Automobile Club Albania (ACA) wins European "Excellence in Road Safety Award"

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On 20 May, the ACA received the European Road Safety Charter’s Excellence in Road Safety Award for best practices
These well-known and long-established awards acknowledge best road safety activities. For the 2016 edition, the Charter had chosen to award actions on Youth and Innovation. FIA Mobility Clubs are as active as ever in developing innovative road safety campaigns. This year, no less than eight FIA Region I Mobility Clubs submitted an projects for consideration.

FIA President Jean Todt, who also serves as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, was present for the Award ceremony today in Brussels and said: “This award is a deserved recognition of the Automobile Club of Albania’s innovative road safety programme which connects with children in an effective and appealing way through cartoons. I would also like to thank the European Commission, and Commissioner Bulc personally, for the ongoing support of the Awards, as well as all other winners and participants - in particular the many FIA Clubs which took part.”

Selected from nearly 100 entries, the ACA  education campaign targeted children from 5 to 12 and included the broadcasting of a series of cartoons on national TV channels, in schools and in kindergartens. In future, the programme has been chosen to be gradually introduced in primary schools all over the country. By educating children, the campaign seeks to improve adults' behaviour in a country with poor knowledge of traffic rules, low awareness of risks and a very high fatality rate. The ERSC jury stated: “The initiative was awarded for its innovative approach to changing road users' behaviour in a context where new habits and attitudes must be built without any tradition. Focusing on the new generation to influence all groups of users seems to be very efficient in the given context. The initiative is also a good example of how existing good practice and tools can be reused with maximum efficiency and minimum investment.” The winners received their awards from the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc.

Thierry Willemarck, FIA Region I President, said: “We are very proud to see so many FIA member Clubs entering the contest each year. It is of great value for us to keep reminding the EU institutions that Mobility Clubs are a key road safety actor, and that we practice what we preach via concrete actions throughout Europe.” For its part, the FIA Region I office will launch Stay-Bright, a pan-European campaign on keeping vulnerable road users safe this autumn.

The recent publication of the European Commission’s 2015 road safety figures leave no room for complacency as they show an increase in road fatalities. 2014 had also been a bad year because it had been the first in a long time without significant reductions. National efforts must be stepped up and initiatives such as the European Road Safety Charter awards remain as relevant as ever. The Charter’s purpose is to get all societal actors to engage in road safety work and advocacy. The FIA and its Clubs have been involved with the Charter since its very beginning in 2004.

Other FIA Club entrants this year included: the National Automobile Club of Azerbaijan (AMAK); Touring Club Suisse (TCS);  the Bulgarian Automobile Club (UAB); The Automobile Association (AA UK); the Automobile Club Italia (ACI);  the Auto-Moto Society of Latvia (LAMB); and the Automobile Club of Portugal (ACP).