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Day 3 of 4th United Nations Global Road Safety Week - How FIA and United Nations team up to Save Lives - #slowdown

We at Auto Arabia consider that the lack of public awareness about road safety and speeding hazards is one of the main problems which Egypt is facing in its crucial fight against the high numbers of road crashes and road fatalities, and which needs to be tackled in a professional and sustainable way in order to improve the road safety records in this 100-million inhabitants country.

Therefore we at Auto Arabia teamed up with the Automobile & Touring Club of Egypt ATCE in order to raise the public and media awareness about this extremely important issue, as our part and contribution to the 4th United Nations Global Road Safety Week and to the efforts of the FIA in improving the road safety situation worldwide.

During this Global Road Safety Week we will see Auto Arabia’s editor-in-chief Mohamed Sheta cooperating closely with the Automobile & Touring Club of Egypt and its Traffic & Tourism Committee. Sheta is not only an influential automotive journalist and well-known jury-member in six internationally-renowned automotive awards with over 25 years of experience in the automotive, motorsport and media sector, but he is also an internationally-acknowledged road safety advocate speaking regularly in fluent German, Arabic, and English at regional and international automotive and road safety conferences.

Sheta will be talking daily here on and on several radio and TV channels about the most challenging problems and obstacles facing the road safety efforts and goals in Egypt and how adapting a #slowdown strategy could save lives among all road users, and not only among the passenger car drivers.

This extensive media activity is aimed primarily at reaching millions of road users, internet users, TV viewers and radio listeners but at the same time will also reach the political decision-makers and stake-holders.

On each day of this road safety week Mohamed Sheta will tackle a different road safety topic/problem, and explain how to adapt effective solution for those road safety problems based on the current circumstances in Egypt and based on the behavior and understanding of the Egyptian road user.

During the seven days of the 4th UN Global Road Safety week Sheta will talk about the following seven topics:

- 08.05.2017: Risks of speeding for passenger car drivers
- 09.05.2017: Risks of speeding for motorcycle riders
- 10.06.2017: Risks of speeding for microbus, minibus, public transportation bus, tourism bus and taxi drivers
- 11.06.2017: Risks of speeding for Light Commercial Vehicle drivers
- 12.06.2017: Risks of speeding for Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers
- 13.05.2017: The role of the government, the private sector, the NGOs, the public & private schools, the public & private universities and the law enforcement authorities
- 14.05.2017: The importance of the use of modern technology and ITS by the law enforcement and the importance of active and passive safety features in the passenger cars, motorcycles, buses, LCVs and HGV for reducing the braking distances

So today on the 10th of May 2017, the third day of the 4th UN Global Road Safety week, Sheta will be talking about the risks of speeding for microbuses, minibuses, public transportation buses, tourism buses and taxi drivers:

‘It is no secret that the huge 14-seater-microbus and 28-seater-minibus fleets in Egypt, dominated for decades by the Japanese Toyota Hi-Ace and its Chinese copy from Jin Bein, is an essential complementation to the public transportation sector, which would probably collapse without all those privately-owned microbuses and minibuses.

The problem with those low-budget Jin Bein microbuses imported by the Bavarian Auto Group (which is the official BMW and MINI importer in Egypt) and the low-quality minibuses assembled in Egypt by General Motors Egypt, is that all those models do not have any active or passive safety whatsoever. They do not even have any credible crash-test certificates.

The Nissan Urvan microbus imported by Nissan Motors Egypt does not even have headrests for the passengers.

Even the so-called ‘Rolls Royce’ among the microbuses, the Toyota Hi-Ace, is imported and sold in Egypt by Toyota Egypt Alfuttaim without enough airbags and without ESP.

Needless to say is that 99% of those microbuses and minibuses do not have even seatbelts.

Even the bigger 52-seater buses assembled in or imported to Egypt lack the latest active and passive safety features.

Not surprisingly do we hear every few days about horrific accidents involving those dangerous and unsafe microbuses, minibuses and buses, sadly with dozens of fatalities. One road crash in winter 2015 involving two microbuses resulted in the death of 28, yes TWENTY-EIGHT innocent passengers!

The Egyptian government must take serious steps in order to stop the death of innocent people using those microbuses, minibuses and buses. Those steps must be:

1.) All microbuses, minibuses and buses assembled in Egypt or imported to Egypt must come with ABS, ESP, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, seatbelts and headrest for all passengers and emergency braking system.
2.) The Egyptian government must introduce new driving permit tests according to the EU standards, which all those commercial drivers must pass.
3.) Set new speed limits for all microbuses, minibuses and buses on all roads in Egypt.
4.) More police control inside and outside the cities, with a special focus on the drivers of those microbuses, minibuses, buses and taxis as they have a much higher responsibility than the drivers of small passenger cars.

I hope the Egyptian government will take serious steps as soon as possible. Until then my request and recommendations to all the drivers of microbuses, minibuses, public transportation buses, tourism buses and taxis: please #slowdown and save lives!’


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