FIA joins forces with UN to protect pedestrians

The FIA takes part in the 2013 United Nations’ Global Road Safety Week, the first to be dedicated to pedestrians.

More than 5,000 pedestrians are killed on the world’s roads every week – they make up nearly a quarter of the 1.3 million killed on the roads every year.  Further 50 million people are injured on the roads each year, some very seriously.

The FIA Action for Road Safety campaign and the grants received by the FIA from the FIA Foundation support the United Nations in reaching the goal of saving five million lives on the world's roads in 10 years.

The second UN Global Road Safety Week, taking place from 6-12 May 2013, aims at reducing the statistics with a multi-pronged attack on the main causes of pedestrian road deaths by drawing attention to the need to better protect pedestrians worldwide and generating action on the measures needed to do so. In this framework, the FIA provided Clubs the chance to tap into special funding allocated for this year’s United Nations Global Road Safety Week.

In the short term, FIA member Clubs are encouraged to host events raising awareness of existing traffic laws on speeding, drinking and driving, distracted driving and walking, and pedestrian right-of-way, using education to improve safety standards.

The involvement of governments, business leaders, academics, and the larger international community means that the UN Global Road Safety Week is an opportunity to take a long-term view with regards to increasing pedestrian safety.

In addition to the improved pedestrian infrastructures including safe crossings and signals, clear road signs, and adequate sidewalks and footpaths, pedestrian safety standards can be enhanced through the enforcement of existing road safety laws governing speeding, drinking and driving, distracted driving and walking, and pedestrian-right-of way, and the development of new legislation where appropriate.

It is also essential to consider pedestrians when establishing vehicle safety standards, or when introducing or altering mass transit schemes. Lower speed limits in pedestrian areas reduce fatalities, as do pedestrian-only zones. Traffic calming measures such as speed bumps, rumble strips, and chicanes have all been found to protect pedestrian road users.

The key tool available to all member Clubs is that of education – by educating both vehicle users and pedestrians from an early age about how to safely share space on the roads, lives can be saved. Maintaining awareness at all times on the roads – whether in a vehicle or on foot – is simply good practice. Events are run in coordination with the World Health Organisation, which has created an event registration website that will foster a strong international community on pedestrian safety.

Another way to take part in the UN Global Road Safety Week is to get involved in the Long Short Walk, a campaign designed to highlight the simple ways in which pedestrian safety can be improved. Participants are encouraged to film or photograph a short walk that they take, before submitting their footage to be incorporated into a film showing a walk around the world.

About the FIA Action for Road Safety campaign: Launched in support of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, FIA Action for Road Safety aims to help save the lives of five million people on the world’s roads by the end of the decade. Since its launch, the campaign has been embraced by governments, stakeholder organisations and member clubs across the globe. It has also been endorsed by some of the world’s biggest sporting names.

For more information on FIA Action for Road Safety, click here.