Promoting Road Safety at the local level | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Promoting Road Safety at the local level

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20.10.18

Yesterday, FIA President Jean Todt, who also serves as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, joined French Inter-ministerial Delegate for Road Safety  Emmanuel Barbe, Prefect of the Eure-et-Loir Sophie Brocas, and Public Prosecutor Rémi Coutin in Chartres, France, to raise awareness of road safety in the department.

As education of all road users is essential to tackle the road safety challenge, the first event of the afternoon was dedicated to the screening of awareness-raising short movies followed by a discussion with secondary-school students. The first short movie shown was Save Kids Lives. Directed by Luc Besson, it delivered a potent visual message highlighting the dangers children face on their way to school all over the world. The three other short movies, directed by Brice Vincent, were shot in Eure-et-Loir, in familiar locations for the young spectators, and dealt with the danger of drinking and driving, of texting while driving and of riding a motorcycle with no helmet and without training. 

The discussion with the students, who also listened to the testimony of a road crash victim, was the occasion to talk about simple rules that can save lives on the road and about the key role the young generations can play in changing the situation. Sophie Brocas encouraged the teenagers to pay attention on the road. She also reminded that road crashes destroy lives and always have consequences. Rémi Coutin called on the students to adopt exemplary behaviours and contribute to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries. Emmanuel Barbe encouraged the students to share the key safety messages and act as ambassadors for road safety. As a conclusion, Jean Todt underlined that 3,500 people die every day the world’s road, and that 500 of them are children. He said that the department, and France as a whole, had taken a positive action to improve the situation but that more still needed to be done to reach the target of no fatalities on the road. “We must challenge ourselves. The objective is to make Eure-et-Loir the first “Vision Zero” department­. I won’t make a difference by myself but with you, with the public authorities, all together we can drive change and set an example”, he declared.

 

Determined to reach the target set, the national authorities in Eure-et-Loir have already started to implement measures in order to reduce the number of road fatalities. During the afternoon, an example of such actions was given when carpentry students revealed the new wooden figures representing people who died in crashes that the Préfecture had asked them to design. When placed along the roads, these new cut-outs will be more visible, have a stronger deterrent effect, and make more drivers slow down.

To conclude the day, Jean Todt, Emmanuel Barbe, Sophie Brocas and Rémi Coutin, participated in a session of “alternative controls”, an innovative approach adopted by the department to raise awareness and improve drivers’ behaviour on the road. During the session of controls, drivers who hadn’t committed serious infringements — i.e. when their speed was less than 20 km/h above the legal limit — were given the choice to either pay the fine or take a refreshment training reminding them that when they break the rules on the road they put themselves and others at great risk. All 26 contrevenants chose to follow the training.