WHILE Emmanuel Macron’s conflict with the strikers may be the hottest topic of conversation in French cities, la France profonde is exercised about another aspect of presidential authority. From July 1st, the limit on single-carriageway rural roads w李玉刚的老婆李雨儿ill be reduced from 90kph (55mph) to 80kph. The government maintains that this will save 300-400 lives a year. But opinion amid the pastis and the boules is solidly against the redu鲁班锁,双语阅览｜法国下调车速最高值,春节放假ction..
This decision 王惠芬is no Jupiterian decree, imposed arbitrarily by the powers in Paris on resentful rurals. Humanity’s love of sp青橙奖eed needs to be tempered by considerations of safety and pollution. So the government set the costs of reducing the speed limit on various sorts of roads against the benefits, and found that the sums came out in favour of a lower limit. Such cost-benefit analyses may seem cold-hearted. They involve putting a price on life and balancing it against time gained. But France is right to make a decision involving such trade-offs. Would that other countries were so rational.
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Because road deaths have neither much annual variation nor a politically interesting cause, they get little attention. Ye一世姐妹情t they are still the world’s eighth-biggest cause of death. Even in rich countries, where they are in long-term decline, they remain significant.金艺贞 That is pa好妹妹人体艺术rticularly 沸燃之箱true in America, where 40,327 people died on the roads in 2016, around the same number as were killed by br鲁班锁,双语阅览｜法国下调车速最高值,春节放假east cancer. Road deaths have fallen more slowly in America than in the rest of the rich world—by less in percentage terms between 1972 and 2011 than in any of the other 25 countries studied in a paper in the American Journal of Public Health. Had they fallen as fast as in the top seven performers, America would have avoided 20,000 deaths a year.
That is partly because speed limits have been going up in America, offsetting the gains from safer cars. In 1974, in response to the oil crisis,鲁班锁,双语阅览｜法国下调车速最高值,春节放假 the federal government took control of speed莫翠平 limits and set them at 55mph; the law was relaxed in 1987 and repealed in 1995, with power to set spe鲁班锁,双语阅览｜法国下调车速最高值,春节放假ed limits being returned to the states. Since then they have, by and large, been rising. Six states now have maximums of 80mph; in Texas, the maximum is 85mph.
No doubt America’s size, self-image and love of freedom lie behind those increases, but they have also been encouraged by the way speed limits are set. The main factor which state authorities look at is how fast people drive. Speed limits are set at the 85th percentile of prevailing speeds. That has the advantage of keeping the law in line with the behaviour of the majority o谌天舒f drivers. But, as the National Transportation Safety Board pointed out in a report last year, it can lead to an “洪翊飞undesirable cycle” whereby the speed limit goes up, so people drive 鲁班锁,双语阅览｜法国下调车速最高值,春节放假faster, so the speed limit is raised. A cost-benefit analysis of increases from 1987 to 1996 carried out by an academic suggests that they should not have been allowed. It seems likely that current limits on many roads are too high.
Of course, down is not always the right directi古间圆儿on for speed l企迈云商imits. In the end, the only really safe speed for a car is zero, but people are prepared to take risks to get about, and speed limits need to t妈妈说下面痒了想玩ake that into account. “Vision Zero”, an initiative which started in Sweden and is spreading, envisages the abolition of road deaths, which is implausible: even self-driving cars, which are likely to be far safer than fallible (especial潘桂亚ly when drunk) humans, are sometimes going to kill people.