A new step forward for the FIA Safe & Affordable Helmet Programme in Mexico | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

A new step forward for the FIA Safe & Affordable Helmet Programme in Mexico

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05.11.21

On 4 November, ahead of the FIA Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix, the FIA Safe & Affordable Helmet Programme took a new step forward with a distribution of UN-standard certified helmets in Mexico City, organised by the FIA and its Member Organisation ANA Automóvil Club A. C., with the support of the FIA Foundation and the Keep Fighting Foundation.

 

Motorcycle riders and passengers have long been vulnerable users of motorised transport. In the Americas, the increasing ownership of motorcycles (that are easy to use and relatively cheap) has resulted in an increase in motorcyclist fatalities and injuries, with head injuries being a major concern. This trend has affected Mexico: in 2000, motorcyclists represented only 6% of road fatalities while in 2020, this percentage reached 25%.
 
To contribute to its mission of promoting and pursuing a culture of safe mobility, the FIA has been promoting the FIA Safe & Affordable Helmet Programme to facilitate the deployment of motorcycle helmets.  The design concept has been conceived by helmet manufacturers with the goal of creating the lowest priced helmets on the market while also meeting the UN ECE 22.05 safety standards, as certified by independent experts. The helmets are comfortable in hot and humid climates. Indeed, research shows that safe helmet wearing is one of the most effective road safety interventions, reducing the number of head injuries among moped riders and motorcyclists by around 44%.
 
In order to raise awareness of the importance of wearing helmets and to encourage the local government to ensure that only high standard helmets are introduced in the market, a demonstration event was organised in Mexico City in the framework of the FIA Formula 1 Grand Prix.
 
The event gathered FIA President Jean Todt, FIA Vice President for Sport and OMDAI, NACAM and FIA Americas President José Abed R., ANA Automóvil Club A. C. President Julián José Abed Jiménez, ANA Seguros General Director Raúl Barba, Mexico City Road Safety and Information Monitoring Director Valentina Delgado Sánchez, Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, Uber Eats Latin America General Director Eduardo Donnelly, FIA Foundation Programmes Manager Agnieszka Krasnolucka, FIA Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism ad interim Onika Miller, Red Bull Formula 1 Driver Sergio Perez, Chairman of the Board of Grupo Carso Carlos Slim Domit, Mexican Red Cross President Fernando Suinaga Cárdenas and FIA Deputy President for Automobile Mobility and Tourism Thierry Willemarck, among others.
 
The Keep Fighting Foundation, created by Michael Schumacher‘s family to promote the spirit of perseverance that characterises the seven-time FIA Formula 1 World Champion donated 2,600 helmets to Mexico.  FIA Member Club ANA announced a distribution plan in five Mexican regions particularly in need. The aim of the initiative, supported by the FIA Foundation, is to create a sustainable and lasting demand in Mexico for safe helmets designed according to the UN ECE 22.05 standard. Representatives from the local government, Mexican Red Cross, National Road Safety agency, Mobility Commission, Carlos Slim Foundation, as well as Uber Eats joined the event.
 
FIA President Jean Todt, who also serves as United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said: “Wearing a helmet is key to protect the lives of two-wheeled riders. The FIA Safe & Affordable Helmet Programme is part of the consolidated action of our Federation to make a profound impact on the global road safety challenge. I salute the authorities of Mexico for their participation and I would like to sincerely thank our Member Club ANA for organising this event, as well as the FIA Foundation and the Keep Fighting Foundation for their active support. I urge other governments and the private sector to join those who have already committed to this promising initiative.”

To promote long lasting change in the helmet wearing attitudes among motorcyclists and to influence policy makers to set up comprehensive helmet safety policies, the FIA and FIA Foundation created a Helmet Coalition in Mexico, bringing together stakeholders from the government, civil society and the private sector. The Coalition, led by the ITDP (Instituto de Políticas para el Transporte y el Desarrollo), will elaborate an 18-month action plan to improve helmet safety in Mexico, in line with one of the recommendations included in the Global Plan of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, published by WHO on 28 October 2021. 

FIA Foundation Executive Director Saul Billingsley added: “The motorcycle is an increasingly popular mode of low-cost transport in Latin America, but without access to helmets which are safe as well as affordable, lives are unnecessarily at risk, particularly from head injuries. Establishing a Mexican national helmet wearing coalition, with the collaborative support of long-term partners ITDP Mexico and ANA, will help to address the need for greater awareness of motorcycle safety, and lay the groundwork for the cross-sectoral cooperation to ensure safe journeys for all.”

The launch of the Programme in Mexico was also supported by Formula 1 drivers who asked their Team designer to customise Safe & Affordable helmets. Find the gallery here.