Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, Chairman of the Foundation, opened the meeting with a call for action on global road safety. Over the past decade, he pointed out, 12 million people have died on roads across the world and to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal target to halve road deaths significantly more funding is needed. He urged support for the creation of a new UN Road Safety Fund.
Speaking during the AGM, he said: “How many lives can we save by 2030? This is the urgent question, and the FIA Foundation is playing its part in finding the answer: through our wonderful partnerships and networks, delivering measurable change across the world. Our philanthropy is needed now more than ever.”
Setting out the achievements of the Foundation in 2017, Saul Billingsley, Executive Director, presented the international work across infrastructure, car safety and air quality. He called for critical understanding of the challenges and their causes, and called for every government to reposition road safety - the ability for children to get to school - as a human right. The Every Life campaign, launched at the Every Journey. Every Child. Conference in October saw the first signatories to the Declaration of Every Child’s Right to Safe and Healthy Streets which comprises six articles focused on protecting children from traffic related toxic air pollution and road traffic injury.
The Declaration calls for global leaders to sign up and commit to the protection of children who are currently using the world’s most dangerous streets, to ensure they are not breathing the polluted air that is especially damaging to growing lungs, and to provide a safe and healthy journey to school for every child worldwide.
Automobile clubs from across the world spoke about their work funded by the Foundation. Focusing on children’s well-being, Tim Shearman CEO of the Canadian Automobile Association presented on the Safe Schools programme promoting behaviour change around school zones; while the Director General of the Touring & Automóvil Club De Colombia, Alfredo Albornoz, discussed the impact of its helmet safety programme. Focusing on motor sport safety, the Director of Motor Sport South Africa, Richard Schilling, showed the importance of training for closed car extraction, while Ronan Morgan, General Manager of Automobile and Touring Club of United Arab Emirates, focused on the power of e-learning. Finally, Collins Khumalo, CEO of the Automobile Association of South Africa, discussed the impact of the first independent African car safety testing with the launch of the first Global NCAP ‘#SaferCarsForAfrica event.