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Four teenagers killed in road accident, Royal supports stricter speed limits

Nantes Canal in Rohan, Brittany
Nantes Canal in Rohan, Brittany giteRohan_Flickr

Four teenagers were killed in a road accident on Saturday night, whilst returning home from a private party, in Morbihan, northwest France. 10 others were in a critical condition on Sunday. Meanwhile, France's Ecology minister Segolene Royal has thrown her weight behind calls to reduce road speed limits to 90km. 

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The driver, aged 17, didn't have a driving licence. He was one of the four victims of the crash, which has stumped police, who are still determining what exactly happened.

According to the prosecutor of the Republic Yann Le Bris, the accident occured around 1:30 am on Sunday morning, at a hundred yards away from the local police station in Rohan, in Britanny.

The driver apparently lost control of his vehichle- a Berlingo van, said to be overloaded with passengers - which plummeted about twenty meters into a downhill stretch off the main road, Le Bris explained to French reporters.

According to local police, most of the passengers were aged between 15 and 17 and had been coming back from a "private party."

An enquiry has been opened, and a team of psychiatrists called in to treat the survivors.

For France's interior minister, this accident once again reminds the public of the danger of French roads. "Every year 9 people are killed and 100 others seriously injured," Bernard Cazeneuve said.

Road security has also dominated debate in Valence in south east France this weekend, where the town's mayor is pushing for a 90km cap on motorway speed limits.

"Reducing the speed of vehicles in Valence - one of the most visited regions in Europe-will help reduce pollution," said Nicolas Daragon, the city's mayor. "Because the less speed there is, the less pollution we produce."

On Sunday, he received the endorsement of Ecology minister Segolene Royal. "His initiative shows that local MPs are conscious of the enormous stakes at hand, and are willing to take their responsibilities," she said.

Royal is gearing up for crunch climate talks at the end of the year, and hopes to pass a battery of measures to reduce pollution. Initiatives like that of Daragon could help.

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