EES: the facts

SEA written in 1989 Gabriel Ferrone.



Transport is essential, but they are also sources of multiple disasters and 15 to 20 000 dead each year in France.
140 million tonnes of high-risk products crisscross France: explosive, flammable, corrosive, toxic, radioactive. They are transported 76% by road; 17% by rail; 7% by waterways. (Figures 1989) It's worse in 2004
The automobile kills on average 5 to 10 times more than the aviation and fifty times more than the train per kilometer traveled, according to QUID 1989 (page 1448a),
The statistics are interesting, they make it possible to know the risks that we will incur for each means of transport and to compare them.
Globally, more than 400 people are killed on the roads each year and 000 are injured by cars and road transport. By the consequences of road accidents, one tenth of French people are more or less disabled.
Transport is also the cause of multiple pollution. Their simple operation, apart from accidents, is also the cause of congestion, pollution, disorders.
 »Transport policy in France has not changed since 1970 when ON gave priority to the road, while our neighbors understood that it was necessary to bet on rail. "

The drivers are nice

Road transport has been the main beneficiary of the growth. They have grown by 5% on average over the past 30 years thanks to the internationalization of traffic. France's position makes it a transit zone between England and Europe, between Northern Europe and Spain, Portugal and North Africa and West Africa. The share of heavy goods vehicles in motorway traffic reaches almost 25%. A dozen thousand trucks, of which 4 fifths, weigh more than 19 tonnes, use the Paris - Lille motorway, the most congested in France, every day, and there is a continual increase in heavy goods vehicles on each major axis. The Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (CREDOC) estimates that the traffic will be doubled before 2010. Gaining market points on the rail that does not defend itself and on the waterways strangled by the administration, truckers by their abundance and also by the way in which they impress the motorists whom they frighten are gradually losing the sympathetic image they had with the public. They are involved in only 6% of accidents but they claim 16% of the victims. The Insurance Documentation and Information Center was able to verify that the larger the trucks, the higher the number of accidents in which they are involved.
Each truck must have a speed recorder (the chrono - tachograph) obligatory from 3,5 tonnes. This device records a certain number of indications on all vehicles over 3,5 tonnes: speeds reached, distances traveled, working and stopping times.
The speed is theoretically limited on highways and main roads to 90 for less than 19 tons, to 80 for more than 19 tons and to 80 for the transport of dangerous goods; on other roads; 80, 80 and 60 respectively and in the city at 50 km / h for all. Driving times are regulated at 4h30 in continuous driving followed by a minimum of 45 minutes of interruption; 9 hours a day maximum and no more than six consecutive days.
The road federations want the total permissible gross weight to be increased as in Germany to 44 tonnes and the maximum authorized truck width to be increased to 2,60 mitres.
The rail - road - barges - boats link, thanks to containerization could have been successful if sordid special interests overriding the national interest had not left the SNCF unable to develop the necessary reception and boarding structures. , and these lobbies had not kept the waterways in the sorry state we know today.
This mismanagement of transport is one of the causes of France's bad position in international competition.

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The congested city

We are inspired by the work of an old friend, Mr. Gérard BEAU, who already in the 1960s said:But driving involves stopping, loading and unloading passengers, luggage, goods and when the vehicle is not in use it must be parked in such a way that it does not cause discomfort to other motorists, nor cyclists and riders, nor pedestrians. The use of the car must be deferential towards pedestrians and particularly towards children, the disabled and the elderly… >>

The pedestrian

Dominique LEGLU put "the pedestrian into an equation" in the special issue 32 of Sciences et Avenir and he taught us that he travels, when no obstacle hinders him, between 46 and 112 meters per minute, from the buggers to the most agitated. The more pedestrians there are, the less they can circulate.
The pedestrian is very frowned upon in France where the shoulders are impassable and the roads deadly for him. In town the sidewalks are in principle there to welcome it, but what can't you find there! Between the insidious obstacle of the protruding paving stone, the ill-fitting manhole cover, the various abandoned objects, the garbage cans and the multitude of posts and temporary constructions, he walks painfully on a greasy ground, cluttered with waste and excrement despite the efforts of the road services. One of the main causes of this problem is the poor coordination between the energy and water distributors who dig for themselves when it would have been appropriate to make undergrounds where the workers of the different services can circulate and where the pipes can. be monitored and maintained or modified without disturbing the ground.
The obstacles that this pedestrian encounters are therefore numerous, in town particularly, and some irremediable since they kill nearly 300 pedestrians each year victims of cars, two wheels, various obstacles; one in six killed is a child.
All road accidents combined killed 1 212 children in 1970 which was a very difficult year, in 1986 more than 650 pedestrians were killed and more than 25 000 were seriously injured.
The pedestrian is often frowned upon by the motorized driver who tends to forget that he is first and foremost a pedestrian. Some pedestrians are very reckless, disregard signs, thrust carelessly through the flow of vehicles and do not know that each driver takes time to react and a certain distance to brake proportional to the square of the speed. .
Speeding crossing an urban area is, for this reason, criminal.

In the event of a disaster requiring the abandonment of vehicles, for example lack of fuel, walking would be compulsory and many people will find themselves severely disabled, the majority of the population having lost the habit of walking.

