The objective of a road safety policy is to reduce the number of road traffic injury accidents, in order to reduce the number of people killed and injured each year.
It meets several challenges :
a human issue related to the suffering caused by the loss or disability of a loved one, given that in France for every person killed on the roads, an estimated 7 are seriously injured;
a social issue linked to the disappearance of part of the living forces of society, particularly young people;
an economic challenge, the total cost of French road safety being estimated at 50.8 billion euros in 2017, or 2.2% of GDP (an estimate by the French road safety observatory). Each year, the Government spends more than €3.4 billion on road safety policy.
It mobilizes multiple stakeholders, institutional or private.
At the national level, within the Government, this policy is highly inter-ministerial (transport, justice, health, work, education, etc.). At the local level, in addition to the action of local government representatives, the action of local authorities, in particular county councils, municipalities and conurbations, is just as decisive in their capacity as road managers, producers of urban travel plans and road master plans and, more generally, developers.
Private actors such as insurers, car manufacturers, companies and associations for road prevention or road users associations complete this plurality of stakeholders in road safety policy.
The French road safety policy has made it possible, since the post-war period, to substantially reduce the number of road deaths : from 18,000 deaths in the early 1970s to 8,000 deaths in 2000, then 3,268 deaths in 2013 and an estimated 3,259 in 2018, despite an increase in traffic in recent decades.