Michael Schumacher calls for Action on Road Safety at European Parliament
Publication date: 11 May 2011
Wednesday 11th May
For footage from the event, please click here.
FIA Road Safety Ambassador, Michael Schumacher, is calling on Members of the European Parliament to make sure eSafety systems are deployed in all new cars through legislation or voluntarily at today’s (Wed 11th May) launch of the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety in Strasbourg. The event is being organised by the eSafety Challenge project (supported by the European Commission, eSafetyAware, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), and the FIA Foundation).
The 7-Time Formula I World Champion says “eSafety technologies like Electronic Stability Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Emergency Braking Systems, build safety into the system so that, as in motor sport, the risk and severity of accidents are minimised. It is vital that MEPs understand the importance and the number of lives that can be saved by deploying eSafety technologies through legislation or voluntarily.”
He gave his full support to the Decade of Action’s goals to reduce forecast fatalities by approximately 50% over the next ten years, saying “This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness about the road safety challenges we face while also experiencing the ingenuity of modern automotive safety design. But most important of all, it is an opportunity to spread the word to every new car buyer that the next car they buy should have eSafety technologies on board.”
Werner Kraus, President of FIA Region I, which represents 36 million motorists across its 100 member Motoring and Touring Clubs in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, said “Globally, road traffic crashes have become the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29. And 90% of road traffic deaths and injuries occurring in low-income and middle-income countries. This is why the FIA is giving its full support to the Decade of Action’s goal to make our roads less dangerous.”
“We know that most road deaths are preventable and a terrible and tragic loss to so many families and to society as a whole. So we need to do our outmost to promote technologies that will save lives and avoid crashes.”
Today’s high-level event will also be attended by the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, Président de l’Automobile Club, Association Française des Automobilistes, Didier Bollecker, and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Member of the European Parliament.
NEW ESAFETY IPHONE APP LAUNCHED BY TOP DRIVERS FOR DECADE OF ACTION
The deployment of life saving eSafety technologies in cars is the focus of a new free iPhone application “eSafety Challenge” launched today with the support of motorsport’s top drivers to mark the launch of the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety. Players learn from top drivers supporting the game including Formula 1 drivers Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz, seven-time World Rally Champion, Sebastian Loeb, eight-time 24 Hour Le Mans Champion, Tom Kristensen, and DTM driver, Susie Stoddart.
Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, Michael Schumacher said: “Most accidents on the roads are due to human errors and many of these could be avoided. The advanced safety systems available for cars today can support the driver and limit both accident risks and severity”. On the game itself, he said, “This is a great game which will help drivers of all ages to become more familiar with the eSafety technologies available and hopefully they will demand some of these technologies the next time they buy a new car”.
Note to Editors:
Photos and footage from the event in Strasbourg will be available on http://www.fiabrussels.com for journalists to use on the morning of Thursday 12th May.
UN Decade of Action
In 2007, FIA member clubs collected 1.2 million signatures amongst their members for a petition submitted to the United Nations which asked for road safety measures to be taken, with the aim being to save millions of lives over the next ten years. In March 2008, the petition was handed over to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and in March 2010, the UN General Assembly decided to initiate the Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011 to 2020.
According to UN figures, 1.3 million people are killed on the world’s roads each year and unless action is taken now, annual road deaths are forecast to rise to 1.9 million by 2020. The goal of the decade, endorsed by 100 governments, is to “stabilise and then reduce global road fatalities by 2020” which would require an approximate 50% reduction in forecast road fatalities over the next decade. In real terms, this would mean 5 million lives saved and 50 million injuries prevented. More information on the UN Decade of Action can be found here: http://www.who.int/roadsafety/decade_of_action/en/index.html
The eSafety Challenge promotes and highlights the life-saving potential of advanced vehicle safety technologies. eSafety Challenge receive funding from the European Commission, the FIA Foundation, and eSafetyAware. More information on the eSafety Challenge can be found here: http://www.esafetychallenge.eu
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) Region I office represents 36 million motorists across its 100 member Motoring and Touring Clubs on issues such as road safety, consumer protection, environmental protection and the promotion of sustainable motoring. For more information, please see: http://www.fiabrussels.com.
FIA Region I organised and supported thirteen events throughout the region for the launch of the Decade of Action on Road Safety on 11th May. The FIA has also launched its own campaign supporting the Decade’s goals, “Action for Road Safety”, with a dedicated site: www.actionforroadsafety.org.
For more information please contact Niall Carty, firstname.lastname@example.org (Tel: 0032 2 282 0812 or 0032 486 650 216)