• 70'
  • Authors : Aurélien Clement, Benjamin Courtadon
  • 12-06-2018
  • Master : 2754


After three consecutive years of increase, the number of deaths on French roads dropped slightly in 2017. However, the figures are alarming: almost 10 deaths per day! Alcohol, drugs, dangerous overtaking or cell phones are behind many a pile-up. However, excess speed is still the principal cause of fatal accidents. In order to reduce this tragic statistic, the government has introduced a shock tactic: reduce the speed limit from 90 to 80 kph on the 400,000 kms of two-way secondary roads without a central barrier. A measure that has irked the thousands of drivers and bikers who use these departmental roads every day. Christelle, a member of the French Federation of Angry Bikers, decided to make a strong statement: with more than 700 bikers she organized a blitz campaign outside the Dijon Prefecture. And on the same day, all over France, more than 30,000 people demonstrated! And yet, these departmental roads are deadly: they account for more than 50% of fatal accidents whereas they make up only 40% of the network. Behind the figures are the shattered lives, like those of Benjamin’s family, run down at the age of 21 by two reckless drivers who refused to give him right of way. Isabelle, Benjamin’s mother, considers them to be murderers. Their trial takes place in a few days. Isabelle awaits the confrontation with fear in her heart. To combat these tragedies, emergency services and the police are on permanent alert. On the Côte d’Or and in the Bouches du Rhône, two especially accident-prone departments, we accompanied Stella, 24, and David, 43, on their dangerous missions. Collision between two heavy-goods trucks, coming off the road and ending in the trees, rolls or head-on collision with a tractor: every day, these emergency workers risk their lives to save those of the victims of accidents. In Paris, on the beltway, the police are on alert 24 hours a day. Laurent, 25, tirelessly patrols this 35-mile highway, the busiest in France: 1.5 million vehicles per day! In his sights are the reckless drivers who endanger other drivers. Speeding, driving without a license, under the influence of alcohol or drugs: these are the scourges that this young policeman has to face. A total immersion into the action-packed daily lives of the “guardian angels” of the road!