“Jean Todt is the first FIA President to create a global movement like this” – Emmerson Fittipaldi
Momentum for this global road safety initiative continues to grow and recently the campaign has gained substantial backing from major figures in global politics and sport.
In September the President of Brazil, Mrs Dilma Rousseff addressed the United Nations (UN) Annual General Assembly and highlighted the role that the FIA has taken in combatting the rising number of deaths and serious injuries on the world’s roads, particularly in fast-developing nations.
In her address President Rousseff said: “Brazil is engaged in action to protect lives and reduce road accidents. To this end, our government is preparing a wide ranging awareness-raising campaign together with the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile).”
The FIA President, accompanied by Global Road Safety Ambassador Michelle Yeoh, double world champion Emerson Fittipaldi and President Rousseff met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon prior to the UN Annual General Assembly and discussed the rapidly increasing global road safety problem. Jean Todt confirmed the FIA’s commitment to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and underlined the necessity for a strong and coordinated effort to curb the rising numbers of serious road injuries and fatalities. The delegation was also received by Mrs Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) who enthusiastically welcomed the FIA President’s opinions on the importance of improving road safety.
Earlier in September the FIA World Endurance Championship travelled to Sao Paulo, Brazil where motorsport champion Emerson Fittipaldi brought the FIA’s road safety message to both sports enthusiasts and the Brazilian government at the launch of Traffic Conscience – A Pact for Life. This initiative supports the FIA’s Golden Rules for Safer Motoring and calls on road users to: #2 Respect the Highway Code and #3 Obey the speed limit- speeding should stay on the track- not in the traffic.
Speaking at the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo Fittipaldi stated: “This weekend we have launched a major road safety campaign in support of the FIA Action for Road Safety. When Minister, Aguinaldo Ribeiro, waved the green flag to start the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo, he also waved the green flag to start the campaign whose main theme is Traffic Conscience – A Pact for Life. The project received support from the Minister of Cities of Brazil, Aguinaldo Ribeiro who stated: “The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness among Brazilian drivers about the need to respect the traffic laws to reduce the number of road deaths.” It’s theme of traffic awareness aims to combat speeding and is part of a larger National Pact to Reduce Accidents.”
Emerson Fittipaldi added that during his career he had tragically lost 35 colleagues, with the last fatal accident happening to Ayrton Senna. “Safety on the tracks has increased significantly in recent years. In the 70s it was very dangerous to drive a race car. Jean Todt is the first FIA President to create a global movement like this, which aims to improve traffic safety worldwide and we are happy to support it here in Brazil”.
The larger sporting community continues to support the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign and events and activities are taking place around the world to raise awareness of the safer motoring message. On Sunday September 23rd the Ruben Dumot Speedway in Paraguay saw drivers and co-drivers pledging their support for Golden Rules by taking part in a special photo shoot to raise awareness of safer motoring.
The Singapore Grand Prix also saw solid support for the initiative with Singapore Motorsport Volunteers & Officials Commission (SMVOC) organising a special distribution of the Golden Rules for Safer Motoring during the race weekend to F1 fans.
The FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy has also energetically welcomed the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign’s safer motoring message. Recently young drivers taking part in the programme along with their Performance Managers Alex Wurz and Robert Reid posed for a special photo to show their support for the campaign and get the important message of safer driving across to young people, one of the key risk groups on the world’s roads.
The 2012 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris also features a strong FIA Action for Road Safety presence. A dedicated photographic exhibition highlighting the FIA Action for Road Safety’s 10 Golden Rules in conjunction with Michelin has welcomed major figures in the automotive industry and the general public. The FIA’s stand invites members of the public to submit their suggestions for an eleventh Golden Rule, a road safety principle that they feel should be made Golden. The winning Golden Rule will see two people invited to the FIA’s Annual Prize Giving Gala this December in Istanbul, Turkey. For more information see: https://www.facebook.com/fia/app_192037994263539
The Mondial de l’Automobile has also seen members of the FIA World Motorsport Council sign pledges of commitment to the Golden Rules and well as some familiar faces from the world of motorsports and the Olympics.
FIA Action for Road Safety continues to gather pace, force and vocal support from FIA members, the motorsports community, high level decision makers, opinion formers and heads of state. The Action for Road Safety team would like to thank all of the members of the FIA family around the world who have organized events and activities of all shapes and sizes to show their commitment to this life saving campaign. But the Action for Road Safety Team needs your help – road accidents don’t discriminate when it comes to language and neither should the Golden Rules. Currently the Golden Rules are available in over twenty languages including: Arabic, Chinese, Bangla, Finnish, Irish, Turkish, Portuguese, Russian and Urdu but there is much more to be done!
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