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The evacuation of public places in the event of a disaster is also a problem linked to walking and often the speed of evacuation determines the extent of the tragedy. Who knows that in an emergency evacuation more than 250 people per minute can escape through a corridor one meter wide if they walk in synchronized step and have their hands on the shoulders of those in front of them! In a confused situation, the same one-meter-wide corridor barely evacuates 70 people per minute.

Cyclists and motorcyclists

The "little queen", this is how the bicycle was called in the 1930s, has lost its prestige, today it is the "bicycle", it kills little but is a victim of others. between 4 and 500 cyclists who die in France each year and 8 to 9 go to the hospital for more or less long stays. Note that since the arrival of mountain bikes which have excited many cycle tourists.

Mopeds multiply this figure by two and a half, mopeds and motorcycles further extend it to reach in the 80s / 90s a total of more than 2 deaths and nearly 000 injured for two wheels each year. These tragedies mainly affect young people under 60.
It is notable that France does not do much to encourage the use of the bicycle, the reserved corridors are non-existent, badly designed, impractical.


We were particularly interested in motorists in the City of Paris, with the environmentalist party "THE GREENS" in I981, and we made some very unpleasant observations:
While this city is asphyxiated by cars, many open parking places, more than 120 000, have disappeared, nibbled by administrations who reserve them.
Some were suppressed for obscure reasons which are not totally foreign to the interests of the underground car park concessionaires;
- 60 covered spaces have disappeared because many garages were bought by developers who did not respect the town planning regulations, sometimes preferring to pay a fine or a bribe rather than building the number of obligatory spaces and that many garages have been transformed into warehouses by traders or individuals; on the other hand, the legislation of recent decades has caused many owners to refuse to rent vacant premises, which would free up places;
- We noticed that some of the parking meters were placed, not on the public domain but on sidewalks, private property, under the responsibility of owners who are completely unaware that a victim of an accident caused by these devices can turn around against them ;
- That many parking meters are not approved and that no control can be exercised over the sums collected, a large part of which is misappropriated!
Our investigation continued at Issy les Moulineaux and Le Mans and we found the same anomalies. Justice, informed by us, has modestly veiled its face in these three cities.
Regarding the RATP: the relatively uncomfortable buses it offers to users are victims of the army and republican security companies who demand their rapid transformation to their uses if necessary.
The RER metro is far too deep because it was vaguely designed as a fallout shelter but it would be of no use in the event of a conflict because it is not equipped with airlocks, air and heat filters, reserve areas, etc. These installations cannot be improvised in a few weeks for a set of works of this magnitude. Note that in 2004 the situation is not much better in this area.

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The motorist held to ransom

Let us take the 1979/1980 financial year: the motorist was ransomed for gasoline, the sticker, insurance, 33% VAT, the State pocketed 13,8% of his income, about 10 francs per vehicle for a total of 000 billion francs on households and the automobile had a collective cost of around 108 billion. The congestion of the streets caused damage which was estimated at 120 francs per month per vehicle. And at least 1 billion francs in medical costs were paid by social security to treat its victims. The automobile required 000% imported materials and caused the influx of foreign labor. Its technology requiring less and less low-skilled labor, it has been one of the major sources of unemployment for several years, we said in 20. It is not the German manufacturers who will contradict us in 70
In 79/80, we identified more than 50 “traps” for motorists with faulty parking meters. The SAEMES which managed them seemed in good financial health, the ACDS which also protected certain car parks.

Most of the time, paying parking signs do not meet the requirements of the decree of 23 November 1967, supplemented by the decree of 7 June 1977 which provides for the regulatory sign (B6-B4). In the absence of this sign the motorist cannot be prosecuted for infringement. The Prefecture of Paris has overcome this difficulty by the action of the Prince: a judgment of December 1, 1986 making it "optional" and responds with a final refusal to the unfortunate motorists who protest.
However, it was judged, as Maître Stéphane Lévi recalls, by the Court of Cassation on March 25, 1987 (Bull. Crim 1987 n ° 141) that this decree was illegal and that each parking area must be clearly delimited by the regulatory panel. Article 530 of the Code of Criminal Procedure allows, within ten days of the arrival of a warning to pay a fine, the person concerned to file a complaint with the Public Prosecutor's Office, which has the effect of canceling the writ of execution. The prosecution of the Police Court can prosecute the alleged perpetrator, holder of the vehicle registration document, before the Police Court, which is responsible for proving the guilt of the claimant. Article L21-1 establishing the presumed liability of the holder of the registration certificate does not comply with article 6-2 of the European Convention on Human Rights ratified by France on November 5, 1950, and published only on March 3, 1974.
The scandalous cycle lanes which absolutely do not protect their users are also good means of transforming the conduct of Parisian motorists into slalom and forcing them to make mistakes and hang-ups.
The motorist is not a citizen enjoying his full civic rights, he is only on probation, punished for everything and sometimes irrelevant. In this regard, when we examine the projects of the city of Paris (in 1989) we are surprised at the extent of the repressive side, while possible work to improve this situation has not been undertaken. Almost everywhere in France, the public authorities, in matters of traffic and parking, have been extremely negligent over the last twenty-five years and they make motorists bear the weight of their incompetence and negligence.

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