Protéger des vies

A campaign to raise awareness of the dangers incurred by ‘‘motorway guards’’

APRR Group

On 14 May, the French Road Safety Delegation (Délégation à la Sécurité Routière) is launching a major campaign to raise awareness of the dangers incurred by professionals working to ensure the safety of road users, with a new film widely shown on television screens. APRR-AREA company is a sponsor and partner in this initiative, and the film features Jonathan De Sampaio, a road agent from AREA.
 

The film, posted on the French Road Safety Delegation's YouTube channel, features a number of eloquent testimonies from patrol officers and road agents, giving an idea of the risks they take every time they intervene to ensure the safety of road users and make our motorways ever safer.
 
Guillaume Hérent, Managing Director of APRR-AREA motorways, said: ’’Because images are sometimes worth more than words, I invite as many people as possible to watch the new film from the French Road Safety Delegation, in which we are partners alongside our colleagues, the breakdown services, the gendarmerie and the fire brigade. The loss of life is unacceptable, tragic and avoidable. Because this is our essential mission, APRR-AREA will continue to do everything in its power to ensure that our motorways remain the safest roads in France, including for those who make them work’’.
 
 
Already 35 accidents involving professionals in 2024
Motorways may be the safest roads in France, but motorway workers such as gendarmes, firefighters and breakdown services risk their lives every day in the course of their duties. In the first quarter of 2024 alone, there were 35 accidents on french motorways, including one fatality. In 2023, 143 accidents were recorded, resulting in 22 injuries and one fatality. On 27 April 2022, an AREA motorway agent lost his life while working on the A43 motorway. A colleague was seriously injured and has since suffered severe trauma. This terrible accident highlights the risks faced by motorway crews. Jonathan De Sampaio, an AREA road agent, was present on the day of this tragic accident. He gives his testimony today in the Road Safety film. He explains: “I hope this film will reach the general public, that it will raise awareness of the danger we experience on the road, and that drivers will think about our safety when they pass us.”
 
Innovating for everyone's safety
Nearly 1,000 employees of APRR-AREA work every day to ensure safety for all. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, three HQ for surveillance and traffic control provide real-time visibility thanks to 550 surveillance cameras, and permanent patrols criss-cross our 2,500 km motorway network.
 
Every year, APRR-AREA invests nearly €250 million in maintaining and equipping its network to reduce the risks of exposure. This includes technological innovations to protect its operatives. For example, APRR financed and contributed to the development of the ‘’E-cone’’ project (with Europe Service and Sud-Ouest Système) to fully automate the removal of worksite cones and road restriction signs. In addition, awareness and prevention campaigns are carried out throughout the year (on the radio Autoroute INFO 107.7, in the press, on social media, as well as in high schools and businesses, and at service areas). The 2022 and 2023 campaigns were largely devoted to the safety corridor, a provision of the Highway Code requiring motorists to move one lane away from a motorist on foot or stopped on the road, whenever traffic permits. Finally, in April 2023, AREA inaugurated a new school near Annecy, France, dedicated to theoretical and practical training in procedures and methods for working on the line. This training center bears the name of Thierry Lacroix, the agent who died in the course of his duties on April 27, 2022.
 
All these actions have contributed to reducing the fatal accident rate for users of the APRR and AREA networks (number of fatal events divided by the number of kilometres travelled), from 1.62% in 2021 to 1.42% in 2023.
 
Where can you see this film?
The aim of this communication campaign is to raise awareness of the risks incurred by all professionals working on the roads to protect others, and to promote the safety corridor, which should become a reflex for all drivers.
A 5-minute film and its 60-second summary, posted on the Road Safety Delegation's YouTube channel, will be broadcast from 15 May.
The short film will appear until 28 May on the main french channels as well as on the main replay channels.
The full-length film will be broadcast on several programs of the M6 Group channels.
Finally, the campaign has also been adapted into radio adverts and messages for the social media, carried by all those involved in the campaign who have decided to join forces for this great cause.