A small French village is toying with a novel method to combat speeding in its borders. A tangle of painted white lines that make the streets look like a plate of spaghetti aims to slow drivers, but critics argue that the tactic will just confuse road users and lead to danger.
The village of Bauné in western France is about an hour away from Le Mans and has three major thoroughfares passing through it. At the intersection of two of those roads, residents claimed that drivers frequently double the posted speed limit, and that traditional signs were doing little to slow them down.
“There are 2,300 vehicles per day and many speed excessively here, just like in all other rural villages in France,” Grégoire Jauneault, the deputy mayor of Loire-Authion, told TFI Info. “Drivers don’t respect the highway code, so we had to make other arrangements.”
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That led the town to paint the odd, crisscrossing lines, which officals reasoned would catch drivers’ attention and force them to slow down. The lines cost €5,000 ($5,340 USD at current exchange rates) to paint, and are designed to be non-slip so as not to imperil drivers or cyclists.
Indeed, one driver told TFI that upon seeing the lines, he was forced to slow down in order to try and work out which were the correct ones. However, another said that once she got used to the lines, they didn’t slow her down at all.
Meanwhile, critics call the road lines, which are limited to the intersection of Rue Julien Daillere and the D74, stupid and dangerous. They point out that the lines could disorient drivers and cause more trouble than they solve.
Despite the concerns, the lines have remained through the summer and are a response to the rising rates of accidents and deaths on French roads. Unfortunately, no data exists on how effective the measure has been yet.