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Day 7 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 14th of May 2017, the seventh and last day of the 4th UN Global Road Safety week, Mohamed Sheta will be talking about the importance of using modern technology and ITS by the law enforcement, the importance of active and passive safety features in the passenger cars, motorcycles, buses, LCVs and HGV for reducing the braking distances, thus reducing the impact speed and creating less damage and injuries.

Here is what he had to say about this topic:

‘The use of Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) in Egypt and especially in Cairo is extremely important and will reduce the numbers of accidents considerably.

Less traffic means less congestion. Less congestion means less stress. Less stress means better concentration and consequently less accident, especially in the hot summer months where many taxis, microbus, and minibuses still do not have air-condition.

Through ITS the traffic departments will be able to re-direct and re-navigate the vehicle users and motorists away from the congested road to less congested road, thereby creating a smooth flow and reducing stop-and-go traffic.

By reducing stop-and-go traffic they automatically reduce the chances of minor accidents. And even those minor accidents on low speeds can sometimes result in severe injuries.

The traffic departments must also start using mobile speed radars in disguised police cars and on police motorcycles in order to catch more traffic law violators.

In addition to that the government and the media must encourage the consumers to buy cars with the latest active and passive safety features. The government must offer incentives, customs reduction and tax exemption for cars with the latest active and passive safety features, such as live-saving Electronic Stability Program (ESP), at least 6 airbags, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and the Emergency Braking System.

Same tax exemptions and customs reductions should also be considered for motorcycles and scooters with ABS, ASR, Electronic Traction Control, brake-discs instead of drum-brakes or even airbags (like in the case of the Honda Gold Wing).

The Egyptian government should also ensure that 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 the life-saving Emergency Braking System.

Same applies also to the Light Commercial Vehicles (LCV), where the Egyptian government must ensure that any vehicle sold in Egypt must have the latest active and safety features.
This should include the basic active and safety features such as ABS, TPMS and the Emergency Braking System. This should include the special Electronic Stability Program for LCVs which is usually a modified version of the standard ESP with an addition function for calculation the load and thus the different center of gravity.

But most importantly the Egyptian government has to watch over the import and registration permits for the Heavy Good Vehicles, as those heavy 40-tons vehicles create the crash with the highest numbers of fatalities in Egypt. All HGV imported to Egypt should not be older than 5 years. Preferably they should not have more than 200.000km on the clock and should pass a strict roadworthiness test according to European standards before being registered in Egypt.

In addition to that all HGV must have an Emergency Braking System installed. Older HGV should be given a time-frame of maximum 5 years to either install such a system, and if not possible than the permit for those HGV should be revoked.

Of course the insurance companies should also encourage their customers as well by offering more discounts on the insurance premium for safer vehicles, which have the latest active and passive safety features installed in the vehicle.

At the end of this road safety week I would like to point out one important thing:
No matter how many active and passive safety you have installed, the speed of your vehicle still is the most important factor at the end, because of the physical laws. Therefore, always #slowdown and safe lives. ‘


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