30.06.12

Jean Todt speaks about the FIA Action for Road Safety

FIA president since 2009, Jean Todt fully intends to fulfill two missions assigned to the Federation: the regulation and legislation of motorsport, but also the safety of motorists, particularly through Automobile Clubs.

The man who led Peugeot Sport and Scuderia Ferrari to success has taken road safety head-on through the 'Action For Road Safety'.

Mr. President, what is the purpose of Action For Road Safety?

"The goal is simple. There are 1.3 million deaths a year worldwide on roads, and 50 million injured. 90% of victims live in developing countries. The FIA brings together 132 countries with two main activities: legislation and regulation of motor sport and action on Automobile Safety including that which is done through the Automobile Clubs. Road safety is top priority. The United Nations has decided that the decade 2011-2020 is that of road safety, with a goal of saving 5 million lives in 10 years.

It is through education, support for world road infrastructure, but also improving the world's vehicle fleet. It is not easy to impose a helmet or seat belt regulation when 50% of the world lacks access to safe drinking water. We must inform governments and organizations like the World Bank, WHO and the Red Cross.”

What is the role of motor sport in this campaign?

"Safety in motorsport has come a long way: in terms of circuits, cars and drivers' equipment, in rally, F1, touring cars and endurance racing. We need these advances to benefit everyday drivers. Race drivers are powerful ambassadors. We must better educate people to respect the rules. We also have partnerships with other international sports federations."

This subject is particularly dear to your heart. Why?

"If you can save even one human life, it must be done. I have had great success and pleasure in my work for many years and now I want to give back to society. "

The 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place in France, how is road safety in this country?

"France has made sensational progress in 20 years, but we are not at the end of what could be achieved. Rules are enforced on major roads and highways, but many accidents occur on the secondary network because there are fewer controls and infrastructure is in a worse state. Many accidents could be avoided. "

On the occasion of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, 50,000 gauges for measuring tyre wear were distributed to the public, in partnership with Michelin. A picture of officials and all the drivers was taken before the start of the race to highlight the motorsport personalities supporting the campaign; Action For Road Safety.

Interview by Cécile Bonardel