Le Justice

From a very good article in the ITE Journal (“French Lessons: A Review of an Effective Road Safety Program,” by Andrew Kwasniak and Michael Kuzel) on efforts in France to reduce the country’s road fatalities (now lower than the U.S., per million population, a far cry from the 1970s):

An example of the seriousness of driving over the speed limit in France was experienced by two British drivers who were stopped after a high-speed pursuit (257 km/hr). As a result, they were arrested and spent 48 hours in a police station pending a hearing. They were fined 1,000 Euros and received a three-month suspended jail sentence. Their cars, each worth approximately 68,000 euros, were confiscated and sold at auction.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 at 7:25 am and is filed under Traffic safety. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Le Justice”

  1. Eileen Says:


  2. SteveL Says:

    If you look at the approaches to any french town -the tour de france covers these well-you can see they’ve added lots of traffic calming through roundabouts/traffic circles, and through raised bits in the centre of the lane to stop cars overtaking/cornering on the wrong side of the road. However, both of these are pretty bad for cycling. So yes, they may have reduced fatalities, but is it better to cycle round than it was?

  3. Tom Says:

    La justice.

  4. Tom Vanderbilt Says:

    I must have been thinking of that old Canadian professional wrestler!

  5. Kevin Love Says:

    On August 7, Ontario’s provincial police did something similar. Just like in France, the whole idea is to stop these dangerous drivers before they kill or injure someone. From:

    “A 28-year-old Brampton man was charged after police clocked a car travelling at nearly three times the speed limit on a Brampton road yesterday morning.

    Harjinde Sekhon, 28, was charged with dangerous driving and stunt driving.

    He was released on bail and his car impounded and licence suspended for seven days.”

    Kevin’s comment:
    There was no crash, nobody killed, nobody injured. But a crazy car driver was driving at a ridiculous speed, so the police arrested him, threw him in jail, impounded his car and handed him an on-the-spot seven-day license suspension.

    I’ve got a strong feeling that the judge who let him out of jail on bail ran his driver’s license through a shredder. Or, to use more legal language, gave him a prohibition order forbidding him from driving as a condition of his release on bail.

    Dangerous driving where no injury occurs is an indictable offense under the Criminal Code of Canada, good for up to five years in jail. The criminal then has a criminal record, a minimum one-year driver’s license suspension (the clock starts when he gets out of jail) and extreme difficulty and expense in ever getting car insurance.

    Stunt driving is an Ontario Highway Traffic Act charge, good for up to six months in jail and a driver’s license suspension up to two years. Again, insurance companies will really, really, not want to do business with you.

    This is one bad driver who already had a taste of jail before he made bail, and is about to get a lot more upon conviction. All BEFORE he killed or injured someone.

  6. Kevin Love Says:

    A follow-up comment:

    Ontario’s government brags about having the safest roads in North America. Adequate law enforcement is one reason why.


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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

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August 2009
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