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 criss-cross France: explosive, flammable, corrosive, toxic, radioactive. They are transported 76% by road; 17% by rail; 7% by waterways. (1989 figures) It's worse in 2004
The automobile kills on average 5 to 10 times more than aviation and fifty times more than train per kilometer traveled, according to the 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.
Worldwide more than 400 people are killed on the roads every 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 handicapped.
Transport is also the cause of multiple pollution. Their simple operation, apart from accidents, is also a 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 we had to bet on rail. "

The drivers are nice

Road transport was the main beneficiary of the growth. They have increased by 5% on average for 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 is almost 25%. Thus a dozen of thousands of trucks, of which 4 fifths, weighing more than 19 tonnes, use the Paris - Lille motorway, the most congested in France, every day, and there is a continuous increase in heavy goods vehicles on each major axis. The Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions (CREDOC) estimates that traffic will be doubled before 2010. Winning market points on the rail which does not defend itself and on the waterways strangled by administration, the truckers by their abundance and also by the way they impress the motorists whom they frighten little by little lose the sympathetic image which they had with the public. They are involved in only 6% of accidents, but these make 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 carry a speed recorder (the chrono-tachograph) compulsory from 3,5 tonnes. This device records on all vehicles over 3,5 tonnes a certain number of indications: speeds reached, distances traveled, working and stopping times.
The speed is theoretically limited on motorways and busy roads to 90 for less than 19 tonnes, to 80 for more than 19 tonnes and to 80 for the transport of dangerous goods; on other roads; 80, 80 and 60 respectively and in town at 50 km / h for all. Driving times are regulated at 4:30 a.m. for 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 private interests taking precedence over the national interest had not left SNCF unable to develop the necessary reception and boarding structures , and these lobbies had not kept the waterways in the pitiful state we know.
This mismanagement of transport is one of the causes of France's bad position in international competition.

The congested city

Read also: The cost of using a bicycle

We are inspired by the work of an old friend, Mr. Gérard BEAU, who already in the 1960s said: << Lhe public road is more and more dangerous. We choke, the expressways no longer flow the flow of cars overflowing garages on es streets and sidewalks. It remains necessary to return the shoe to its primary destination: traffic.
But driving involves stopping, loading and unloading passengers, luggage, goods and when the vehicle is not in use it must be parked in a parking lot in such a way that it does not cause discomfort either to other motorists, or cyclists and riders, or pedestrians. The use of the car must be deferential to pedestrians and particularly to children, the disabled and the elderly ... >>

The pedestrian

Dominique LEGLU put "the pedestrian in equation" in the special number 32 of Sciences et Avenir and he taught us that it circulates, when no obstacle hinders it, between 46 and 112 meters per minute, from the runny 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 him, but what can you not find there? Between the insidious obstacle of the paving stone protruding from the ill-fitting manhole cover, various abandoned objects, garbage cans and the multitude of posts and temporary constructions, he painfully walks on a greasy ground, cluttered with rubbish and rubbish. excrement despite the efforts of the road services. One of the main causes of this evil is the poor coordination between the energy and water distributors who dig each for itself when it would have been appropriate to make underground passages where the workers of the various 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, particularly in the city, and some are 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 primarily a pedestrian. Some pedestrians are very reckless, do not respect the signaling, launch themselves without care through the flow of vehicles and do not know that it takes each driver time to react and a certain distance to brake proportional to the square of the speed. .
Speeding when crossing urban areas is, for this reason, criminal.

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

Read also: Want to switch to the electric bike?

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

Cyclists and motorcyclists

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

Mopeds multiply this figure by two and a half, mopeds and motorcycles further increase it to reach in the decade 80/90 a total of more than 2 killed and nearly 000 injured for two wheels each year. These dramas mainly reach young people under the age of 60.
It is notable that France does not do much to encourage the use of bicycles, the reserved corridors are nonexistent, poorly designed, impractical.

The motorist

We were particularly interested in the motorists of the City of Paris, with the ecologist party "LES VERTS" 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 deleted for obscure reasons which are not entirely foreign to the interests of underground parking concessionaires;
- 60 covered places have disappeared because many garages have been bought by developers who have not respected town planning regulations, sometimes preferring to pay a fine or a bribe rather than build the number of compulsory places and that many garages have been converted into warehouses by traders or individuals; on the other hand the legislation of the last decades makes that many the owners who refuse to rent free premises what would clear sites;
- We realized that part 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 amounts collected, a large part of which is diverted!
Our investigation continued at Issy les Moulineaux and Le Mans and we found the same anomalies. Justice, informed by us, modestly veiled the 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 loosely designed as a fallout shelter, but it would be useless 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 was not much better in this area.

Read also: electric car and CO2, comparative life cycle assessment

The ransomed motorist

Take the 1979/1980 fiscal year: the motorist was ransomed on gasoline, vignette, insurance, 33% VAT, the State thus pocketed 13,8% of his income, around 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 have been paid by social security to treat its victims. The automobile required 000% imported materials and caused the influx of foreign workers. Its technology requiring less and less manpower of low qualification, it was one of the big sources of unemployment for a few 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 parking meters with faulty functioning. The SAEMES which managed them seemed in good financial health, the ACDS which protected certain car parks too.

Most of the time, the signage for pay parking lots does 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 an offense. The Prefecture of Paris has circumvented this difficulty by the fact of the Prince: a judgment of December 1, 1986 making it "optional" and responds with an end of refusal to the unfortunate motorists who protest.
However, it was held, as Maître Stéphane Lévi recalls, by the Court of Cassation, dated March 25, 1987 (Bull. Crim 1987 n ° 141) that this order 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, which has the effect of canceling enforceable title. The prosecution of the Police Court may prosecute the alleged perpetrator, holder of the car registration document, before the police court, to which it belongs to prove the guilt of the claimant. Article L21-1 establishing the presumed responsibility 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 March 3, 1974.
The scandalous cycle lanes which absolutely do not protect their users are also good ways of transforming the conduct of Parisian motorists into slalom and of forcing them to make mistakes and to hang on.
The motorist is not a citizen enjoying his full civil rights, he is only on probation, punished for everything and sometimes irrelevant. On this subject, when one examines the projects of the city of Paris (in 1989) one is surprised of the scale of the repressive side whereas the possible works to improve this situation are not undertaken. Almost everywhere in France, public power, in terms of traffic and parking has been extremely negligent over the past twenty five years and it makes motorists bear the brunt of its incompetence and carelessness.

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