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Day 4 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 11th of May 2017, the fourth day of the 4th UN Global Road Safety week, Mohamed Sheta will be talking about the risks of speeding for drivers of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV).

Unfortunately 90% of Egypt’s goods transportation is taking place on the road. The use of trains or ships for transportation is almost non-existent, although there is huge potential for using the Nile river and the Egyptian railroad network for the transport of goods.

For most farmers and companies it is much cheaper and much more convenient to use small pickups and minivans rather than using the train or ships for the transport of goods.

Unfortunately some car companies are exploiting this situation and are selling only cheap and low-quality pickups and minivans without any active or passive safety features.

Unfortunately General Motors Egypt (GME) is leading the list of unsafe pickups and light commercial vehicles, which do not have even the basics of active and passive safety features.

When you drive on the Agriculture Road from Cairo to Alexandria or when you drive on the roads around El Mansoura in the Nile Delta, you will find hundreds of the locally-assembled Chevrolet Jumbo mid-size trucks and hundreds of the locally-assembled Chevrolet pickups (also nicknamed by the GME marketing Department as El Dababa, which means ‘the tank’ in Arabic) roaming around the country roads there. Unfortunately this also means that you see dozens of those Chevrolet trucks and pickups involved in horrific accidents. This is primarily because those locally-assembled General Motors vehicles are not equipped with the standard safety features such as airbags, ABS, ESP, TPMS or Emergency Braking System.

But to be honest, also the other LCVs sold in Egypt are not equipped with the basic active and safety features, which every vehicle in this segment should have.

Especially the tiny Suzuki microvan, which is often used as a transporter for goods as well as for eight passenger and which is nicknamed in Egypt as El Tomnaya, is also involved heavily in accidents on Egyptian roads.

And also the imported Toyota Hilux as well as the locally-assembled Nissan pickup truck do not really have a convincing road safety record in Egypt.

There are many reasons why so many LCVs get involved in fatal crashes in Egypt.

Firstly: all those trucks and pickups have a higher center of gravity than passenger cars, especially when loaded with goods. And when loaded with goods the braking distance becomes significantly longer because of the weight increase.

In addition to that 99% of those imported and locally-assembled trucks and pickups sold in Egypt are not equipped with the life-saving ABS, ESP, TPMS, airbags and Emergency Braking System.

Last but not least, most of the commercial drivers always try to transport as many goods as quick as possible from A to B, in order to be able to make more deliveries and thus make more money. Another deadly and vicious circle.

I hope the Egyptian government will make ABS, ESP, TPMS, airbags and the Emergency Braking System mandatory for all locally-assembled and imported trucks and pickups in Egypt, and I also hope they introduce roadworthiness test for LCVs at least every six months.

Finally I advise all drivers of pickups and trucks in Egypt to pay special attention to the roadworthiness condition their vehicles and to avoid overloading, in order to be able to brake effectively in critical driving situations. Again, #slowdown and save lives!’


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