Road safety annual reports from 1952 to 1959

In 1953, there were 118,881 traffic accidents in mainland France. 7,661 people were killed within 3 days of their accident.

In 1954, of the 7,539 people killed, there were 1,544 pedestrians, 1,322 cyclists, 648 moped users, 1,888 motorcyclists and 1,970 motorists.

In 1959, 8,409 people were killed (within 3 days of their accident), including 1,892 pedestrians, 1,601 moped users and 2,719 motorists.

The purpose of road safety reports is to make accidents known and to understand their components, in particular through thematic and transversal analyses. It is also a question of highlighting the major challenges of road safety.

The first report found at CETE Nord Picardie for the whole of France concerns the year 1952 and it refers to a review of the year 1951. The overall assessment is comparable to what is currently being done in terms of accidents, fatalities, fatalities, injuries, etc. It also includes monthly distributions, weather conditions, pavement conditions. Finally, there is a review of Algeria and the Overseas Territories.

Road accidents exploded after the war with the expansion of the car fleet, but road networks were inadequate and drivers insufficiently trained. It was then that the accident data collection circuit, made more reliable in 1954, counted 7,539 people killed at 3 days (died instantly or within 3 days of the accident).

In 1959, infrastructure works on 222 "black spots" brought to nearly 1,200 the number of singular road infrastructure points that had been removed since the beginning of the Special Road Investment Fund's safety programme. It is estimated that more than 4,000 victims are likely to be avoided each year as a result of these road works.

But it is considered that road user behaviour remains the determining cause of most accidents. Undoubtedly, the improvement of infrastructure, by eliminating certain opportunities for mistakes, the severity of repression, the strengthening of certain regulations, can reduce the number of mistakes. The real solution lies in the awareness, by the large mass of users, of the responsibilities they assume and the duties imposed on them by driving." R. Coquand, Director of Roads and Traffic.

In 1954, a law authorized the search for the alcohol level in the driver's blood in the event of a serious accident and in 1959 an order allowed the penalty for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of an alcoholic state.

Speed limit experiments began in 1958 and were extended in 1959 to 2,050 km of major national roads over 11 weekends (around Pentecost, August and September). Speed limits were different for passenger cars (90 km/h) and trucks (70 km/h).