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France: When The Government Lies or Fuddles The Numbers

13
February
2014
  Posted at 08:00:00 AM
  File under  France Statistics
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
click to see where France is on the map

We know two things which have been true since the beginning of time; politicians lie and so do statistics. So when politicians start spewing up statistics, we're in trouble.

France does not escape these truths. For example, the French government announced that the speed radars installed all over the country have saved 11,000 lives between 2003 and 2011. Another official bid even higher and said that 40,000 lives were saved by their miracle boxes. So when you read that, you go wooow, that's good, now I understand why there are speed radars. But the reality is different....

The researchers for INSEE Open INSEE link in a new window, the French National Institute of Statistics and Research, determined that the radars "only" saved 740 lives during that period. So not really a miracle, at least for saving lives. But it's a miracle for the cash-strapped government, that's for sure.

Source: link Open link link in a new window (in French)

Biker Zombies

Another fuddling of data, the French government last year announced that in January 2013 a total of 271 people died on the French roads. A year (2014) later they announced that in the same month, January 2013, 239 people died. So either we have 32 zombies walking the streets or 32 people never died.

In the mean time the government did some tap-dancing, coming with all sorts of reasons, but one thing is obvious, you just can not trust what they say.

Source: link Open link link in a new window

We know that the real reason people's lives are saved is in a big majority due to better roads & infrastructure, safer cars and better education. Not speed radars.





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