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Thursday
Jun192008

300k Frogs Driving Unlicensed

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Lagerfeld laying it down.
Karl Lagerfeld on the left there is saying -

"It's yellow, it's butt-ugly, doesn't go with anything but it can save your miserable frog skin"

All part of a new safety campaign from Securité Routière - the French Road Safety mob. It's now compulsory for all cars to carry a yellow vest and an accident triangle. Yeah alright...the copy doesn't actually say that. Rather, it says "It's yellow, it's ugly, it doesn't go with anything but it can save your life".

Last year 4,620 frogs were killed on the roads and over 81,000 injured but French authorities are quick to point out that that's 1.9% less than 2006. And the 16th consecutive drop in the death rate.

Apart from the horrific accident figures, there are an estimated 300,000 French people driving without a license. And 75% of those have never had a license. Incredible figure isn't it? You gotta wonder where the cops are. And the French are still drink-driving - making it the main cause of fatal accidents. I think there's only half-a-dozen breathalyser units in the whole country. It's a joke.

Here are the latest French Road Safety campaign videos. This could be part of the problem. These are well lame. Nothing as graphic as the British or Australian campaigns.

And speed limits? Largely ignored. I drive down to Bourgogne (Burgundy) from Paris on the A6 motorway about once a month and sit on the speed limit of 140k but I'm regularly passed by cars that have got to be doing at least 200kph. And you hardly ever see les flics. When you do, its because there's been an accident.

And there are signs warning of "Radar ahead". C'est bizarre. Why have a radar trap if you're going to warn people its there so they can slow down and then speed up again?

Ah...the French. I have a perfect word for them - contrary. I've been having fun lately riding a bike through Paris. Pain in the ass. The French park their cars and vans across the bike track. The motorbikes and scooters dash in and out of them. People walk in them. Dogs crap in them. They are completely disjointed - one minute you're on a narrow bike-track - the next shunted back on to the road. And of course now that the Velib bikes are available for rent you have a whole other gang of bozo bikers wobbling all over the bloody place. The accident figures for bike-riding in Paris must be going through the roof.

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