Raikkonen backs youth forum for road safety
Publication date: 20 August 2008
Formula One World Champion Kimi Raikkonen took part in the European Youth Forum for Road Safety in Brussels on 10 July.
The Forum brought together young people from all 27 Member States, including young police officers and firefighters with experience of rescuing road accident victims. Raikkonen was invited to participate by Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Transport, who chaired the Forum. The conference was addressed to young people, at least two per Member State, to encourage them to set up a youth network, which could work together to help reduce the number of young people killed every year on Europe's roads.
Tajani told the Forum's participants that he intended to present a new European Action Plan on Road Safety, covering the period 2011-2020. Reducing the current 25 deaths a day of young people on Europe's roads would be a priority, he said.
Tajani and Raikkonen, had a single main message for the Forum, that in any car, anywhere, following the rules is the only way to be safe. Tajani added: "Rules and respect save lives. Formula One drivers do not take the wheel drunk or drugged, they would be racing to their deaths. We must make young people understand that reckless driving on any road means speeding straight towards tragedy."
Raikkonen also fielded questions from the audience and took part in a post-event press conference which was streamed live on the European Commission website.