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Formula 1 drivers unite to support road safety campaign
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 May 2013   |  2:42 pm GMT  |  6 comments

All 22 Formula 1 drivers came together on the grid ahead of Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix to support the United Nations’ Global Road Safety Week, which aims to draw attention to the need to protect pedestrians on the world’s roads.

More than 5,000 pedestrians are killed on roads across the world every week, according to the World Health Organisation. These fatalities make up a large percentage of the 1.3m killed on the roads every year.

The aim of the campaign is to give pedestrians a voice when traffic safety is concerned so the UN launched “Long, Short Walk”, an initiative that encourages people across the world to video or photograph their favourite walks.

The images and footage will be edited together to raise awareness that those in cars are not the only road users.

So ahead of the drivers’ parade at the Spanish Grand Prix, the likes of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, FIA president Jean Todt, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, were joined by 200 school children for a short walk down the start-finish straight.

Spaniard Maria de Villota, who suffered a severe head injury and lost her right eye in an accident when testing a Marussia F1 car last year, was also in attendance, along with a number of team principals.

Todt said: “It is fitting that the world’s finest drivers and the teams and organisations behind them have come together to demonstrate that all road users, no matter whether they are at the wheel or on foot, should be protected and that every driver must be vigilant at all times, no matter how skilled.

“It is crucial that we protect pedestrians and the FIA is delighted that Formula 1 has embraced this initiative to help save lives in such a positive way.

“It once again demonstrated how motorsport can help draw attention to such a globally important issue. This fusion of sport and mobility to improve road safety is at the core of the FIA’s beliefs.”

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If pedestrians around the world are as bad as those here in New Zealand/Christchurch, then I’m not surprised so many are knocked over!

Here, they just step onto a pedestrian crossing and amble across the street without looking/hurrying, or considering the traffic conditions, nor do they care that they caused three nose-to-tail collisions, and as for showing some apreciation for the fact that the cars stopped for them without running over them goes, never a little wave or smile to say “thank you”!

In my view there should be intensive pedestrian training at schools and other venues.


And the motorist is usually deemed in the wrong and it costs him/her the licence/job/fine if they hurt/kill someone. And all they’re doing is driving along their street/road!

I reckon pedestrians should have to obtain a licence to be alowed to cross busy city streets! (And be taught some manners at the same time!)



Anything F1 does like this,is great. It could have more impact than just a few people demonstrating on local roads. I hope the final edited shots will be used in TV advertisements etc. Whatever the outcome, it is nice to see them trying to make a difference. If just one life is saved by this it will have been worth it.


They should get Darren Heath to take a picture of 22 kids walking past the 22 F1 cars at Barcelona turn 1 and say

“Even children are faster and safer than these tyres”


SO I suppose the FIA will now cease to underwrite all rally series since they set such a bad example of pedestrian “safety”??


I´m sure the children had a lot of fan, a dream came true for them. But if the idea is to inform and create awarness. That´s not enough. At that age kid look at what their parents do. Children mostly need example from their own family.

P.S. Off topic. Nice picture for a caption and all kind of jokes. Bernie, Alonso and Hamilton


Well, glad to see they’re setting a good example by driving ‘more cautiously’ during races.

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