Jul 6, 2017,  by Allianz Worldwide Partners Business Insights

Road safety: Intelligent traffic lights in France

So-called "reward" traffic lights have been installed in the commune of Fegersheim in Alsace (France). These intelligent traffic lights stay green if the driver respects the speed limit, thus allowing them to save time.

 

The small town of Fegersheim, in the Bas-Rhin region of France has found an original solution to improve road safety for its 5,500 habitants and visitors: "intelligent" traffic lights, that stay green if the driver obeys the speed limit, inciting them to better respect the Highway Code.

 

A reward system

 

These "reward traffic lights" − the fourth system of its kind to be installed in Strasbourg area since last year − were installed to make a particular junction located close to a school safer. It is a 20km/h zone (13mph) but the speed limit is often exceeded, which puts young pedestrians in danger.

Thanks to this new technology − with has now been installed in all of the traffic lights on the Route de Lyon, a road which crosses the commune from north to south − Fegersheim should finally see its drivers slow down, motivated by the opportunity to save time at the lights.

This is what the SIRAC (Traffic Information and Automatic Regulation Organisation) stays it has already noticed. As the organisation's director, Yves Logel, explains, "The regulars that use the road every day know about the system, and since they know about it, they change their behaviour."  

 

A safer town centre for pedestrians and cyclists

 

The idea of putting young people's safety at risk seems to resonate with all of the road's users, who have welcomed the system with open arms, as shown in a recent report shown on France 3.

It is also an opportunity to limit the presence of vehicles in the town centre, which enables pedestrians and cyclists to use it more freely, says a delighted Thierry Schaal, the 41-year-old mayor of the commune. The project has proved a resounding success and is due to be repeated in two other urban areas in the Bas-Rhin, not far from Fegersheim: Mundolsheim and Vendenheim.

In terms of cost, remember that exceeding the speed limit by up to 20km/h (13mph) is sanctioned with a fine of 135 € coupled with 1 point off your license.

This penalty is often too mild to be dissuasive. The installation of these "intelligent" traffic lights costs 20,000 € on average, excluding maintenance costs, but the popularity of this new technology in the Alsace department suggests that the investment is worthwhile. We are sure it will not be long before we see these intelligent traffic lights on roads in other regions of France.

 

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