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Massa helps launch 'Make Roads Safe' initiative 06 May 2009

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 24 April 2009 Jean Todt (ITA) with wife Michelle Yeoh (MAL) Actress at the Amber Fashion event.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Friday, 23 May 2008

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was in Italy earlier this week to help launch a new report which advocates coordinated UN action on road safety by highlighting the world’s hidden epidemic of road traffic injuries. Massa was joined in Rome by Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, the Chairman of the Commission for Global Road Safety, and actress Michelle Yeoh, the FIA’s Global Road Safety Ambassador.

The ‘Make Roads Safe’ report, endorsed by the world’s leading road safety experts, recommends that UN governments, who will attend the first-ever global conference on road safety in Moscow in November, support a ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’ from 2010-2020. During the ‘Decade’ it’s hoped some five million lives could be saved and 50 million serious injuries prevented.

“We must do more to tackle road traffic injuries, the biggest killer of young people around the world,” said Massa. “By promoting seat belt and helmet use, enforcing drink driving and speeding, and improving road and vehicle design we can really make a difference. I am pleased to support the Make Roads Safe campaign and the call for a Decade of Action for road safety.”

If introduced, the scheme would see governments collectively commit to reducing the forecast 2020 level of road deaths by 50 percent, while a fund of US$300 million would be used to encourage and support road safety interventions. The UN Secretary General has also been called upon to appoint a Special Envoy for Road Safety to raise the profile of the issue.

“Five million lives are at stake over the coming decade,” warned Robertson. “We have the tools and the vaccines to save these lives. Now we need the international community to demonstrate the political will to succeed. The forthcoming ministerial meeting in Moscow can be the turning point marking a new direction for global road safety. We must respond to this preventable epidemic with urgency and determination.”

Yeoh added: “Over the past year I have travelled in many countries and seen the terrible impact that a lack of basic road safety can have on people’s lives. A child is killed or maimed on the roads every thirty seconds. These tragedies are so sad, and so unnecessary, because we have the ability to prevent this. It is time for the talking to stop. It is time for real action to make roads safe.”

A copy of the report can be found here.