FIA European clubs unite in ‘Stay Bright’ campaign to prevent winter road deaths
Each year, more than 800 children under the age of 15 are killed on European roads and 100,000 are injured. As pedestrians and cyclists, children are some of the most vulnerable road users of all. The FIA, MEP Olga Sehnalova, Former racing driver and BMX World Champion Alex Wurz and the Czech Automobile Club UAMK joined together to urge children to Stay Bright this winter with the correct use of reflective gear, in a new campaign co-funded by the FIA Foundation.
Speaking at the launch MEP Olga Sehnalova said: “We know that the winter months are dark and cold, and road visibility is poor. Unfortunately, many children don't get the right advice or equipment to be safe when they are going to and from school. Stay Bright intends to change that, by showing kids how to best use reflective gear and empowering them to act for their own protection.”
Alex Wurz said, “When I was 12 years old I became BMX World Champion and bicycles have always played an important role in my life. I know how vulnerable cyclists are in traffic and with a campaign like Stay Bright we can show kids that by using reflective gear properly, they are much better protected on the road. It might just save their life.”
Also speaking at the event near Prague, Rita Cuypers, FIA Foundation Director of Partnerships, said: “The key interventions that will keep children safe are lower vehicle speeds in urban areas, better road design to prioritise cyclists and pedestrians, ensuring safe footpaths and crossings are available and conspicuous and sustained police enforcement. But as part of these wider efforts keeping children visible on the road, and teaching them the skills of staying safe while travelling, also has an important role to play. This is not ‘victim blaming’, it is ‘victim preventing’. The FIA Foundation is proud to support the FIA and our member clubs in the ‘Stay Bright’ campaign.”
Formula One drivers have lent their support to the campaign. These include: Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas, Jenson Button, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutiérrez, Kevin Magnussen, Felipe Massa, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg, Stoffel Vandoorne, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Alexander Wurz.
FIA President Jean Todt said 'Children are the most vulnerable road users. As pedestrians and cyclists they are particularly exposed. The Stay Bright campaign explains in a simple way how to stay safe on the road, especially at night and when weather conditions offer poor visibility.'
The campaign was launched as part of the European Commission's Mobility Week and will be rolled out across Europe the Middle East and Africa throughout the winter season 2016. Countries launching the campaign are: France (ACA), UK (IAM), Italy (ACI), Portugal (ACP), Slovakia (ASA), Denmark (FDM), Latvia (LAMB), Belgium (TCB), Czech Republic (UAMK), Norway (KNA), Azerbaijan (AMAK), Nigeria (ATZN), Hungary (MAK), Slovenia (AMZS), Bulgaria (UAB).
Jacob Bangsgaard, Director General of FIA Region I, introduced the campaign that aims at encouraging children between 8-12 years to wear reflective vests, fluorescent and bright colours, reflectors on the bicycle helmet, on the front and rear of the bikes and on the tires. The core materials of the campaign (videos, cartoons, comic strips and stickers) can be adapted by automobile clubs to suit their audiences.
The launch was held at FIA Region I's conference 'Safe road to school' on 22 September 2016 in front of European traffic education stakeholders and policymakers. The conference was organised in cooperation with Ustredni Automotoklub Ceské Republiky (UAMK), in conjunction with the European Traffic Education Contest (ETEC) in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic. The conference had the support of the European Commission and the Region of Usti.