The French government has announced it will lower the speed limit on two-lane highways to 80 kilometres per hour from 90 kilometres (55 miles) per hour.

The new limit, which goes into effect July 1, is an attempt to reduce the number of highway deaths, which reached nearly 3,500 in 2016. About 55% of those deaths occurred on the 400,000 kilometres of “secondary” roads across France; two-lane routes with no separating guardrail. “Excessive or inappropriate” speed was named as a factor in 32% of those fatal collisions.

“Unsafe roads are not inevitable,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was reported as saying. “Lowering speeds reduces the number of accidents, as well as the severity of these accidents.”