Why pay the freeway to drive on the 110?

POINT OF VIEW. Speed ​​is an indisputable sign of progress in all fields except motor transport, where regression reigns as an absolute dogma.

By Jacques Chevalier

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EWill mmanuel Macron carry out a crash test with all motorway users, although he is very careful not to offend the sensibilities of cyclists in the lame file (technical control)? COP27 currently in Cairo and energy constraints related to the Ukraine conflict may give him reasons to be bold. It is strong among some in high places, more listened to than the so-called car lobby, supported by the green lobby, a coup attempt. At least in the name of a special situation, it would be really tempting to have a temporary measure until things get back to normal.

But in France, as we know the song, it is a temporary one that lasts after the decision is made and implemented. Then we find all the research and statistics to support a decision that is not met with citizen support. Even more troubling is the strength of this assumption Point The information revealed on May 19 is transmitted by a disinformation campaign aimed at preparing people’s minds. Polls are blooming here and there, all in the same direction, the latest one published on Sunday Parisian 68% of French people said they agree to drive at 110 km/h to better fight against global warming. The next day, he posed the same question to readers Point 61.6% of respondents gave almost the opposite result, stating that they were “not ready to drive at 110 km/h” on the highway. Find the bug with over 10,000 unsolicited answers!

So there really is a debate, and even if the inevitable deputy environmentalist Sandrine Rousseau shakes off her summer fatigues in 1, nothing is certain.er In August, he announced that his group would propose lowering the speed limit on the freeway if it was not included in the climate bill by the start of the school year. Good old green gravel that can’t hurt the view, because it’s true that it’s hard to breathe in the city. But if we attribute to the car, combining all generations of technology, how about 16% of pollutant emissions, the 84% we never talk about? The executive power is wary of this firearm in the yellow vest, those who awaken the rural jacquard against the omnipotent determinism of the cities.

Areas of slowness

It should be remembered that the disastrous rule of 80 km / h of Edouard Philippe was partially or completely canceled by about forty departments with common sense arguments not visible from Paris. Claude Riboulet, president of the Allier department council, whose roads will return to 90 km/h at the end of 2020, describes the Paris-Province gap. “Though there are airplanes and TGV in metropolises, residents of rural departments gradually felt like house arrests in the areas. »

In this stressful context, the transition from 130 to 110 km/h on the highway no longer makes sense in the travel strategy. Thus, many users go from 110 toll to 90 free, losing four times more safety than highways. Admittedly, driving at 20 km/h will save a lot of fuel (about 16% according to the association Agir pour l’environnement), but drivers can already do this without the need for mandatory regulations. It’s up to everyone to drive at 130 or 110, just as they decide to heat themselves at 21 or 19°C this winter without the police coming to their house to check the thermostat. To inform the French, the pedagogy should be sufficient for them to exercise their free will, because they are the ones who pay the bill.

However, it’s useless to make them feel guilty for driving a new car, even though it has reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by 3 and fine particulate matter emissions by 4.4 over twenty years. No other sector has done so much while road transport is still stigmatized. On the other hand, no one, not even among the Greens, thinks of reducing the speed of airplanes, TGVs or supertankers, which proves that the car is constantly gathering the revenge of a whole section of society.

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