The leader of the Roman Catholic Church has expressed his support for the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) campaign to promote road safety worldwide, especially the safety of children.
On January 14, FIA president Jean Todt, along with Automobile Club d’Italia president Angelo Sticchi Damiani, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach, and FIA Ambassador for Road Safety Michelle Yeoh went to Rome to meet Pope Francis to discuss global road safety issues and the need to make our roads safer, particularly for the 1.8 billion children whose lives are put in danger every day on the road.
In a letter to FIA member clubs including the Automobile Association Philippines, Todt said that His Holiness was “kind enough to grant us a private audience to discuss the global challenge of road safety.”
“During this audience, we presented the current situation of this worldwide crisis to the Pope, and outlined the need for governments and communities to prioritise road safety, beginning with putting in place effective traffic regulations,” added Todt, who was recently appointed the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety.
Todt showed the Pope the film “Save Kids Lives” directed by Luc Besson depicting the dangers faced by children on their way to school daily. The film was produced to promote the #SaveKidsLives campaign launched by the UN Global Road Safety Collaboration to prompt action around the world toward making roads safer and saving lives—beginning with children.
#SaveKidsLives encourages people worldwide to sign the Child Declaration on Road Safety, which calls on policymakers’ attention to lead the global fight against road fatalities and injuries.
According to Todt, the Pope showed great interest in the cause, understanding of the challenge at hand, and signed a message in support of the campaign.
Emphasizing the significance of the Pope’s support, Todt said: “The Pope’s backing for road safety will not only help raise further awareness of the 500 children who lose their lives every day on the world’s roads, but the global reach of his voice will also bring us closer to the ambitious goal of halving road traffic deaths and injuries by 2020.”