At a visit to the International Transport Forum (ITF) summit in Leipzig FIA President Jean Todt raised awareness of the Federation’s Action for Road Safety campaign.
Thu 21.02.13, 11:11AM
At a visit to the International Transport Forum (ITF) summit in Leipzig, Germany on wednesday, FIA President Jean Todt took the opportunity to raise awareness of the Federation’s Action for Road Safety campaign. During a meeting with a panel of international government ministers, the President pushed home the message that improvements in road safety must be a key consideration in future global transport planning.
The ITF, an arm of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is an inter-governmental organisation with 53 member countries, and acts as a strategic think tank for transport policy. Each year it organises a summit meeting for member ministers. This year’s summit carried the theme of ‘Seamless Transport: Making Connections’ and hosted a number of talks aimed at defining a roadmap for 21st transport.
It was in this regard that President Todt made his appeal. At a round table discussion on the ‘Automotive Future’, Mr Todt told ministers that in 2010 the world’s vehicle ‘population’ stood at 1.015 billion units, with 80% of units being used in developed countries. However, with huge growth in vehicle use expected in emerging economies over the coming decades, the President stressed that any future transport planning must prioritise road safety.
He went on to inform the ministers of the goal to save five million lives on the world road’s by 2020 set out in the FIA’s campaign Action for Road Safety in support of the UN’s Decade of Action for Road Safety.
President Todt concluded by saying that improving the quality of roads worldwide, ensuring the safety of new vehicles brought onto market and raising awareness of road safety issues through education and lobbying should be key considerations in future transport policies around the globe. Following the meeting Mr Todt, in the company of Jochen Lau, Head of Accident Prevention at German Road Safety Council (DVR), took the opportunity to undertake an eco-driving training course as part of the ECOWILL project which aims to reduce carbon emissions by boosting the application of eco-driving across Europe.
After the activities at the ITF centre, the President visited a special area dedicated to traffic education and road safety for child cyclists organised by the Allegemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club E.V. (ADAC). Finally he took part in a Children’s University lecture entitled ‘Safety in Traffic’, during which school children put questions about their own road safety concerns to politicians and business leaders. There, Mr Todt spoke with an audience of 8-12 year olds about road safety, in particular the importance of two of the FIA’s ten Golden Rules for safer motoring and road use, using seat belts and helmets.
He also donated an FIA Action for Road Safety helmet to Prof. Dr. Med. Schoeneberg, Head of Biochemistry and Dean for Scientific Affairs, Leipzig Universitaet, to be auctioned off to raise funds for road safety awareness activities for young people in the region.
Since its launch in 2011, FIA Action for Road Safety has received support from across the Federation’s 232 motoring and motor sport clubs in over 134 countries. The campaign has also received enthusiastic endorsement from some of the world’s biggest sport stars including champions from the world’s of Formula One, the World Rally Championship and the World Touring Car Championship.