For drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, only a few seconds of distraction can make a difference between life and death. This is why MEP Dieter Liebrech Koch, FIA Region I and its member Clubs are launching #ParkYourPhone, a campaign to encourage responsible smartphone use in traffic.
European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, said: “With smartphones becoming more popular than ever, it seems increasingly difficult to take our eyes off the screen. In fact, distracted driving is the cause of a growing number of road deaths and injuries. It is vital that we keep our attention on the road. As Transport Commissioner, road safety is one of my ongoing priorities. A simple way to reduce accidents is to keep your eyes on the road and off your smartphone. I support FIA Region I’s initiative and this is my message to all road users: park your phone, keep the road safe.”
FIA President and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, said “Road safety is among my top priorities. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians need to understand the dangers of using smartphones in traffic. To combat the 3,500 lives lost every day in road accidents, I urge all road users to park their phones when they are in traffic.”
Host of the launch event, MEP Koch said, “Europe has done a lot to improve safety, be it on technical improvements of the vehicles, better training for road users or infrastructure. But new technologies, such as smart phones and tablets, bring about new challenges. I welcome this event very much, because it encourages everyone to remember that a moment of distraction can be fatal.”
FIA Region I Director General, Laurianne Krid, said: “There are many ways to be active in traffic, from a young to an older age. FIA Region I and our member Clubs believe that lifelong learning is key to ensure the safest roads. This campaign reminds us of the many distractions that cross our path on a daily basis and encourages everyone to #ParkYourPhone and remain focussed on the road while in traffic.”
The launch event was attended by MEP Wim van de Camp, MEP Jens Gieseke, Alisa Tiganj, Member of the EU Commission Cabinet for Transport responsible for Road Safety and Fotini Ioannidou, Head of the Road Safety Unit, DG MOVE. FIA Region I member Clubs ADAC from Germany and Touring from Belgium also participated in the event, which took place in Place du Luxembourg in Brussels.
The campaign will be rolled out across Europe the Middle East and Africa by FIA Clubs in autumn 2017. Some of the countries launching the campaign are: France (ACA), UK (IAM & CAMC), Italy (ACI), Portugal (ACP), Slovakia (ASA), Denmark (FDM), Belgium (TCB), Czech Republic (UAMK & AutoKlub), Lebanon (ATC Liban), Poland (PZM), Bulgaria (UAB), UAE (ATCUAE), Slovenia (AMZS), the Netherlands (ANWB), Tanzania (AAT) among many other locations.
Notes to editors
About FIA Region I
The FIA Region I office, based in Brussels, is a consumer body representing 113 Mobility Clubs and their 37 million members from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The FIA represents the interest of these members as motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and tourists. The FIA’s primary goal is to secure a mobility that is safe, affordable, sustainable and efficient. With these aims in mind, the FIA Region I work focuses on Road Safety, Consumer Protection, Environmental Protection, and the promotion of Sustainable Motoring. www.fiaregion1.com