Road control operation in Ariège: faced with the number of serious accidents which is not decreasing, the authorities are redoubling their efforts

Road control operation in Ariège: faced with the number of serious accidents which is not decreasing, the authorities are redoubling their efforts
Road control operation in Ariège: faced with the number of serious accidents which is not decreasing, the authorities are redoubling their efforts

the essential
Following numerous fatal accidents at the start of the year, the RN 20 was under close surveillance this Thursday, May 2 at the end of the afternoon, at the Préhistoire roundabout in Tarascon. Speed, alcohol and drug checks were carried out.

This is one of the worst starts to the year on the Ariège roads. In recent weeks, several serious accidents have occurred and, at the origin of these, often risky behavior of the drivers involved. So this Thursday, May 2, at the end of the afternoon, the departmental road safety squadron of the Ariège gendarmerie, the gendarmerie colonel, Frédéric Wagner, and Simon Bertoux were present at the Préhistoire roundabout in Tarascon-sur-Ariège for a large-scale road check operation.

“Smoking cannabis the day before has an influence on driving the next day”

As usual, the public forces carried out speed, alcohol and drug checks. “Compared to last year, serious offenses are on the rise, insisted Colonel Frédéric Wagner. Since the start of the year, we have experienced the same number of accidents as at the start of 2023, when we had recorded a total of 24 accidents. The only difference is that at the same time we did not have, as is the case this year, five deaths to deplore in the space of only four months.

During these checks, public forces counted 8, including one exceeding 40 km/h above the authorized speed which resulted in the loss of the driver’s driving license. If speeding is in the sights of the authorities, the problem of the use of narcotics and illicit products while driving is another scourge which affects the department. The operation scheduled for this Thursday follows the tragedy that occurred almost a week ago on the RD 624, avenue de Pamiers in Mazères. The head-on collision involved a motorist and a 23-year-old motorcyclist, who died from his injuries. The driver of the car involved tested positive for alcohol and tests are underway to determine if he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the incident.

“In recent months, we have seen an increase in driving under the influence of cannabis or other substances. You should know that during a traditional check, 8%, on average, test positive for narcotics, compared to 1 to 2% under alcohol.” analyzes Colonel Wagner. “Since January, we have suspended more than 200 driving licenses. Speed, driver inattention and drugs are at the heart of these confiscations. This is why we have increased checks by 20%, which target in particular priority the RN 20″, specifies the prefect, Simon Bertoux.

It is not only in Ariège that road accidents are on the increase, the authorities would like to point out that mountain roads remain the most at risk: “Motorists do not take into account the dangerousness of certain roads in the department, which are sometimes winding. Drivers are sometimes not aware that what they consume the day before has an influence on driving the next day”, explains the prefect of Ariège. Good news all the same this Thursday, of the 20 blood alcohol tests carried out by the gendarmes, all turned out to be negative.

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