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France targets ‘toxic masculinity’ to stop fatalities on its roads

France stops lecturing motorists about drunk driving and decides instead to focus on ‘toxic masculinity’ to stop fatalities on its roads

  • France’s Securite Routiere targets “toxic masculinity” to avoid fatalities
  • Research shows that 84 percent of fatal accidents in France are caused by men



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There are no lectures about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or ‘fatigue kills’ warnings in France’s latest road safety campaign.

Instead, the national road safety agency is focusing on tackling toxic masculinity, which it says is costing lives.

Men cause 84 percent of fatal accidents in France and are responsible for 78 percent of road deaths.

About 93 percent of people involved in drunk driving accidents in the country are men.

Men cause 84 percent of fatal accidents in France and are responsible for 78 percent of road deaths

The security agency, Securite Routiere, said it wants to “break the stereotypes” that lead men to view their cars and performance behind the wheel as a “display to other men of their strength and their physical and social power.”

The campaign video is set in a maternity ward where a father meets his newborn son for the first time.

He tells his young son that he can be “a sensitive man, a man who cries, a man who knows how to show emotions.”

Florence Guillaume, head of the security agency, said: “There is an urgent need to free men from the social expectation that leads them to associate masculinity with risk-taking.”

Psychologists who led a study group for the agency found that driving defined masculinity for men, while women viewed cars primarily as a means of transportation.

Ms Guillaume said the campaign is an urgent effort to prevent testosterone-fuelled behaviors that lead to deadly collisions.

“We’re not out to generalize or stigmatize,” she said. “We can’t let this reality stand by the wayside.”

Although the number of road deaths in France is twice as high as in Britain, the United Kingdom’s accident statistics, broken down by gender, have a similar message.

According to government data, by 2021, 78 percent of fatalities and 62 percent of all-severe casualties were men.

Is it time for the UK to follow France’s lead? Lorna Lee, from the AA Charitable Trust, was enthused, telling the Mail: ‘This is a fresh take on a well-known problem.

‘British accident statistics have shown for years that male drivers, especially young male drivers, are disproportionately represented in accidents.’

Adding: “There will be many factors that contribute to this, including how much people drive, the roads they drive on and whether or not speed, drink or drugs are involved.

‘Road safety campaigns have the most impact when they are well targeted, like this one.’

The Department of Transport (DfT) pointed out that their ‘THINK!’ A Mates Don’t Let a Mate Drink campaign, aimed at young men, was launched in 2017, followed by Mates for Life in 2021, which encourages young men to support their friends and avoid drunk driving by talking about the adventures and friendship they will enjoy for a lifetime.

A DfT spokesperson said: ‘While the UK’s roads are among the safest in the world, we are committed to further reducing the number of collisions.

‘Our THINK! campaign specifically targets young men who are four times more likely to be killed or seriously injured than drivers over the age of 25.”

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