FIA Takes Part in High-Level Meeting on Transport

At the invitation of the UNECE and the WHO, the FIA participated in the 4th High-Level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment, which took place in Paris on 14–16 April.

The theme of the meeting, “City in motion: people first!”, underlined the importance of placing citizens at the centre of decisions on transport and mobility. People-centred policies should be the foundation for providing safe, healthy and green transport choices that are accessible and affordable for all.

Taking stock of the benefits of physical activity for health and well-being, the meeting called on national governments, municipal authorities and city planners to develop safe and healthy infrastructure for walking and cycling as viable means of urban mobility.

Speaking at the ministerial high-level segment, Susan Pikrallidas, who is FIA Secretary General for Mobility, brought two key messages from the FIA: “First, safer and cleaner road transport is critical for achieving health and development goals around the world. And second, it is important to involve users if we want to promote lifestyle change to achieve these goals.”

“Recent studies show that injuries and pollution from vehicles contribute to six of the top 10 causes of death globally. This is why we are convinced that the health impacts of road transport must be included in the United Nations post-2015 international agenda for global development.”

She said, “Including better roads and transport in the post-2015 goals will give a strong political message to national and local governments and policy makers to address the health and environmental impacts of transport through shared policy approaches.”

Susan emphasised the need to engage transport users in defining policies. She said it is important to work with the public to identify and facilitate logical, safe, and attractive alternatives to vehicle travel. Providing examples of the work of FIA Clubs around the world with other user groups and policy makers, she said “We need to work together, under the leadership of local authorities, to set up programmes which will involve the community.”

Susan closed by affirming that the FIA is committed to the goals of improved global road safety and addressing the challenges posed by air quality and pollution. Through a mixture of policy measures, safer and cleaner road transport can be achieved. “The FIA has a keen interest in helping to achieve these objectives by working to ensure users are involved in finding the solutions,” she stated.