordination Unit for Combating Road Insecurity) is responsible for coordinating the action of law enforcement agencies in their road safety missions.

The Ministry of Ecological Transition (MTE) develops and implements road infrastructure safety policies, ranging from road transport to vehicle regulation.

The Ministry of National Education is responsible for ensuring the educational continuum from kindergarten to high school. In addition, they will manage training workshops in order to raise awareness of road safety from an early age. They are in charge of issuing school road safety certificates.

The Ministry of Justice manages all matters relating to road traffic disputes, including non-compliance with the driving regulations, unintentional offences against the person, "papers" offences and offences intended to escape control by the police.

The Ministry of Solidarity and Health raises awareness of public health risks and organizes the emergency relief and care chain.

The Ministry of Labour is responsible for leading occupational risk prevention at national and local level, in partnership with the Caisse nationale d'assurance maladie des travailleurs salariés (CNAMTS).

The Ministry of French Overseas makes it possible to ensure that specificities are taken into account and thus to monitor the challenges according to the territories. It is also in charge of contributing to the improvement of road safety.

Local Road Safety policy

The county prefect (local government representative), with the help of the local road safety observatory, draws up the 5-years road safety strategy (DGO), the latest edition being 2018-2022, and its annual version, the Road Safety Action Plan (PDASR). The county security committee, chaired by the Prefect and the Public Prosecutor, coordinates the action of government departments but also with the help of volunteers working in associations. The Prefect also leads the local crime prevention council, with the president of the county council, the public prosecutor and the departmental road safety commission as vice-presidents.

Road managers

Under the authority of the MTE, private companies operating toll motorways, bridges or tunnels, manage and improve 9,000 km of concession motorway network, where government regional road operators manage 12,000 km of non-concession trunk road network. The county councils carry out these missions on 380,000 km of local roads and the municipalities on 700,000 km of municipal roads, some of which are transferred to the communities of municipalities.

Local authorities

The powers of the regions created on 1 January 2016 have been strengthened, particularly since the NOTRe law, as part of Act III of decentralisation implemented under the presidency of François Hollande, and aims to strengthen the powers of the regions and public institutions for intermunicipal cooperation. They are involved in improving road safety education and vocational training.

Counties are in charge of organizing school and interurban transport. They also manage the local roads.

Municipalities are responsible for the organization and planning of the territory. The mayor chairs the local safety and crime prevention council, which makes it possible to implement the actions he has proposed in the departmental road safety action plan. The purpose of the law of 27 January 2014 on the modernisation of territorial public action and the affirmation of metropolitan areas, known as the "MAPAM law" or "MAPTAM law", is to clarify the competences of local authorities by creating "territorial conferences of public action" (CTAP), bodies for consultation between local authorities, and reorganises the legal regime of the most integrated French intermunicipal authorities, the metropolitan areas.


Emergency services are actively involved in the emergency chain. Fire brigades, emergency services in private and public hospitals, first aid associations play a major role in this chain.

Insurance companies regularly carry out preventive actions, sometimes through dedicated foundations.

Associations provide listening and support for victims of road accidents and their families. They organize awareness-raising activities.

Driving and road safety education institutions are responsible for providing and accompanying drivers and future drivers through training.

Companies provide a road risk prevention plan in their single risk document. In fact, nearly 1300 companies, representing more than 3 million employees, have signed the 7 commitments for a safer road since 2015. The DSR has been supplementing this charter with Days for safety at work since 2016.

For more information, visit the websites below (in French) :

Appel national des entreprises en faveur de la sécurité routière