Children’s road safety the focus of FIA Jean Todt’s visit to Honduras | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Children’s road safety the focus of FIA Jean Todt’s visit to Honduras

  • gb
12.08.16

During his visit to Honduras on 11 August, FIA President Jean Todt met with Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández, who agreed to launch road safety education programs throughout the country’s schools.

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On 11 August FIA President Jean Todt, FIA Vicepresident for Sport José Abed and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Michelle Yeoh, met with President Juan Orlando Hernández as well as several cabinet ministers at the Presidential Palace.

During the meeting, President Hernández signed a commitment to make road safety one of his administration’s top priorities.

After the meeting Mr Todt, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said: “We had a very constructive discussion. I am happy to know that the Honduran government is committed to road safety”.

“Like every developing country, Honduras needs to improve education, as well as road infrastructure and law enforcement. All of this has to work together”, he added.

After his meeting with President Hernández, Mr Todt visited the República de Argentina primary school in Comayagüela, Tegucigalpa’s main economic hub, where pupils wore yellow t-shirts with the #SaveKidsLives hashtag. During his visit he received a certificate of appreciation from the school’s headmaster, recognizing the importance of the FIA’s work in terms of promoting children’s road safety.

Honduras has a population of 8 million inhabitants and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there are around 1,408 road traffic fatalities every year, a ratio of 17.4 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants. Most of those killed are pedestrians (46%) and car drivers (25%).

Addressing the school’s young pupils, Mr Todt said: “We want you to talk to your parents so that they can learn from you. We want you to grow up to be good representatives of your country”.

The mayor of Tegucigalpa Nasry Asfura, emphasized that children are the most vulnerable road users and stated that of the total number of pedestrians killed each year in Honduras, 440 are children.

UNDP Goodwill Ambassador, actress Michelle Yeoh, gave the children tips on how to be streetwise: “In a movie, you can shoot the same scene several times; in real life you only get one chance. I need all of you to be very smart and take care of yourselves. When you’re crossing the roads, make sure you see the cars and motorcycles and don’t listen to music”.

After the event, the Panamerican Health Organization’s representative in Honduras, Ana Treasure, said: “The increasing number of road traffic fatalities makes road safety a crucial issue right now. Children are among the main road users and they are very exposed. We want children to learn how to use the roads properly and also to urge their parents to change their habits”.

Pierre-Christian Soccoja, ambassador of France, who also attended the event, added: “We hope that Mr. Todt’s visit today helps to raise awareness of the importance of road safety among children. Road accidents are one of Honduras’ many problems and it is important for all sectors to come together to tackle this problem, with a focus on children”.

Mr Todt also visited Chiminike interactive children’s museum, where he inspected a newly refurbished children’s road track. A group of young children, riding bicycles and wearing safety helmets were riding around the track while museum staff taught them to recognize the road signs.

The UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety witnessed the signature of a memorandum of understanding between the Honduran Sporting Automobile Association (AHAD) and the Chiminike children’s museum to promote the UN’s guidelines on road safety.

The AHAD also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Central American University of Technology (Unitec) to promote road safety among students.

Unitec Vice-Chancellor Marlon Brevé, said: “Road safety education is very important for us. We’re signing this memorandum of understanding so that road safety education is included in all of our extracurricular programs”.